The Grateful Dead Archive celebrated its grand opening, June 29, 2012, with a concert by famed Bay Area band Moonalice on the lawn of UC Santa Cruz’s McHenry Library. The Library is home to the Archive, the Brittingham Family Foundation Dead Central, our dedicated exhibit space, and now, the Grateful Dead ArchiveOnline, or GDAO, our website that enables patrons from around the world to participate in building the Archive and access digital images of thousands of the Archive’s treasures.
Visitors to the Library can now see our inaugural exhibition, “A Box of Rain: Archiving the Grateful Dead Phenomenon,” curated by Archivist Nicholas Meriwether, featuring a wide array of remarkable art, artifacts, and memorabilia that the band and more than 100 donors have contributed, and researchers will also be able to access processed materials from the Archive in the Library’s Special Collections Reading Room.
“It’s been a labor of love,” Meriwether commented recently, “and that labor will continue for many years as we process more of the Archive and secure additional materials, but we are excited to celebrate the milestone of the opening of the Archive and our website, GDAO, for researchers and the public.”
Congratulations to Robin Chandler, Kevin Clarke, Sue Perry, Bryn Kanar, Christine Bunting, Maureen Carey, and their teams, who worked with Meriwether to process the physical and digital materials comprising the Archive and the website, and to the many donors who pitched in to support the Archive and help it fulfill its mission to create a first-rate scholarly repository that will allow researchers to study this remarkable phenomenon.
More On GDAO
Since the announcement of the gift in April 2008, UC Santa Cruz has been working diligently to curate the band’s incredible trove of materials. Processing continues as we drill deeper into the band’s gift and secure additional materials from donors. A related component of this effort is the creation of an online archive that showcases thousands of images, artifacts and materials drawn from the Archive. This innovative website also allows users to upload their own content and comment on Archive materials in a ground-breaking, socially-constructed website devoted to the Grateful Dead phenomenon.
The items presented online in GDAO represent the individual and collective creativity of the band, artists, photographers and fans. UCSC has worked hard to identify and contact rights holders to let them know about our online project, which is designed to support scholarship; we have had great success in locating dozens of artists, photographers, creators and rights holders who have granted us a license to display their works in GDAO. The license we use does not limit the creators or rights holders in any way: it only gives us non-exclusive permission to display scans on the site, which is a strictly not-for-profit, educational, scholarly effort. When we know who holds the rights to an image, and they have given us permission, we have incorporated that information in the metadata accompanying each work displayed. The Copyright Information and/or Copyright Statements displayed represents our best efforts to locate and secure that permission.
In some cases it has been impossible to identify and make contact with rights holders. For some materials, we are displaying the works on GDAO to enlist the aid of the community to help us identify and find rights holders we were unable to contact. If you have additional—or conflicting—information about an item you see in GDAO, and/or information about the copyright holder, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. With your help, we can create a superb destination for fans, researchers, and scholars interested in understanding the mysteries and wonder of the Grateful Dead phenomenon. The long strange trip continues—thanks to you all.