The Bob Douglas
Jazz Photograph Collection features black-and-white photography of jazz performances in Los
Angeles, California and Detroit, Michigan from the 1940s to the 1990s. Images capture
several prominent jazz musicians and singers, such as Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, and
Dexter Gordon. It also documents Douglas's professional and exhibit history as well as a
portrait of Bob Douglas. The small collection consists largely of prints as well as contact
sheets, slides, one negative, exhibit ephemera, multiple drafts of image indexes, Bob
Douglas's resume, and a poster.
Robert "Bob" Roscoe Douglas was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1921 to Roscoe A. Douglas, a
bank supervisor who died early in life, and Edith Ross. Douglas attended the Henry Ford
Trade School for four years and worked at the Ford Motor Company for another four years.
Faced with limited career options due to racial discrimination, he taught himself
photography and began specializing in nightclub photography, starting in Detroit and then
continuing in Los Angeles. His first opportunity as a photojournalist came in 1943 with the
Pittsburgh Courier and then later with the Michigan Chronicle to cover social events, sports, fraternity
dances, and a large variety of local events.
Copyright status for materials in this collection is unknown. Transmission or reproduction
of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair
use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain
cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility
for any use rests exclusively with the user.
This collection is open for research use.