The highly acclaimed and widely loved country singer, Anne Murray delighted so many fans when she recently donated hundreds of exclusive items that documented her career. The items were donated to the University of Toronto’s Media Commons and the public can book appointments to view the said unique objects from Murray’s collection.
“What happened was that I was moving from a house into a condo and when we closed my offices, I had all this archival material that we had saved, kept”, the singer shares. From massive records that contained each album released all across the globe to recordings that feature rare tests of various songs, to her concert contracts from the 1970’s up to the year 2000, to her 1970’s scrapbooks and over 881 photographs that depict just how colorful her musical career had been.
At first, she instantly thought of throwing away a majority of the items, until the University of Toronto reached out to her and helped change her mind about the collection.
The collection instantly gave a cultural and historical boost to the existing trove of musical Canadian artifacts already being kept safely within the huge library system of the university. The donation included rare versions of some of Anne Murray’s songs, especially those that have been crowd favorites. Not only that, there is also an exceptional collection of albums, letters, contracts, and photos of Anne Murray.
Anne Murray adds that the university presented an excellent plan for what would be done to all the items. She was even delighted to learn that the collection will be available to everybody. When asked about her personal favorite in the collection, she shares that it would have to be the ticket stubs from several of her concerts throughout the years. The stubs instantly took her to a lovely trip back to the past.
On the other hand, director of Media Commons Silversides expressed just how vital Anne Murray is in the industry of country music.
“Her music has been the soundtrack to many peoples’ lives.”
As the director, Silversides is responsible for preserving, along with having to curate all audio and video-centered archives at the university. “A collection like Anne’s: the value is that it’s so comprehensive. That’s what gives it scholarly research value.” The collection will also benefit those who are studying Murray’s career in a more in-depth manner. “Not everyone takes popular music archives seriously. For me, popular music is a very serious topic.”
When news of Anne Murray’s donation broke, one of the thousands of fans ecstatic to view the collection was Timothy Benson, a longtime Torontonian who also happens to lead a Facebook group exclusively for fellow supporters of Anne Murray. “Her groundbreaking successes were, and are, proof that we too, as Canadians, can make our mark.”
All those who wish to make an appointment at the University of Toronto library may contact Silversides to set up a schedule for their visit.
Anne Murray, Media Commons Silversides, University of Toronto
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