Temple University’s Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection has acquired material of slain rapper Tupac Shakur. The collection includes a dozen handwritten documents and two pieces of jewelry.
Shakur was a prominent voice of 1990s hip-hop and remains one of the most influential artists of his generation, having sold more than 42 million copies of his albums and singles. He was the victim of a drive-by shooting on September 7, 1996 in Las Vegas and died six days later at the age of 25.
The late rapper’s items were acquired through a donation from Goldin Auctions of Runnemede, New Jersey, which has handled a variety of the artist’s memorabilia. According to Goldin Auctions founder and CEO and Philadelphia native Ken Goldin, he decided to donate the items to Temple University due to the notoriety of the Blockson Collection, the university’s course about Shakur, and its close proximity to the company.
“He’s a hip-hop icon,” Blockson Collection curator Diane Turner said of Shakur. “This is a significant, contemporary addition to our already impressive collection of music items, ranging from African instruments to material from John Coltrane, Grover Washington Jr. and Natalie Hinderas. We are thrilled.”