Preserving the dead.

Author:Bentley, Tom
Position:WORKS IN PROGRESS - Brief article

They toured for 30 years, performed more than 2,300 concerts, and invited fans to send them letters. Given the Grateful Dead's psychedelic pedigree, you might expect the letters to be colorful, and they are. But Day-Glo postcards and air-mailed harlequin artwork form only one layer in the collection of rock history curios and chronicles contained in the Grateful Dead Archive, now a permanent exhibit of the McHenry Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Archivist Nicholas Meriwether has processed a third of the original bequests from the band, including recordings, posters, videos, fliers, photographs, and a 14-foot conference table. Additional materials from band members and from former employees, associates, and...

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