Tulsa's Newly Arrived Bob Dylan Archive Will Soon Host a Dylan on Film Festival

Sep 21, 2016

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we're talking about the Bob Dylan Archive, that widely-reported-on treasure trove of 6,000+ items documenting the entirety of the legendary singer-songwriter's still-active career. This archive was purchased earlier this year by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and The University of Tulsa; it will be housed at TU's Helmerich Center for American Research (which is located within the Gilcrease Museum). Nearly all of the materials in this archive have never been viewed or accessed by the public, and so it's difficult to overstate the importance of the collection to Dylan scholars, researchers, and fans worldwide. Our guest brings us up to speed on this archive; he is Michael Chaiken, who a few months ago described himself in a Rolling Stone article as "the inaugural curator" of the Bob Dylan Archive. Per that article: "The size and scope of the collection [are] absolutely staggering. The physical artifacts alone would fill up, at a minimum, two semi-trailer trucks. Amazingly, the collection includes the complete sessions for all of [Dylan's] albums, the vast majority of which have never been heard by the public, along with dozens of professionally filmed shows and so many soundboard concert recordings that Chaiken...can't even estimate a number. 'I would say hundreds,' he says. 'If not thousands.'" Also, as Chaiken tells us on today's program, a Dylan on Film Festival is being presented here in Tulsa so as to informally introduce our community to the archive's holdings, mission, presence, and so forth; this film festival, which includes well-regarded documentaries by the likes of Martin Scorsese and D.A. Pennebaker, runs from tonight (the 21st) through Saturday night (the 24th) -- and you can learn more about it (in terms of films and locations and show times) at this link.