A treasure trove of concert films, hand-written lyrics, diaries and other artifacts belonging to American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, one of the most notoriously private figures in pop music history, has been acquired by a consortium of institutions in the western state of Oklahoma.
The archive of more than 6,000 items was acquired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa, for an estimated $15 to $20 million. It is estimated to be worth more than $60 million.
At the heart of the archive is the collection of Dylan’s extensive notebooks in which he first drafted and then meticulously refined many of his songs.
Dylan issued a statement saying he is honored that his papers “are to be included with the works of Woody Guthrie and especially alongside all the valuable artifacts from the Native American nations,” referring to the collection of Native American art that also is part of the collection of those institutions, along with a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Plans call for a gallery that will make some of the material accessible to the public, but most of the archive to scholars.
The 74-year-old Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, was inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.