May 25, 2022

Profile: Meet Mark Davidson, Head Archivist and Librarian at the Bob Dylan Archive

From UC Santa Cruz:

 UC Santa Cruz alumnus Mark Davidson moved from Austin, Texas, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to begin a new job at the Bob Dylan Archive.

His official job title is “Bob Dylan Librarian and Collections Manager.” Davidson is now the head archivist and librarian of the collection, working closely with Bob Dylan Archive curator Michael Chaiken, who lives in New York City.

The Dylan Archive includes 6,000 mostly unseen items from Dylan’s own personal collection, going back more than 50 years. According to the New York Times, it was recently acquired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation for a reported $15 million to $20 million. The archive is now held at the Gilcrease Museum of American History in a partnership with the University of Tulsa and the city of Tulsa.


Davidson earned his Ph.D. in cultural musicology from UC Santa Cruz in 2015. His dissertation was titled Recording the Nation: Folk Music and the Government in Roosevelt’s New Deal, 1936–1941. At more than 800 pages (two volumes, double-sided) Davidson noted, “It doubles as an excellent doorstop or booster seat for short people like myself who have trouble seeing over the steering wheel.”

While completing his Ph.D., Davidson moved to Austin to enroll in the Master of Science in Information Studies program at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied archival practices, academic librarianship, and audio preservation.

He also taught a graduate seminar titled “Information Policy: Music, Copyright, and Technology”. “My interest in music and copyright came from working with the late, great UCSC music professor Frederic Lieberman as his assistant on some music copyright cases.”

Learn More, Read the Complete Article

See Also: The Bob Dylan Archive Opens on a Select Basis in Tulsa, RFQ For Designing Dylan Center Published (March 29, 2017)

On a Related Note…

Meet Elizabeth Schnobrick, the National Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Librarian (September 8, 2017)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.