← Back to Performing Arts Collections

About Bo Diddley Collection

THE ELLAS B. McDANIEL (BO DIDDLEY) COLLECTION,  acquired in 2017 and 2018, represents the life and career of one of the founders of rock and roll who, in the 1950s, played an  important role in the shaping of this new musical genre.

The Ellas B. McDaniel Collection holds an array  of  items  reflecting  the  musical  genius, public performance, and accomplishments of McDaniel, who lived the latter portion of his life in Archer, Fla., near the University of Florida. The collection, established by the George A. Smathers Libraries in collaboration with the  Ellas B.  McDaniel  Irrevocable Trust, ensures the preservation of and  access to historical materials of international  significance  that  have  particular  importance to Floridians. Bo Diddley brought rhythm and blues  elements into the new genre and articulated musical  themes  that  became  enduring  influences on rock, hip hop and popular music. His  historical  significance  extends  into  numerous other areas, and the collection opens avenues for better understanding of technical and performance innovation, international  influences  in  American  music,  and  race and gender in the entertainment industry.