SOAS, University of London.
Jenkins travelled widely throughout Africa and Central Asia between the 1950s and 1980s creating exceptional recordings, and taking detailed notes. In 1954 she joined the staff of the Horniman Museum in South London. During her time at the museum she built up the musical instrument collections from developing countries, conducted important fieldwork in Ethiopia (throughout the 1960s) and created a centre for ethnomusicology.
The marriage was dissolved in 1961.
A strong-willed and energetic woman, during the 1960s and 1970s Jean Jenkins travelled extensively throughout Southern Europe, Asia and Africa. Among many other places, she visited Uganda (1966 and 68), Malaysia (1972), Indonesia (1973) Afghanistan (1974) Algeria and Morocco, and Turkey and Syria (1975).
During these extended trips she collected a wealth of information in the form of sound recordings, slides and photographs, and also kept regular diaries. In addition, she collected a vast range of musical instruments.
In 1983 she curated the important exhibition “Manitoba and Music” at the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh.
She died in London on 12 September 1990. In 1980 the National Museum of Scotland acquired Jean Jenkins’s own collection of musical instruments and in 1990 the Museum was bequeathed her entire archive of field recordings, indexes, diaries and 13,000 slides and photographs. Together, they form a unique record of musical traditions which, in some places, have disappeared.