Conservationists are set to open a Woody Guthrie museum in the folk legend's native Oklahoma next year (12) to celebrate the centennial of his birth.
Officials from The George Kaiser Family Foundation purchased the musician's archives from his children this week (begs26Dec11) and they have already begun making space for The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa to mark the 100-year anniversary of the singer's birth on 14 July, 1912.
The exhibit will include dozens of cartoons, letters, unpublished short stories and novels as well as the This Land Is Your Land hitmaker's scrapbooks and handwritten diaries.
The display will also feature over 500 pieces of artwork and lyrics to more than 3,000 songs, rarely ever seen by the public.
Foundation executive director Ken Levitt says, "It is a real privilege for the George Kaiser Family Foundation to help bring home to Oklahoma the Woody Guthrie Archives where it will remain for posterity.
"We will work to meet the example the Guthrie family has established and plan for the Woody Guthrie Archives to be widely available to scholars, artists and the general public so that the story of this extraordinary Oklahoman and the state that shaped him can be told for generations to come."
The foundation will kick off the centennial celebrations on 10 March (12) with a conference at the University of Tulsa and a concert sponsored by the Grammy Museum, which will feature performances by the legend's son, Arlo Guthrie.
Woody Guthrie died in 1967 of Huntington's Disease, a hereditary brain disorder.