The Mimi Melnick Collection documents her personal and professional life, most significantly her influence over the emergence of Jazz as a legitimate area of academic study as well as her role in the development and promotion of Jazz in the Los Angeles region between 1958 and 2010. Notable individuals represented in the collection include Jazz musicians Horace Tapscott, Charles Owens, Roberto Miguel Miranda, Jesse Sharps, Billy Childs, Billy Higgins, and Walter Norris. Highlights in the collection include Melnick's published and unpublished reviews and essays on Jazz, her patronage of Jazz musicians in Los Angeles, and her work to preserve manhole covers as an urban art form. The collection is divided into two series, Series I, Personal Files (1938-2012), and Series II, Professional Files (1948-2013).
Series I, Personal Files, documents Mimi Melnick's life experiences from childhood through adulthood, including her family relationships and friendships, musical interests, and educational pursuits. Diaries span nearly fifty years, beginning at age ten. Correspondence from Melnick consists of letters of reference, congratulations, sympathy, thank you notes, and fan letters to musicians, dancers, and writers. Correspondence to Melnick includes greeting cards, announcements and invitations, congratulatory wishes, responses from fan mail, and personal letters. Also included are event programs, other materials related to Melnick's personal activities and interests, and a small number of personal photographs. This series is arranged alphabetically by subject or title.
Series II, Professional Files, documents Mimi Melnick's work as an author, musician, and patron of the Jazz community. Correspondence includes query letters to publishers, letters of interest to potential employers, research inquiries, administrative letters, and proposals for writing, music, and civic projects. Also included are research files and writings, publications and musical scores authored by Mimi Melnick and colleagues, articles by and about Mimi Melnick, Double M Jazz Salon flyers, signed and unsigned photographs of Jazz artists, and photographs, video, and audio of Double M Jazz Salons. This series is arranged alphabetically by subject or title.