Woody Guthrie Center Archives

Our class will be visiting the Woody Guthrie Center this week instead of working in a classroom for the evening. I’m always excited to visit the Center as there is always something new to learn, an exhibit to view or an independent artist to listen to.

Since we’re currently researching Phil Ochs’s life and music career, it was pretty cool to see how much information has been archived for Ochs. The Center has several links to different musical artists and Phil has plenty of records.

Since we’ll be meeting with one of the archivists at the Center, I’m really interested to know how they were able to judge authenticity of some of the audio files – not the cassettes or vinyls of the actual discography but of concerts, recordings, etc.

I also would love to know what happens with records that are aging – like mildewed or moldy paper records or badly recorded files and audio.

My mom likes to collect memorabilia from her childhood characters like Smokey the Bear and Annie Oakley, but she’s come across some items that are too far gone to save. In order to locate accurate replacements, the price of good condition items get expensive. Mom has to decide if it’s worth the money to purchase a coloring book or a poster or find a digital copy from a friend and print it out herself. No longer authentic but at least she has a legible copy of the item.

When perusing the Center’s website, I came across information about their upcoming 5th Anniversary Celebration. Officially from April 23rd- April 29th, but they are also hosting the Tulsa Lit Fest on April 21st and 22nd. Other downtown venues will be hosting events to celebrate 5 years!


One thought on “Woody Guthrie Center Archives

  1. Stacy Takacs says:

    Good question, about authenticity and conditioning. I think you’ll find archivists have different standards than collectors with regard to these questions. It’s a good question to ask the archivist!


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