Jazz history lives at Old U.S. Mint

February 21, 2017 | Updated: 7:20 a.m., February 22, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)- Our city's claim as the birthplace of jazz is well documented, and with over a century of the history of that music some place has some place has to house the assets.

The Louisiana State Museum's New Orleans Jazz Collection in the Old U.S. Mint is precisely the place, and they tell jazz's story better than anyone else.

King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band (New Orleans Jazz Collection at the Louisiana State Museum)

King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band (New Orleans Jazz Collection at the Louisiana State Museum)

Museum Greg Lambousy says, "Yeah, we definitely do, and the good this is we already have this amazing collection of over 20 thousand items related to Jazz in New Orleans. One of the Largest instrument collections in the world, 78s, LP's, 15,000 photographs, film etc. We have all the pieces to put it together."

Jazz as an art form is not stagnant in it's history, and neither is the presentation at The Mint.  It's also a vibrant interactive place to enjoy the music today.

Jelly Roll Morton's last RCA session (New Orleans Jazz Collection at the Louisiana State Museum)

Jelly Roll Morton's last RCA session (New Orleans Jazz Collection at the Louisiana State Museum)

"Yeah, it's a wide scope really. At the Mint we have festivals, we have French Quarter Fest, we have Downriver Fest, Tomato Fest, etc, So we have that outside piece, but we also have this fabulous facility inside on the third floor," says Lambousy.

Daytime programming is run by the National Park Service and includes great performances and lectures, and is you're serious about learning our history, there's definitely a lot to take in.

Jack Laine and band (New Orleans Jazz Collection at the Louisiana State Museum)

Jack Laine and band (New Orleans Jazz Collection at the Louisiana State Museum)

Lambousy says, "The Hogan Jazz Archive has been a great partner over these years. We've worked with them on a lot of projects and we are also a jazz research facility. We welcome researchers and we have a reading room on the second floor, so anybody who's interested in the history of jazz can come and check it out."

The New Orleans Jazz Collection is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am until 4:30pm.  They're closed on Mondays and state holidays, including Mardi Gras.