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Dylan Donates 6,000 Pieces Of Memorablia

OK hoarders; Bob Dylan has provided a defense you can use on anyone who wants you to clean up your act.

Dylan has sold his private archive, a stash of some 6,000 items -- including instruments, recordings, photos, videos, artwork, song manuscripts, notebooks, letters and more -- for $15-$20 million to the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa.

The Bob Dylan Archive will be housed and displayed on the school's campus, under the auspices of its Helmerich Center for American Research.

Tulsa is also the home of the Woody Guthrie Center, which makes it an appropriate setting for Dylan's archive.

In a statement Dylan says that, "I'm glad 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. To me it makes a lot of sense and it's a great honor."

Among the treasures in the Bob Dylan Archive are:

  • Dylan's signed 1962 contract with his first song publisher, Witmark Music
  • a 1966 wallet that includes a paper with Johnny Cash's phone number and address and Otis Redding`s business card
  • a 1974 notebook containing Dylan's handwritten lyrics for the songs on his "Blood on the Tracks" album
  • a leather jacket Dylan wore onstage at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival
  • unreleased concert films from Toronto in 1980 and New York in 1993

The university is currently looking for a curator, staff and advisory committee to work with Dylan's archives.


Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.