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Artifact of the Month — November 2021

Adele Springsteen Scrapbooks

There have been many periodicals that document the life and career of Bruce Springsteen but among the earliest are the numerous scrapbooks created by his proud mom, Adele Springsteen, and now conserved in the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music.

We do not know if Adele knew that she was contributing to history when she began collecting items from Bruce’s earliest days at Columbia Records but she did recognize that his journey and story needed to be preserved.

Through the scrapbooks in our collection we not only see Bruce’s career detailed in the media but we also get a glimpse of how his family closely followed his tour and growing success through newspaper headlines and letters that were shared from managers and rock journalists, articles and notes that were shared by family members, images shared by photographers, and concert memorabilia saved by Bruce’s parents.

One such early letter notes, “There were hundreds of people who attended a performance tonight and we think your son is going to be a star.” Record reviews, pop music charts, and advertisements tell the story of Bruce’s rise to fame from college tours to sold-out stadium shows.

Two of these scrapbooks are currently on display in the Bruce Springsteen Live! Exhibit at the Grammy Museum Experience at the Prudential Center in Newark. The exhibit will remain at its present location until March 2022.