Bob Dylan

A son of Minnesota, an American icon of 1960s folk-rock music, and the creator of perhaps the greatest song of protest of his era — Blowin' in the Wind — Bob Dylan followed in the tradition of other great folksingers who protested against unfair and inhuman social conditions. Like them, he helped bring about change in American society through his lyrics, composition, distinctive style, and performance. In the heat of the nation's struggles, he sang in support of the Civil Rights Movement and against the Vietnam War. Born in Duluth, he spent his growing-up years in Hibbing, Minnesota, where he was known as Bob Zimmerman. Starting out at coffee houses and other venues around the campus of the University of Minnesota, he shaped his art and soon moved on to the national stage, where he joined Joan Baez and other notable folksingers of the era. His contributions to American music and his society have received national and international recognition and awards. His music is sung and heard the world over.


  • Bob Dylan, by Daniel Kramer.
    2nd edition.
    New Jersey: Castle Books, 1967.
    MHS call number: Reading Room ML 420 .D9 K7 1967b
  • Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades, A Biography, by Clinton Heylin.
    New York: Summit Books, 1991.
    MHS call number: ML420.D9 H49 1991.
  • Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades Revisited, by Clinton Heylin.
    New York: William Morrow, 2001.
    MHS call number: ML420.D9 H491 2001.
  • Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited, by Colin Irwin.
    Legendary Sessions series.
    New York: Billboard Books, 2008.
    MHS call number: ML 420 .D9 I78 2008b.
  • The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, by Michael Gray.
    New York: Continuum, 2006.
    MHS call number: ML 420 .D9 G68 2006.
  • Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews, edited by Jonathan Cott.
    New York: Wenner Books, 2006.
    MHS call number: ML 420 .D9 A5 2006b.
  • Bob Dylan: An Illustrated History, produced by Michael Gross; with a text by Robert Alexander.
    New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1978.
    MHS call number: Reading Room ML 420 .D9 G76 1978
  • Bob Dylan: A Life in Stolen Moments: Day by Day, 1941-1995, by Clinton Heylin.
    New York: Schirmer Books, 1996.
    MHS call number: Reading Room ML 420 .D9 H494 1996
  • Chronicles, by Bob Dylan.
    Volume 1.
    New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.
    MHS call number: ML 420 .D9 A3 2004
  • Dylan: A Biography, by Bob Spitz.
    New York: McGraw-Hill, 1989.
    MHS call number: ML420.D9 S6 1989.
  • The Dylan Companion, edited by Elizabeth Thomson and David Gutman.
    New York: Dell, 1990.
    Includes a bibliography and a discography.
    MHS call number: ML420.D9 D97 1990.
  • Dylan in Minnesota: Just Like Bob Zimmerman's Blues, by Dave Engel.
    Rudolph, Wis.: River City Memoirs-Mesabi, [1997].
    MHS call number: ML420.D9 E63 1997.
  • "Dylan Revisited: The Blood on the Tracks Truth," by Burl Gilyard.
    In Minnesota Monthly, vol. 38, no. 2 (Feb. 2004): pp. 32-37.
    MHS call number: PN1991.P742
  • Dylan's Visions of Sin, by Christopher Ricks.
    New York: Ecco, 2004.
    MHS call number: ML 420 .D9 R52 2004
  • No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan, by Robert Shelton.
    New York: William Morrow, 1986.
    MHS call number: ML420.D9 S5 1986.
  • Performing Artist: The Music of Bob Dylan, by Paul Williams.
    Novato, Calif.: Underwood-Miller, 1990.
    MHS call number: ML420.D9 W546 1990.
  • Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña, by David Hajdu.
    New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2001.
    MHS call number: ML400 .H335 2001.
  • A Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan and the Making of Blood on the Tracks, by Kevin Odegard and Andy Gill.
    New York: Da Capo Press, 2004.
    MHS call number: ML420.D9 .G534 2004.
  • Voice Without Restraint: A Study of Bob Dylan's Lyrics and Their Background, by John Herdman.
    Edinburgh, Scotland: Paul Harris Publishing, 1982.
    MHS call number: PS3554.Y56 Z6545.


  • Bob Dylan Research Collection, collected by Dennis Anderson.
    Bibliographies, magazine articles and book excerpts, syllabi, chronologies, student papers, interviews, correspondence, and fan magazines related to the work of a Bob Dylan scholar who taught seminars on Dylan and American culture at German universities during the 1970s and early 1980s. The collection contains English and German language material and provides both American and European commentary on the life and music of Bob Dylan.
    MHS call number: P1885; see the green Manuscripts Notebooks for a detailed list of contents (there are 2 boxes), or use an electronic version of the inventory.
  • Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, Subject Files.
    Bob Dylan's 1986 was the first concert in the Metrodome.
    MHS call number: See the black State Archives Notebooks — filed under Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission — for a detailed list of boxes and locator numbers
    (there are 4 boxes, but not all relate to this topic).
  • Minnesota Party Tape.
    A recording of Bob Dylan singing and playing the guitar with a group of his friends: Bil Golfus, Bonnie Beecher, Cynthia Fincher (or Fischer?), and Cleve Pettersen.
    Recorded by Cleve Pettersen at an apartment in Minneapolis in the fall of 1960.
    Note: Copying not permitted.
    MHS call number: Audiotape 203
  • "Temporary Like Achilles."
    Manuscript copies of a Dylan song.
    MHS call number: Reserve 14; see the green Manuscripts Notebooks — filed under Res. 14 — for more details.
  • Newspapers that may be useful for this topic:
    • Minneapolis Star-Tribune (an index for articles published after 1970 is located in the Hubbs Microfilm Room)
    • St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch (an index for articles published in 1967 or after is located in the Hubbs Microfilm Room)
  • Check the library catalog for other materials, including numerous recordings.