© Lou Reed. Lou Reed Collection, The New York Public LibraryThe late Lou Reed‘s vast archives have been acquired by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The news was announced at a press event today, which would have been Reed’s 75th birthday, by Lou’s widow, Laurie Anderson, and officials from the library.

The Lou Reed Archive includes about 3,600 audio recordings and 1,300 video recordings; original handwritten lyrics, poetry, manuscripts and other notes; photographs of and by Reed; posters, programs and promotional materials from throughout his long career; album, book and tour artwork; his personal book, album and singles collections; and much more.

The archive documents Reed’s entire creative life, from his teenage band The Shades and his stint as a staff songwriter for Pickwick Records, to his trailblazing work with avant-garde rock band The Velvet Underground, to his long solo career. The collection also documents Lou’s passion for tai-chi.

“The archive is a panoramic picture of Lou’s music, pictures, friendships, writing, tai chi and performances as well as a recreation of the scenes and cities he worked in and loved,” says Anderson. “What better place to have this than in the heart of the city he loved the best?”

In honor of the acquisition, The New York Public Library will be hosting a number of public displays and events celebrating Reed’s life and work. From now until March 20, rare personal artifacts and other items will be on display at the Library for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center and at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

In addition, a performance of Reed’s The Raven and his poetry will take place March 13 at the Lincoln Center library, and a performance of the Reed-inspired “Drones” piece will be held March 15 at the Schwarzman Building.

Registration is required to attend these free events. Visit NYPL.org/LouReed for more information.

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