The Bob Dylan Archive has officially opened its doors to qualified entities and individuals who wish to access the archive's wealth of elements spanning nearly 60 years of Bob Dylan's extraordinary life and career. It was announced by Ken Levit, executive director of the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF), and Dr. Gerard Clancy, president of The University of Tulsa (TU).
Concurrently, GKFF has issued a request for qualifications from agencies interested in submitting proposals for The Bob Dylan Center, which will be dedicated to the study and appreciation of Dylan and located in Tulsa's vibrant downtown Brady Arts District.
Noted 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," he said. "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."
Fuller has published several works, including Emerson's Ghosts: Literature, Politics, and the Making of Americanists and The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation.
For further information regarding access to The Bob Dylan Archive, visit www.bobdylanarchive.com/archive-access.
The Bob Dylan Center will be the primary public venue for The Bob Dylan Archive, curating and exhibiting a priceless collection of more than 6,000 items spanning nearly 60 years of Dylan's singular career. The archive's priceless contents include handwritten manuscripts, notebooks and correspondence; films, videos, photographs and artwork; memorabilia and ephemera; personal documents and effects; unreleased studio and concert recordings; musical instruments and many other elements. Agencies interested in submitting proposals for the center should visit www.gkff.org/bobdylancenter to read and download a copy of the RFQ document.
Since elements of The Bob Dylan Archive began arriving in Tulsa a year ago, a significant portion of the collection has been processed through proprietary methods of storage, cataloging and digitization. While the processing work continues and early access to the archive has been granted to some researchers, staff will officially begin making substantial parts of the collection available to qualified researchers, writers and scholars this fall. These elements will include hundreds of pages of Dylan's writing, including song manuscripts, early iterations of his first novel Tarantula and Dylan's annotated "copyright edits." In addition, archive staff is making available hundreds of hours of audio, film and video, including session tapes from several of Dylan's albums as well as nearly 50 hours of rushes and outtakes from Dylan's two major film projects of the 1960s: D.A. Pennebaker's landmark documentary Don't Look Back (1967) and Dylan's first directorial effort Eat the Document (1966/71).