Autry Acquires the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Archive Collection to be made accessible to Researchers and the Public
Posted May 17, 2010
Many Gene Autry fans know that "America's Favorite Singing Cowboy" was friends with "The King of the Cowboys" Roy Rogers and "The Queen of the West" Dale Evans. Even after the singing cowboys and cowgirl retired from movie making their paths crossed on many occasions, including in the late 1980s for Melody Ranch Theater. Today in the 21st Century, they are "riding the trail" together again, but this time as historic artifacts and documents! We are so pleased to share this news with everyone: The Autry National Center is proud to announce the acquisition of the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Archive containing key artifacts representing their entertainment career spanning more than 50 years. Below is the museum's official press release on this collection as well as the Roy Rogers one-of-a-kind plastic saddle.
Dale Evans and Roy Rogers
Los Angeles, CA (May 11, 2010) — The Autry National Center is proud to announce the acquisition of the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Archive containing key artifacts representing their entertainment career spanning more than 50 years. The archive includes materials from Roy's and Dale's long career in radio, film, television, music, and licensed merchandise that will be documented, conserved, and digitized for greater access to researchers at the Autry's Institute for the Study of the American West and to the general public through exhibitions and the Autry's online database, Collections Online.
"The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Archive is an important addition to the Autry National Center's significant collection of film and television performers and creators archives. Preserving and making these archives accessible to the research community and the public is a top priority for the Autry Library staff," said Marva R. Felchlin, Director, Autry Library.
The approximately 120 boxes include newspaper clippings, programs from the Rose Parade and the Roy Rogers Show, sheet music, promotional materials, licensed objects such as puzzles and coloring books, photographs, and business files. Archivists will make sure the materials are properly stored, organized and described in a finding guide. Select items will be digitally photographed. Once the archive has been completely processed, key items will be exhibited in a dedicated case in the museum's Imagination Gallery.
In addition, the Autry is seeking donations from the public to help process the vast collection. "The Autry is proud to be the new home of the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Archive and we are reaching out to their fans to help us preserve this collection," said John Gray, Autry's President and CEO. Donations can be sent to Karen Fisher at the Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027. She may also be reached at 323.667.2000, ext. 243 and kfisher@theAutry.org.
Artifacts relating to Roy and Dale from the museum's permanent collection are currently on display in the Imagination Gallery and the museum lobby. The highlight of the collection is the one-of-a-kind plastic saddle Roy rode aboard his horse, Trigger, as Marshal of the 1952 Tournament of Roses Parade. The gleaming white plastic saddle with corona and contrasting black trim is adorned with ten dozen hand painted yellow and red roses and sterling silver slotted berry conchos. The saddle was manufactured by All-Western Plastics of Lusk, Wyoming. Roy liked plastic saddles, commenting they were easy on the horse and rider, but they never caught on with the general public. Of the 65 saddles the company made, only 37 have been located, and the Roy Rogers' Plastic Rose Parade Saddle is the finest example known to exist. Roy toured the saddle across America, and it was featured prominently in the recently closed Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Missouri. The saddle is presently on display along with Roy's parade ribbons in the museum lobby in conjunction with the release of the United States Postal Service's "Cowboys of the Silver Screen" stamp series.
About the Autry National Center
Roy Rogers's plastic saddle now on display at the Autry.
The Autry National Center is an intercultural history center dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West. Located in Griffith Park, the Autry includes the collections of the Museum of the American West, the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, and the Autry Institute's two research libraries: the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library. Exhibitions, public programs, K–12 educational services, and publications are designed to examine critical issues of society, offering insights into solutions and the contemporary human condition through the Western historical experience.
Weekday hours of operation for the Autry National Center's museum at its Griffith Park location are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Autry Store's weekday hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the Golden Spur Cafe is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours for the museum and the Autry Store are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum, the Autry Store, and the cafe are closed on Mondays. The libraries are open to researchers by appointment.
Museum admission is $9 for adults, $5 for students and seniors 60+, $3 for children 3–12, and free for Autry members, veterans, and children 2 and under. Admission is free on the second Tuesday of every month.