Exciting news came to TU and the Tulsa community at large with the recent announcement that the Bob Dylan archive would soon be taking permanent residence in the city. The archive, purchased by the George Kaiser Family Foundation in cooperation with the University of Tulsa, is currently being stored in the Helmerich Center for American Research, and will eventually be put on display in the Brady Arts District.
The process of assembling the approximately 6,000 items, consisting of previously unseen handwritten notes, unreleased studio and concert recordings, film, photos, artwork, memorabilia and, of course, musical instruments, is predicted to take upwards of two years.
As of now, 1,000 items from the collection have reached the Helmerich Center for American Research, while GKFF and TU representatives have yet to to initiate the process of selecting a curator and staff to form the advisory committee for the Archive. Plans regarding the public exhibition and information pertaining to academic access will be released later this year.
Ken Levit, Executive Director of GKFF celebrated the importance of the collection. “Bob Dylan is a national treasure whose work continues to enrich the lives of millions the world over, and we are proud to be bringing such an important, comprehensive and culturally significant archive to Tulsa. Our combined philanthropic and academic approach made a strong case for assuring Mr. Dylan and his representatives that Tulsa would provide the ideal environment to care for and exhibit this collection, and the result is a boon for Tulsa that will soon attract Bob Dylan fans and scholars to our city from around the world.”
President Steadman Upham seconded the claim, describing TU as the “perfect keeper of the Bob Dylan archive,” thanks to the institutions’ high level of scholarship “available through the university and its partners.”
Bob Dylan himself stated that he was happy to see his archives find a home in the city of Tulsa, where they will be “included with the works of Woody Guthrie” and was especially excited to have them “alongside all the valuable artifacts from the Native American Nations.”
This article was written using information provided by the TU website.