In the world of rock music, fifty years is not just a milestone, it is an era, one far longer than most performers or bands ever survive. As we celebrate the Grateful Dead's fiftieth anniversary over the course of this year, this blog will explore one of the hidden sides of the band's story: the archive that the Dead built over a half-century, now housed in Special Collections at UC Santa Cruz's McHenry Library. It is an archive that reflects the band's history and career in unstinting and often colorful detail, at times surprising but always compelling, from the earliest newspaper clippings and handbills to band meeting minutes and gig contracts. Every two weeks I'll post a short article about the Archive, from individual items to entire sections to supporting materials. As one of the largest archival collections devoted to a single band, the Grateful Dead Archive not only represents one of the premier scholarly popular music collections in the country, it also provides a window into a host of subjects and issues that are increasingly being studied by scholars, students, and fans

- Nicholas Meriwether

Documenting The Dead