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Willie Nelson Donates Awards + Archives to University of Texas

Willie Nelson
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Willie Nelson has made a large and generous contribution to a college in his home state of Texas. The singer-songwriter donated many of his platinum records, manuscripts, personal letters, signed books and awards to the University of Texas Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

“Willie Nelson is an iconic American and an iconic Texan, so it’s fitting that the Briscoe Center for American History should help safeguard his archives,” University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers says. “Because of his generous gift, scholars for decades to come will have access to the inner workings of his creativity and will better understand his influence on American culture. It’s a great day for UT’s Briscoe Center.”

“The Nelson collection is an outstanding addition to the center’s music and material culture holdings,” Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center, adds. “It depicts not only his music and movie career, but also the impact he has had on our broader cultural landscape and the depth of his contributions as an activist and philanthropist. We are deeply grateful to Willie for entrusting us with such a remarkable gift.”

The collection will also be the focus of an upcoming exhibit at the UT Austin Campus. Other items the 81-year-old donated include Indian headdresses, screenplays, dream catchers, as well as gifts given to him by his fans over the years. More items are expected to be donated in the future.

Nelson, who was recently inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, announced plans to release a new album, ‘Band of Brothers, in June. The record features nine original songs, as well as a few cover songs, including Vince Gill‘s ‘Whenever You Come Around.’

The Texan is currently on a co-headlining tour with Alison Krauss. See all of their upcoming shows here.

Next: The Top 10 Willie Nelson Songs

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