The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University has announced a new collaboration with Freehold to create an exhibition space in downtown Freehold celebrating the life of Freehold’s most famous son, Bruce Springsteen.
Archives Director Eileen Chapman said, “Together, the Springsteen exhibition in Freehold and The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music on the campus of Monmouth University will ensure that the musical legacy of Springsteen and his important role in American music history remain in New Jersey for generations to come.”
The current Freehold Fire Department building located at 49 W. Main Street will be renovated to accommodate the new exhibition space. The fire department will be relocated as part of the Freehold Center Core Redevelopment Plan.
The anticipated opening date is mid-2024. The exhibition will include artifacts, photographs, multi-media displays (voice, film, concert footage, interviews), and interactive displays.
Freehold Borough Mayor Kevin Kane said, “On behalf of the entire council, I can say we are so excited to see this collaboration with the Springsteen Archives move forward. This will be the centerpiece of our redevelopment project and will be a fabulous addition to historic downtown Freehold.”
Monmouth University President and Chairman of the Archives Board of Directors Patrick Leahy added, “The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music is pleased to welcome our new Freehold partners as we develop on the campus on Monmouth University one of the country’s premiere cultural and educational institutions dedicated to preserving the legacy of Bruce Springsteen and celebrating the long, rich story of American music.”
According to Chapman, “The Springsteen exhibition in Freehold will allow us to provide not only exciting exhibits that tell the story of Springsteen’s early years, but also dynamic educational and public programs with strong ties to the community and area schools. This exhibition will be an educational resource for teachers, with pre-tour activities for school groups. In addition, visitors will come from all over the world to see the exhibit.”
The Springsteen Freehold exhibition will be curated and programmed by The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music, along with Freehold historian Kevin Coyne and other members of the Freehold community deeply familiar with the Springsteen story.
“The central idea behind the Freehold project is to tell the story of Bruce Springsteen as a writer, as a storyteller, as a chronicler of America, and how his story and the story of his hometown intertwine to tell the larger story of his country,” Coyne said.
The Bruce Springsteen Archives is comprised of nearly 35,000 items from 47 countries ranging from books and concert memorabilia to articles and promotional materials. The collection serves the research and informational needs of music fans, scholars, authors and others with a serious interest in the life and career of Bruce Springsteen.
The Bruce Springsteen Archives serves as the archival repository for Bruce Springsteen’s written works, photographs, periodicals, and artifacts. The Center also preserves and promotes the legacy of Bruce Springsteen and his role in American music, while creating exhibits, public programs and education initiatives that explore the works of American music giants like Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Frank Sinatra, and others.