Bob Dylan Archives Land In Oklahoma, Near Guthrie Museum

TULSA, Okla. –  Over 6,000 items of Bob Dylan memorabilia such as handwritten lyrics to Tangled Up In Blue and his first contract with a music publisher have found a home in Oklahoma close to a museum honoring one of his major influences, folk singer Woody Guthrie.

The archives from Dylan’s six-decade profession, obtained from the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa for about $15 million and $20 million, also consist of early records from 1959 and a wallet that has Johnny Cash’s former address and phone number.

Dylan, who’s originally from Minnesota, said he’s glad the archives located a house and the Tulsa place makes a great deal of feel, “to be contained with the functions of Woody Guthrie and notably together with all of the precious artifacts from the Native American Nations.”

“It’s a great honor,” Dylan said in a statement.

A couple of things were already on display Wednesday in the Gilcrease Museum, including Dylan’s cigarette-stained lyrics to Chimes of Freedom on stationary by the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Toronto and early iterations of Visions of Johanna written on sheets by a yellow legal pad.

“The only damage is Bob’s coffee stains and cigarette spots,” said Michael Chaiken, the inaugural curator of the group.

Nearly 1,000 items have arrived up to now at the university’s Helmerich Center for American Research, which is connected with the city’s Gilcrease Museum. Transferring the archive will take up to two decades.

Exhibits will eventually be on screen in the Brady Arts District of Tulsa, near the museum, although the trove of memorabilia will be housed at the memorial.

Guthrie’s archives were obtained by the George Kaiser Family Foundation at 2011 for $3 million, and the Woody Guthrie Center is a area of the city’s centerpiece.

Landing Guthrie’s archives in Tulsa laid the groundwork University of Tulsa president Steadman Upham said Wednesday.

“Obtaining Woody back to Oklahoma created a foundation that started to explore the rich musical history of the city,” he said. “I believe it was those things together. Bob Dylan did not want this to be another item on the shelf; he desired this to be special.”

Chaiken stated Tulsa’s standing as a working city and a crossroads for several genres of music make it an perfect choice to house Dylan’s archive rather than institutions and cities which lobbied for its acquisition.

“With everything with Bob, it is a tiny bit of a sideways movement,” Chaiken said in a meeting. “No disrespect to among the Ivy League schools, but I believe there is something endearing about it going to Tulsa and not visiting an Ivy League school.”