Arranged into five series: 1) Personal Papers and Photographs, 2) Music Scores, 3) Sound and Audiovisual Recordings, 4) Tom Paynter Digitized Tape Cassettes arranged by Jeff Machota, and 5) Electronic Keyboard and UIUC Jazz Band USSR Tour Memorbilia. Materials in series 1 and 2 are arranged alphabetically by title. Materials in series 3 and 5 are arranged by material type. Materials in Series 4 were arranged sequentially using Jeff Machota's alpha-numeric code that he developed to arrange materials chronologically. Each series is divided into two subseries; the first subseries in each series contains physical/analog records, and the second subseries contains digitized and born-digital records.
Thomas Paynter (1969-2019) was composer, flutist, and jazz musician who earned his Bachelors in music composition and his Masters in flute performance and composition from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1990 and 1992. He completed his PhD in music composition at the University of Chicago in 2001. His thesis project was a detailed transcription and analysis of Eric Dolphy's "Miss Ann" Variants.
As a student at the University of Illinois, he performed with Illinois Jazz Ensemble for its 1990 tour of Russia, and was a member of the University's New Music Ensemble, Andean Ensemble, and the Russian Folk Orchestra between 1988 and 1993. Among the non-University ensembles her played for and directed include Ear Doctor, the Tom Paynter Trio, Quartet, and Quintet, and Desafinado.
Paynter was a frequent host of jazz programs for the WEFT public radio station. He also worked as a cataloging assistant for Chicago Jazz Archive in 1996 and as an assistant at the ACES Library at the University of Illinois. His music compositions include numerious jazz arrangements, and varied works for piano, flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, bassoon, percussion, violin, viola, cello, pipe organ, and stereo tape. His most unique music series was titled, "Map of a Hundred Luckiness H/A."