The guitar, made by Aida Mandolins and Guitars, was purchased during an auction last week in New York City and will be added to items included in the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Archive, the center announced Thursday.
"The Autry is proud to add this important guitar, which sparked the illustrious career of Roy Rogers, to our collection," said Autry President and CEO John Gray. "We take great pride in being the new home of the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Archive, and are reaching out to their fans to help us preserve this collection."
According to Autry officials, Rogers purchased the guitar for $20 at a second-hand store in Cincinnati in 1929, when he was still known as Leonard Slye. After Rogers became a star, the guitar was presented to him on a 1953 episode of "This is Your Life."
The instrument and case include a plaque that reads, "This is your life, Roy Rogers, Jan. 14, 1953 'Yount Leonard Slye bought this guitar for $20. He learned to play it and to sing -- and so became Roy Rogers, America's most beloved cowboy star.'"