Singer Bob Dylan's private archive to be showcased in Oklahoma

Curators announced this week that part of music icon Bob Dylan's once-secret 6000-piece archive has opened in Oklahoma.
By Jason Spencer | Apr 01, 2017
Curators announced this week that part of music icon Bob Dylan's once-secret 6000-piece archive has opened in Oklahoma.

The archive includes thousands of hours of studio sessions, film reels and caches of unpublished lyrics.

More than 1000 pieces, spanning Dylan's six-decade music career will be available to scholars.The archive will be housed at the Gilcrease Museum's Helmerich Center for American Research, in Tulsa.

The public will have the opportunity to glimpse some of the material when the Bob Dylan Center opens in Oklahoma's downtown Brady Arts District. The center is expected to be functional in two years.

Last year, the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa announced that the collection had been sourced from Bob Dylan for approximately $15 million to $20 million.

The foundation also acquired Guthrie's archives in 2011, for a sum of $3 million. Two years later, the Woody Guthrie Center opened.

"A couple of hundred books have been written about Bob Dylan, maybe equal to or more books than have been written about Abraham Lincoln..." said Stanton Doyle, a senior program officer at the foundation, adding that none of the writers had access to this material.

Doyle added that he believes that people will get an insight into Dylan and his creative process, something that would have been previously impossible.

The archive will excite Dylan's fans. It includes pages of unrecorded verses, including one for a song called 'No Particular Length of Time.'

The archive also includes lyrics scrawled on hotel stationery, pocket memo books filled with notes on royalty rates and phone numbers for celebrities like John Lennon and Allen Ginsberg.

It also includes faxes from former President Jimmy Carter and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.

Letters from former first lady Michelle Obama, Bono, and Martin Scorsese are in the treasure trove.

 

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