LaSalle’s “Life and Work of Bob Dylan Collection” Is a Perfect Complement to His Concerts In Town This Week

The legendary Bob Dylan will come rolling into town this weekend to perform three shows at the Academy of Music—the first time, The Inquirer reports, he’s played Center City since 1963. What’s he been doing all those years? It’s likely you’re well aware, but an in-depth exhibit on Dylan at LaSalle University will succeed in filling any gaps you may have missed in the famed songwriter’s life. In short, it’s the perfect complement to seeing him live this week.

The Inquirer has more on what you’ll find in the exhibit, called “Life and Work of Bob Dylan Collection,” which comprises everything from rare bootleg recordings, T-shirts, concert posters and more.

The archive holds loads of Dylaniana – more than 1,000 items, including rare bootleg records, concert posters, fan art, journals, DVDs, and tour T-shirts and programs.

“They have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of recordings of Bob that aren’t readily available,” said Mark Sutton, an Australian who this year completed a doctorate on Dylan at the University of Sydney.

Sutton, writer of the tongue-in-cheek, guitar-and-vocal homage “I’m a Bigger Dylan Fan Than You,” saw Dylan perform 13 times just this year. He visited La Salle on what he called “a Dyl-grimage,” also traveling to see the singer’s old New York City haunts and his hometown in Hibbing, Minn.

The collection holds 80 works of criticism and interpretation of Dylan’s music, 40 books of scores and indexed lyrics, and eight separate periodicals devoted solely to the artist. Its 30 theses include 20 doctoral dissertations from colleges worldwide.

Fans in search of a little light reading before the academy concerts can dive into papers such as “The Alchemy of Individuation: A Case Study of Bob Dylan” and “Folksinger and Beat Poet: The Prophetic Vision of Bob Dylan.”

“There’s some real obscure stuff in there,” said Haddonfield author David Kinney, who conducted research at the archive for his book The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob.

Kinney was interested in reading dissertations. And amused to find Dylan bootlegs stored in the same secure chamber as the university’s invaluable collection of rare Bibles.

Read more about the exhibit, including how curators have come by some of the artifacts, here.

Bob Dylan performs at the Academy of Music on Friday through Sunday, November 21-23. Buy tickets here