The personal archive of Bob Dylan, spanning his remarkable six-decade music career, will be permanently housed in Tulsa, Oklahoma after it was jointly acquired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) and The University of Tulsa.
Comprised of more than 6,000 items, the archive features everything from original manuscripts and unheard studio recordings to instruments, photographs, documents and personal ephemera.
Notable highlights from the collection include Dylan’s earliest music recordings from 1959; his leather jacket worn on stage in 1965 when he ‘went electric’ at The Newport Folk Festival; a notebook of l;yrics which eventually became songs on his classic 1974 album ‘Blood on the Tracks’; and the surviving harp from inside the piano on which Dylan composed ‘Like A Rolling Stone’.
The archive will eventually find a permanent, purpose-designed home in Tulsa’s Brady Arts District, near the museum dedicated to one of Dylan’s biggest inspirations, American folk singer Woody Guthrie.
“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,” said GKFF Executive Director Ken Levit.
“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.”
“I’m glad that my archives, which have been collected all these years, have finally found a home and are to be included with the works of Woody Guthrie and especially alongside all the valuable artifacts from the Native American Nations,” said Bob Dylan. “To me it makes a lot of sense and it’s a great honor.”