GRAMMY Foundation grant to support restoration of Lenny Bruce recordings

Photo/Kitty Bruce © 2014

The GRAMMY Foundation made a $20,000 grant to Brandeis University to help digitize the personal recordings of Lenny Bruce, a collection of performances, rehearsals and home sessions by the late comedy pioneer and free-speech advocate that the University acquired as part of the Lenny Bruce papers last year. The historic recordings are extremely fragile and would be lost without restoration and reformatting.

The gift to Brandeis was one of 14 grants, for a total of more than $200,000, awarded last week by the GRAMMY Foundation to provide support for archiving and preservation programs, and research efforts that examine the impact of music on human development.

“We thank the GRAMMY Foundation for its generous gift to help support our efforts to preserve the audio recordings in the Lenny Bruce collection,” says Sarah Shoemaker, associate university librarian for archives and special collections at Brandeis. “The digitization of these recordings will ensure their safety for future generations of scholars and others who are seeking insights into the work and life of an iconic figure in American comedy.”

A generous grant from the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation last year enabled Brandeis to acquire the collection of Bruce’s recordings, photographs, manuscripts, news clippings and other material held by his daughter, Kitty. The collection is housed in the Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections Department.

Brandeis is planning to host a retrospective on Bruce and his life in 2016, 50 years after his death.

“The Recording Academy is proud to provide the financial support for our GRAMMY Foundation’s longstanding grant program,” says Neil Portnow, president/CEO of the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. “Not only have we awarded more than $6 million to more than 300 worthwhile initiatives over the course of this program, but we have funded such a diverse and outstanding group of grantees and significant projects that the foundation has become a driving philanthropic force in the fields of archiving, preservation and scientific research.”

Categories: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

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