Organized into two series: Series 1: CDs and Series 2: LPs. Series 1 is organized into three sub-series. Sub-series 1: Military Band Ensembles; Sub-Series 2: Non-Military Band Ensembles; Sub-series 3: Circus Bands. For Series 1, Sub-series 1 is arranged first by geographic region then alphabetically by ensemble name, Sub-series 2 is arranged alphabetically by ensemble name, and Sub-series 3 is arranged first by ensemble type and then alphabetically by ensemble name. The thematic ordering by geographic region and ensemble type reflects the original organizational scheme which was developed by Henry Hicks' wife, Amy Hicks (1931-).
Born in 1929 in Fall River, Massachusetts, Henry F. Hicks' interest in collecting music recordings began with his father, also named Henry F. Hicks (c.1896-1970). Through his father's influence, Hicks developed a love of both popular and circus music. Upon graduating from Bridgewater State Teacher College in 1951, Hicks joined the United States Regular Army, rising to the rank of Corporal in his service during the Korean War. Upon leaving the Army, Hicks returned to Fall River to teach junior high school; after a short period at this post, Hicks started teaching history at Needham High School. It was at Needham High School that he met Amy Hicks (1932- ), who had been hired to teach and coach gymnastics. By 1962, Henry and Amy married and settled in Needham, where they raised their two children. In addition to teaching history, Mr. Hicks served as a local historian and President of the Needham Historical Society. Henry's collection, which was originally composed of both his and his father's 78 and LP records, later expanded to CDs focused on circus music, music performed by international military bands, and music performed by non-military bands. The couple acquired CDs through their travels to Europe (most frequently to England) and through the Midland CD Company and Juno Discourier. When the couple moved from Fall River to Hingham, Massachusetts in February 2021, the collection was donated to the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.