Center for Black Music Research

Center for Black Music Research

The Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) is an independent research unit of Columbia College Chicago devoted to documentation, research, preservation, and dissemination of information about the history of black music on a global scale.

Founded in 1983 by Samuel A. Floyd Jr., the CBMR has grown from a single office for the founder to a permanent suite of offices occupying nearly 8,000 square feet and, at its peak, a full-time staff of ten plus several part-time employees and work-study students.

The CBMR Library and Archives is devoted to collecting materials about black music the world over. It was established in 1990 and opened to the public in 1992; it currently holds more than 5,400 cataloged books and dissertations, 11,000 sound recordings in all formats, 4,500 scores and pieces of sheet music, and over 100 archival collections including personal papers or organizational records that contain research materials, published and unpublished music scores, manuscripts and typescripts, audio-visual recordings, paper-based and photographic materials, ephemera, publications, and oral-history interviews. The CBMR Library and Archives also holds several ethnographic collections, including three from documentary filmmakers and two containing musical bows (instruments).