The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation (TASF) and Afeni Shakur-Davis, the mother of the late rapper, announced this week that they will partner with the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center to make available for scholarly research Shakur’s manuscript writings and other papers.
Although most people recognize Tupac as a musician and then actor, he was also a writer, who penned the book The Rose That Grew From The Concrete when he was just 19 years old. It was released after his death, but went on to sell over 250,000 copies. It contains numerous poems in Tupac’s own handwriting.
There are three more books — Tupac Resurrection, Tupac Legacy and Tupac Remembered, which were all published following his death.
A collection of Tupac’s writings are now being housed within the Woodruff Library’s Archives & Special Collections Department. The collection features Shakur’s handwritten lyrics and track listings, personal notes, video and film concepts, fan correspondence, promotional materials and other items providing a unique insight into his career and creative genius.
“The Woodruff Library Archives has done a phenomenal job archiving my son’s materials,” said Afeni of the partnership. “I thank their staff for partnering with my family and the Foundation in helping to make these important documents available in a professional manner that will benefit scholars for years to come.”
Currently, the library’s staff are re-housing the collection’s 11 boxes of material into archival boxes and folders, and preparing a finding aid listing the categories and order of items included.
A digital (online) finding aid will be prepared to further enhance scholarly access. All of this, called The Tupac Shakur Collection, is expected to be open for research in Fall 2010.
“The Woodruff Library is honored to collaborate with the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation to preserve the artistic legacy of Tupac Shakur,” said Loretta Parham, CEO & Library Director. “Mr. Shakur was a multi-dimensional artist who helped define a musical genre, and as the academic library serving four institutions of higher learning, it is our mission, as well as a great privilege, to help promote scholarship and research of his work, and the mechanics of his creative process and the hip hop culture.”
The Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) serves the collective research and information needs of Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College. It’s Archives & Special Collections department is the repository for historical materials documenting the AUC institutions, as well as manuscript collections and organizational records, including the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection and the Maynard Jackson Mayoral Administrative Records.
In addition to the archival partnership with the Woodruff Library, the TASF has recruited some of the nation’s top scholars to assemble the Tupac Shakur Secondary School Curriculum, a seventh-12th grade academic curriculum and a college-level reader. In this comprehensive curriculum, the poetry, music and views of Tupac Shakur are used to teach basic hip-hop studies units within academic disciplines such as fine arts, history and language arts.
Both the release of the secondary and college-level curriculums will coincide with the opening for research of The Tupac Shakur Collection at the Woodruff Library in Fall 2010.
For further info, visit the TASF online at TASF.org.