Mr. Robertson did extensive research on record labels pressed in Lachine by the Compo Company Limited. His objectives were to correct the inaccuracies often found in the record catalogues and to find out which musicians recorded under more than one name, either in Canada or another country. He achieved three lists of numericals: (1) The Apex 8000 Numerical, (2) Canadian Compo Numericals, and (3) Canadian Gennett and Starr-Gennett 9000 Numerical. Some of this work was done with the help of George Humble and many of his other correspondents. Mr. Robertson's work on numericals was partly published in The Record Research, a periodical, in 1983 and 1986. This series includes Mr. Robertson's documentation, research notes and lists.
Mr. Robertson used various materials to complete his research; record catalogues and pamphlets, periodicals and books. These have been filed in alphabetical order and are described in the following categories: (1) Record Catalogs and Brochures, (2) Periodicals, and (3) Annotated Books.
Mr. Robertson collected many record catalogs and brochures to work on his lists of numericals. In them he found a lot of inaccuracies and tried to correct them in his final lists. This category includes all the catalogues and brochures collected by Mr. Robertson. They have been organized into 7 sections: (1) Record Companies, (2) Independent Companies, (3) Independent Dealers, (4) Public Bodies, (5) Radio Stations, (6) Record Clubs, and (7) Sheetmusic Catalogues. Within each of these sections, the material is organized alphabetically by company and then, chronologically.
Mr. Robertson collected many music periodicals. Some of them are specifically about jazz. This category includes all the periodicals kept in the Archives. They are classified chronologically. A list of the discarded periodicals is also available.
Mr. Robertson collected many books to help him in his research. Those which he annotated have been kept in the Archives. This category includes a listing of these books.
The collection contains about 1000 78 rpm records, most of which were pressed in Montreal by Berliner and Compo. Berliner was the first canadian record production company and Compo was the first one to produce black musician's records. A database was established to list and provide access to the records. The data can be accessed by: Item number, Company, Label, Catalog number, Title, Type of music, Recording artist, and Composer.
The Alex Robertson collection contains about 3000 pieces of sheet music, which include various kinds of music, such as jazz, popular, country, contemporary and classical. About 1000 of them have a canadian content; i.e. the music was written by a canadian author, published in Canada, or the sheet music was sold by a canadian store or had an insert that would confirm it was originally performed by a canadian artist. The computer program was established to list and provide access to the sheet music. The data can be accessed by: Item number, Title, Composer, Lyricist, Names in comments, Publisher, Place of publication, Type of music, Copyright date, and Photo on cover.