Part of music icon Bob Dylan's once-secret 6,000-piece archive, including thousands of hours of studio sessions, film reels and caches of unpublished lyrics, has opened in Oklahoma.
More than 1,000 pieces of the collection spanning Dylan's six-decade career are available to scholars at the Gilcrease Museum's Helmerich Center for American Research in Tulsa.
The opening comes a year after the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa acquired the collection for an estimated $15 million to $20 million.
Author and historian Douglas Brinkley has begun accessing archive elements for his forthcoming book, Dusty Sweatbox Blues: Bob Dylan and the Open Road 1974-1978. The book will focus on Dylan’s mid-1970s albums – Planet Waves, Blood on the Tracks, Desire and Street Legal – and be published by Harper Collins/Infinitum Nihill in 2018.
Guggenheim Fellow and TU Chapman Professor of English Randall Fuller is currently examining the archive's rich trove of manuscripts and rare audio and video for a book-length study that examines the relationship between Dylan and African-American music.
"The Bob Dylan Archive is an invaluable resource for this project. I'm discovering so many revelations in the songwriter's exploration of blues, gospel and soul forms. Without access to the Archive, my book would be all but impossible."
The public will get a glimpse of some of the material when the Bob Dylan Center opens in downtown Tulsa's Brady Arts District in about two years.
GKFF has issued a request for qualifications from agencies interested in submitting design proposals for The Bob Dylan Center. Rolling Stone says the call for proposals hint at hopes that The Bob Dylan Center allow for public engagement with items from the archive, permanent and temporary exhibits, research facilities and space for educational programming, indoor events and performances.
The center will occupy the opposite side of a building that houses a center devoted to Woody Guthrie, one of Dylan's major influences.