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Bob Dylan: Iconic Singer & Songwriter: Overview

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Chronicles, by Bob Dylan.
Volume 1.
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.
MNHS call number: ML420.D9 A3 2004

Dylan: A Biography, by Bob Spitz.
New York: McGraw-Hill, 1989.
MNHS call number: ML420.D9 S6 1989

Dylan in Minnesota: Just Like Bob Zimmerman's Blues, by Dave Engel.
Rudolph, Wis.: River City Memoirs-Mesabi, 1997.
MNHS call number: ML420.D9 E63 1997

Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan's Road from Minnesota to the World, edited by Colleen J. Sheehy and Thomas Swiss.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.
MNHS call number: ML420.D9 H54 2009

Bob Dylan Research Collection, collected by Dennis Anderson.
Bibliographies, magazine articles and book excerpts, syllabi, chronologies, student papers, interviews, correspondence, and fan magazines related to the work of a Bob Dylan scholar who taught seminars on Dylan and American culture at German universities during the 1970s and early 1980s. The collection contains English and German language material and provides both American and European commentary on the life and music of Bob Dylan.
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid


Bob Dylan is an American musical icon of folk and rock music and the voice of his generation. He moved from folk to rock (folk/rock) infusing his lyrics with poetry and setting the standard for lyric writing.  His first major composition “Blowin’ in the Wind” (considered by many as the greatest protest song of his era) and  “the times they are a changing”  became anthems of the anti-war and civil rights movements. He has been referred to as the “Shakespeare” of his era and the “greatest poet” of the second half of the 20th century.

Born in Duluth, May 24,1941, he grew up in in Hibbing where he was known as Bob Zimmerman.  He briefly attended the University of Minnesota becoming fascinated with the folk singer Woody Guthrie. He began performing in coffee houses near the University campus and changed his last name to Dylan. In 1961, he moved to New York City and built a cult following as a folk singer playing in Greenwich Village.  Over the years he has performed throughout the world, sold millions of albums and written over 500 songs.  

Dylan has received national and international recognition and many awards.  He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1982. Other awards include a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in 1992, Kennedy Center Honors in 1997, a Grammy in 1998 (Time out of Mind), an Academy Award 2000 (Things have changed), Presidential Medal of Freedom 2012 and the Nobel Prize for Literature 2016 ("for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”).

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Brigid Shields
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