Expansive Collection Finds Permanent Home at The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – When Monmouth University announced plans for its collaborative partnership to establish The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music earlier this year, global interest in the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection skyrocketed.
Much of the collection, comprised of Springsteen’s written works, photographs, periodicals, and artifacts, had been on loan to the university for the past six years, and now has been formally gifted to the university for inclusion in the Archives by The Friends of the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection, Inc., a not-for-profit organization for people interested in helping to preserve the history of Bruce Springsteen and his music.
“When Bob Crane and I started this collection more than 15 years ago, we imagined something big: something impressive, permanent, and unique, an unparalleled resource of use to fans, students, and scholars around the world,” said Christopher Phillips, publisher and editor of Backstreets and president of the Friends of the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection. “Given the importance of Bruce Springsteen’s work in our own lives, we wanted to preserve and consolidate all this material before it faded away. But I don’t think either of us imagined how much the collection would grow — thanks to the dedication, labor, and generosity of fans worldwide — and that we’d eventually find such a perfect home. As a founder, I couldn’t be more pleased to have discovered a partner in Monmouth University to preserve and expand the collection for future generations. And to be able to augment Bruce Springsteen’s personal archive is literally a dream come true.”
The Bruce Springsteen Special Collection originated in the summer of 2001 when the Springsteen fanzine, Backstreets Magazine, organized a fan-to-fan campaign to collect and organize essential documents from each phase of Springsteen’s career, ensuring that the historic record would be publicly accessible to all who have a serious interest in Bruce Springsteen’s life and music. Originally held in the Asbury Park Public Library, the university acquired the collection on loan in 2011. At that time, the Asbury Park Public Library also donated its own collection to the university. The collection offers Springsteen fans the chance to explore various aspects of his career. Students, scholars, and journalists continue to benefit from the enhanced access to the diverse holdings. The collection has continued to grow with the addition of recordings, photographs, oral histories, film footage, and other documents, totaling nearly 35,000 items from 47 countries, all of which will be housed in The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University.
“The Archives represent a learning opportunity for our students that will resound for decades to come,” said Kenneth Womack, dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University. “We owe a great debt to the Friends for establishing the collection and for working with Monmouth University to expand the holdings and seek out new ways for sharing music education across our local communities and beyond.”
The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music will preserve and promote the legacy of Bruce Springsteen and his role in American music, while honoring and celebrating icons of American music like Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, Frank Sinatra, and others. The expanded partnership will help to more deeply integrate the history and inspiration of American music into the curriculum and research experience at Monmouth. It will also serve to bolster an already highly successful music industry program at the university, one of only 14 university affiliates of the GRAMMY Museum.
About Monmouth University
Monmouth University is the region’s premier private coastal university that offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs in a dynamic and personalized learning environment. Located in West Long Branch, New Jersey, Monmouth University’s magnificent coastal campus is approximately one hour from both New York City and Philadelphia. Innovative academic programs, individual faculty attention and nationally ranked Division One athletics make this private university a great place to find your future.