Crosby Collection at Gonzaga
Click here to view images of the Crosbyana Room (Flash)
Bing Crosby began to donate items to Gonzaga University in preparation for the opening of the Crosby Library in 1957. Bing donated gold and platinum records, trophies, placques, and photographs to addorn the room. In addition to the generous donations of materials by Bing prior to his death, Crosby fans and family began to recognize the Crosby Library as the home of all things Crosby. In June 1993, the University received the entire collection from the Bing Crosby Historical Society in Tacoma, Washington. Additionally, several collectors have given major donations of Crosby recordings.
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What you see today in the Crosbyana Room is just a portion of the total amount of trophies and citations that Bing won over the years. Space does not permit us to show all of his treasures. What is not on display is housed in the Special Collections vault in the Foley Center Library. This vault also houses the University’s Rare Book Collection, the University Archives, the Jesuit Oregon Province Archives, and other manuscript collections. (Click here to see images from the vault)
The Crosby Collection includes: approximately 1400 records and albums, 800 audio cassettes, 2000 discs of radio shows, 300 pieces of sheet music, and an extensive magazine and clipping file about Bing's life and career. There are numerous scrapbooks created by his adoring fans, Crosby's correspondence with Gonzaga, and hundreds of photographs depicting his high school, college, and career days. The collection also contains books by and about Bing and his contemporaries, and publications by various Crosby fan clubs from throughout the world.
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A major donation to Gonzaga University from Bing Crosby in 1957 was the massive collection of his radio shows. Nearing 2000 discs, the collection contains “The Bing Crosby Show,” “Kraft Music Hall,” “Minute Maid Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice,” “Philco Radio Time,” and other titles. In all, this is a major holding of Crosby’s radio work from 1943 to 1954. What makes this collection even more impressive is the fact that these 16-inch discs are in excellent playing condition and they are fairly complete.
The Gonzaga Collection has a few of his personal effects. Some of these items such as his pipes can be viewed at the Crosby Alumni House. Located at 508 E. Sharp this building, which was Crosby's boyhood home, is open weekdays to the public free of charge.
Scope of the Crosby Collection
Materials such as some correspondence by Crosby, his family; friends and contemporaries such as Bob Hope, Al Rinker, Rosemary Clooney, and Frank Sinatra. Also includes materials relating to Crosby organizations, such as the Bing Crosby Historical Society. There is an on-line inventory available through the Northwest Digital Archives.
A few collections have been processed. Please click on the following titles to see the on-line inventory.
- Buster Collier Papers - Includes letters from Bing, 1957-1976
- Joe D'Addario Collection - Fan's collection on Bing
- Fr. Arthur Dussault, S.J. Collection - Friend's collection on Bing
- George Lareida Papers - Includes letters from Bing, 1950-1977
- Leo Lynn Collection - Movie and Television Scripts, 1942, 1967-1970
- Bing Crosby Statue Collection - Information regarding the creation of the Bing Crosby Statue on Gonzaga University's campus.
- Bing Crosby Historical Society - materials relating to the life and career of Bing Crosby, business files of the Bing Crosby Historical Society, as well as correspondence, newsclippings, photographs, and Crosby memorabilia.
Bing, his family, friends, and contemporaries, and places associated with him: such as his boyhood home in Tacoma.
There are also images of the Bing Crosby Statue located in front of the Crosby Library at Gonzaga University. The inventory to the Bing Crosby Statue Photograph Collection is available on-line.
Recordings of his music, including phonograph records (33 1/3s and 78s), Compact disks, and cassettes; radio show broadcasts. Commercial copies of his movies on video tapes or laser disks;
Paintings and artwork:
Artwork of Bing;
Books and other Secondary Material:
Books in various editions by Crosby; and other books either about Crosby, his family, friends, and contemporary entertainers, or giving background information, such as places associated with him. Contemporaries to Crosby include Bob Hope, Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra, etc. Also, includes books owned by Crosby.
Newsclippings about Crosby and his family, sheet music, Bing Crosby Pro-Am Golf Programs, Scrapbooks about Crosby created by his fans.
The Library receives gift subscriptions of periodicals donated by the various Bing Crosby fan clubs, such as Club Crosby and the International Crosby Circle.
Materials gathered by scholars and fans about him. This includes correspondence, research notes, manuscripts and galleys for books or other publications.
Includes three dimensional objects relating to Crosby, such as: Bing Crosby ice cream cartons, Crosby coloring books, buttons, Crosby clothing, etc.
The University collects donations of Crosby material. Books and audio-visual formats, such as compact disks and videos, about Crosby are purchased. These materials are cataloged and are housed in the Special Collections area. Manuscript materials, periodicals of Crosby fan clubs, and realia are only received as donations. Some manuscript material is located in the University Archives as it relates to Crosby's relationship with the University.
The holdings for the book and media collection are available on the on-line catalog. The inventory to the Bing Crosby Collection is being processed. Please contact the Special Collections Department for more information.
The Bing Crosby Fan Club Periodicals lists the holdings of various periodicals of Crosby fan clubs from throughout the world. The library continues to receive subscriptions for some periodicals. Click here for a listing of the fan club periodicals.Bing Crosby Historical Society Collection
In 1993 Gonzaga University received the entire collection of the Bing Crosby Historical Society (BCHS) of Tacoma, Washington. This collection includes materials relating to the life and career of Bing Crosby, business files of the Bing Crosby Historical Society, as well as correspondence, newsclippings, photographs, and Crosby memorabilia. The on-line inventory available through the Northwest Digital Archives.
Bing Crosby Radio Shows
Gonzaga University has a large collection of Bing Crosby radio discs including:
- The Bing Crosby Show : 1949 - 1954
- Kraft Music Hall: 1943 - 1946
- Minute Maid Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice: 1949 - 1950
- Philco Radio Time: 1946 - 1949
- Miscellaneous: 1936 - 1960
For a complete inventory, please contact the Special Collections Department.
How to Donate:
The Bing Crosby Collection at Gonzaga has been created due to generous donations from Bing Crosby, his family, his friends, and his fans. There is no budget dedicated to purchase Crosby related items, so the library relies heavily upon donations of materials or money to support its Crosby acquisitions activities. Kathryn Crosby has shown her support by writing the attached letter.
For more information about donations, please contact:Special Collections DepartmentFoley Center Library
Spokane, WA 99258
Call (509) 323-3847email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support!
- "Chronological Bing Crosby", CD, vols. 1-49
- 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado toy car with Bing's likeness on roof used as a promotional item for Pro-Am Golf Tournament
- Large Bing Crosby Sound Recording Collection of 78s, 33 1/3s, and CDs
- Photographs of Bing Crosby Stadium in Virginia
- Race track program signed by Bing Crosby
- Scrapbook on Bing
- Bing Crosby swim medals
- Photo from "Waikiki Wedding"
- "Bulldogs of Gonzaga" sheetmusic
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