Open Culture reports: [edited]
David W. Niven spent his life [1930-1993, Ed.] amassing a vast record collection, all dedicated to the sounds of early jazz.
For the sake of his children, Niven started transferring his record collection to cassette tapes during the 1980s and prefacing them with audio commentaries that offer background information on each recording.
In 2013 his collection made its way to the web, thanks to archivist Kevin J. Powers. If you head over to Archive.org, you can stream digitised versions of 650 cassette tapes, featuring over 1,000 hours of early jazz music. There’s also scans of David's hand written liner cards for each recording.
According to the archivist, this extraordinary collection “represents the very finest American music of the twentieth century, and because Mr. Niven took the time and care to record these commentaries, he has produced a library that is accessible to everyone from jazz aficionados to jazz novices.”