Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen Exhibit Permanently Housed on Campus

Springsteen Collection Sounds Good on Campus

Bruce SpringsteenThe University recently became home to the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection with over 15,000 items donated from fans around the world. The Collection is being held at the University’s Archive Collections Building right next to the Woods Theatre.

President Paul Gaffney said in a press statement released to the public that “the University is the perfect location for this outstanding collection…students and faculty…especially our music industry students, will benefit greatly from having access to these documents.”

The Collection was formerly kept at the Asbury Park Public Library, but as it has expanded over the years with a plethora of more documents from various fans and countries, the Collection needed a new home. After four years of trying to find where to store the memorabilia, the University was selected as the best option to offer a public viewing of Springsteen’s history.

The Collection is kept in archival boxes that have been neatly organized in four different rooms. The boxes are categorized by type of material, with each item being placed in its own labeled envelope. There are boxes with various magazine articles written about Springsteen like his first appearance in Rolling Stone or articles in a Netherland magazine called Veronica. Other boxes hold fanzines, bumper stickers and old concert tickets.

Eileen Chapman, Assistant Director of Performing Arts at the University, said the Collection is kept this way as it “helps preserve the pieces…some of the pieces, like key documents are rare.”

Chapman says people that would like to view the Collection must make an appointment and are advised to make a list of the items they’re interested through the Collection’s main website at, or through the library’s website under special collections. The items will be prepared and set aside before the appointment, brought out five at time to ensure the items “aren’t stacked on top of each other.”

“We put on our blue gloves, they put on their blue gloves, and go over these documents piece by piece,” said Chapman. “It gives us a chance to monitor how they’re treating the collection and we want to preserve the collection, that’s our main purpose here.”

Two authors have already visited the Archive building to view the Collection, with another author reserving a whole day to examine the documents. Chapman said a couple fans had visited the first week, and an interested grandmother wanting to bring in her two grandchildren. Most of the people were interested in “early 70’s pieces like backstage passes, t-shirts and comic books, Chapman said “the unique items and rare items.”

Christopher Cocco of Red Bank was extremely happy to hear the collection would be kept at the University.

Springsteen Collection“Me and my family are huge ‘Boss’ fans, we’ve seen him plenty of times in concert,” said Cocco. “To have old, rare photographs in one place…of this legend, that’s pretty awesome.”

The Bruce Springsteen Special Collection was helped secured for the University by Chapman, through talks between the Asbury Park library, the University’s Board of Directors, and Bob Crane from the Friends of Bruce Springsteen whom originally started the collection. Chapman said there was no plan of where’d the collection would go, just “hoping to get it here, have the collection come together, and have it available to the professors and students for learning tools.”

Robert “Bob” Santelli, Monmouth alumnus and executive director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, was also a helpful contributor to. Chapman said Santelli has his own collection that he will be donating, and trying to obtain items from other music industry professionals.

Brian Morelli, program director for WMCX, thinks it’s incredible and loves that the University has these items, as the University “definitely takes care of things with age.”

“It’s a testament to Bruce’s music and career that is so much appreciated at the Jersey Shore,” said Morelli. “Why not have it a mile away from the beach where people can come and visit? I think it’s something very valuable.”

Chapman said Springsteen had performed at the University numerous times before, being among many that believe the Boss will come to the campus to see the collection himself.

“It’s very exciting, the collection will expand, people will still donate,” said Chapman. “Nils Lofgren from the E Street band just performed here last week and he donated two autographed photos to the collection, so that’s really neat.”

To view the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection, appointments can be made with Chapman through email at or by phone at 732-571-3512. Appointments are made on weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m.


Photo Courtesy of Jim Reme