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15 Years After Death, Tupac's Papers at Robert W. Woodruff Library
Posted by Steve Juon at Thursday, September 15th, 2011 at 3:00PM :: Email this article :: Print this article



15 Years After Death, Tupac's Papers at Robert W. Woodruff Library

Courtesy Versa Manos.

The Collected works of Rap's Most Successful & Prolific Icon Includes 11 Linear Feet with 30 Boxes of Materials Housing Manuscripts, Poems, Video Treatments, Memorabilia and Personal Correspondence with Family and Fans

Following two years of extensive collection and categorization, the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library announces the opening of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Collection on the fifteenth anniversary of the death of the platinum recording artist, actor and poet who remains one of the most influential writers and performers in the hip hop/rap genre.

Spanning a period from 1969 to 2008, this remarkable collection includes poems, track lists and video treatments, as well as manuscripts by Shakur family members and members of the rap groups Dramacydal and the Outlawz. Memorabilia, correspondence to and from Shakur, fan mail, media clippings and publicity materials are also included. Particularly noteworthy items within the collection are a handwritten video treatment for "Dear Mama," his song that was inducted into the Library of Congress collection; a notebook of songs eventually recorded for Shakur's immensely successful 2Pacalypse Now album; and handwritten drafts of poems included in The Rose That Grew from Concrete.

The Shakur Collection represents a partnership between the AUC Woodruff Library and the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation to make available for scholarly research the manuscript writings and other papers of Shakur. The collection is extensive and comprises approximately 11 linear feet, with 30 boxes of materials, and has the distinction of being one of the few publicly available research collections of an individual hip hop artist.

Born in East Harlem, New York, Shakur first came to prominence in the early 1990s as a featured rapper for the vocal group Digital Underground and went on to become one of the most significant cultural icons of the hip hop generation. Prior to his untimely death at the age of 25, Shakur released five record albums and appeared in four motion pictures.

Ten albums, numerous compilations and four feature films have been released posthumously, including Tupac: Resurrection, which received an Academy Award nomination for "Best Documentary (Feature)" in 2005.

"We're honored to have partnered with the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation to preserve the artistic legacy of Tupac Shakur through this collection," said Loretta Parham, CEO and Library Director. "He transformed the landscape of hip hop culture and was one of the most compelling voices and talents of his generation. As an academic library, we feel privileged to be the stewards of the Shakur Collection and to promote for scholarly research."

Vernal Cambridge, Executive Director of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation adds, "We are excited about the centralization of Tupac's massive body of work and materials. The Tupac estate has done a great job at preserving his history. Similar to his albums, and documentary film, Tupac: Resurrection, this unique collection gives Tupac another opportunity to tell his story in his own words. The lessons that students, researchers, and fans can learn from this close and personal look at his writings are invaluable."

The collection is available for research in digital and original formats in the AUC Woodruff Library's Archives Research Center Reading Room. For inquiries about researching the collection, e-mail the Archives Research Center at archives@auctr.edu or call 404-978-2052.



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