Skip to main content

Ed and Ruth Williams collection on Boston jazz, 1984-2004

Identifier: BCA-021

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of multi-track audio recordings (both masters and production copies) and the multi-track recorders modified by Ed Williams to produce them (required for playback). These recordings are complemented by copies of both of Ruth Williams’ books of photographs documenting decades of the New England jazz scene as well as bound indices for the recordings.


  • 1984-2006


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research by appointment. Advance notice is required for access because materials are stored offsite.

Recordings on CD have not been transferred. Patrons may view an item’s original container and/or carrier, but the original recordings may not be available for playback due to preservation concerns. Patrons may request access copies or listening appointments, however due to format obsolescence and condition, recordings many not be available for transfer. Contact Archives staff for further information.

Biographical note

Husband and wife Ed and Ruth Williams documented the Boston jazz scene for over 15 years. Ed Williams was a sound engineer and recorded on location countless hours of live performances in the New England area. Ruth Williams was a photographer and published two books capturing these musicians in action.


8 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in four series:

Series 1: Vintage Gem CDs

The Vintage Gem CDs are compilation CDs of live performances recorded by Ed Williams at local venues, such as the Chestnut Hill Mall and The Sticky Wicket. This series is arranged alphabetically by artist/band name.

Series 2: Jazz Archive CDs

The Jazz Archives CDs series consists of plastic towers of CDs organized by Ed Williams. Each volume contains several CDs with recordings done by Ed Williams. There is an accompanying index created by Williams stating what is on each CD. This series is arranged in numerical order.

Series 3: Photograph Books

The Photograph Books series contains one published work by Ruth Williams, Faces of Jazz, and three more plastic comb-bound books of her photographs. This series is arranged alphabetically.

Series 4: Yamaha AW16G Professional Audio Workstation

This series contains one item: Ed Williams' Yamaha AW16G Professional Audio Workstation and the accompanying owner's manual.

Technical Access Note

The Yamaha AW16G Professional Audio Workstation is required for playback of the Jazz Archive CDs found in Series Two.

Ed and Ruth Williams collection on Boston jazz, 1984-2004
Amanda Axel; with Sofía Becerra-Licha
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid were completed with support from a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

Part of the Berklee Archives Repository

Berklee College of Music
1140 Boylston St
Boston MA 02215 USA