The Grateful Dead Archive Online
June 29, 2012 5:00 PM   Subscribe

UC Santa Cruz announced today the launch of the Grateful Dead Archive Online. It contains over 25,000 digitized items - posters & photographs, audio & video, t-shirts, envelope art... you can even contribute your own content.
posted by gyusan (30 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Just realized something: the Dead must be one of the only bands of their level of fame and longevity that never played in Japan.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:15 PM on June 29, 2012

The Dead never played in Japan, it's true. But the Tokyo Warlocks are pretty great. Somehow it seems like Jerry should always have been Japanese.
posted by koeselitz at 5:28 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wait, you can't go giving the content away! Then no one will pay for it.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:31 PM on June 29, 2012

So does the word "archive" mean you can't download the material? Is this like trying to borrow the fine artwork at your local museum?
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:34 PM on June 29, 2012

Awesome. I didn't realize they were planning on releasing any of the content online :)
posted by zombieApoc at 5:38 PM on June 29, 2012

I remember a few years ago when they advertised for an archivist for this collection. The job description was awesome.
posted by Occula at 5:53 PM on June 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

Yeah, these guys are pretty big in the archives world, if that's possible. I imagine them smoking doobies all day while listening to Jerry-Bear, but I guess they work too.
posted by Fister Roboto at 6:11 PM on June 29, 2012

posted by Sailormom at 6:36 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's interesting they went with a map as the primary show archive view. I would have gone timeline, but I think this is better. A long timeline is a pita, so that might have made the choice for them.
posted by zangpo at 6:42 PM on June 29, 2012

posted by grateful at 6:50 PM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Digging these prankster sound collages. I wonder who made those. That's during the 'slicing analog tape' era.
posted by zangpo at 6:54 PM on June 29, 2012

But teenagers today, um, I reckon you're not gonna find a hella lot of 'em into the Dead.

I was amazed to discover that the Dead are indeed quite popular among my daughter and her friends. They've been digging through my collection, cherry-picking shows. Suddenly I'm the cool Dad.
posted by Runes at 7:29 PM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

This is super exciting and I can 't wait to dig through it some. I'd do it now but me and my special lady are on our way out shortly. The Dead is probably my favorite band, one that I keep coming back to. Usually when that happens, I go hog wild for around a month, listening to little but them. Gotta love the good ol' Grateful Dead. Thanks for the post gyusan.
posted by friendlyjuan at 7:33 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

LSuddenly I'm the cool Dad.

Kids, did I ever tell you about... Purple Microdot?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:34 PM on June 29, 2012

The Internet Archive (a partner of the Grateful Dead archive) also has its own very large archive with thousands of items.
posted by jscott at 7:55 PM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

You know, I haven't smoked pot in umpty jillion years because it makes me stupid, dull-witted & paranoid, my pony tail has been cut off for almost 10 years, and I never cared for their blues covers, but my alarm clock went off playing Ripple yesterday morning, and that is really one of the most lovely songs ever written.

When you grow up a child of hippies in SF, the Dead are just so much background noise after a while, & you sort of tune them out, & then there's the... followers... who sometimes are downright disturbing people, but I do remember every once in a while, that there was some damn glorious music that came from all of that. Estimated Prophet & Unbroken Chain still make me smile when they pop up at random on shuffle mode.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:05 PM on June 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

Also, we've got an original poster from New Year's Eve '78 credited to Mouse/Kelly hanging in our kitchen that I don't see on the site. (they've got a 30th anniversary of... thing that's based off of it, though) I s'pose I should photograph it? It can't be that rare, can it?
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:05 PM on June 29, 2012

It is a testament to the US Postal Service that so many of those envelopes managed to make it to San Rafael.The coolest ones are often nearly unreadable.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:21 PM on June 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

Mod note: Some comments deleted; if you don't feel you can enjoy a post subject, it's best to just go ahead and find a more congenial post rather than commenting about your lack of ability to enjoy the post subject.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:11 AM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

I like the map view as well - just listened to El Paso played in El Paso.
A while back I listened to a show on that was so familiar that I realized that many years ago I must have had some noisy copy on cassette that I'd borrowed from a friend, that he'd copied from someone, that had been copied from... And now you can download a crisp, clean version for free.
Thanks, internet! Thanks, gyusan!
posted by Killick at 2:04 AM on June 30, 2012

Yeah, The Internet Archive really changed the game. I haven't even THOUGHT about digitizing most of my collection of cassettes... ( There are a few which I haven't found elsewhere, so... Not GD tapes, however. )
posted by mikelieman at 2:43 AM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just had a visceral memory of holding my mailorder envelope while double-triple-quadruple-checking that everything was filled out just right before dropping it into the slot.

And then having a wave of panic that I messed something up just as I let go...
posted by ssmug at 4:36 AM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Includes blotters. Nicely played.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:00 AM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just had a visceral memory of holding my mailorder envelope while double-triple-quadruple-checking that everything was filled out just right before dropping it into the slot.

You ONLY quadruple-checked your mailorder? We had two people cross-checking every step of the way, so it was like octuple-checking.

And we STILL worried.

"Tapers - OR ANYTHING"
posted by mikelieman at 6:59 AM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Not germaine to this archive, but I do like that fact that I can have these great memories of various performances through the years (Sing Me Back Home, '71, Sugaree, 76, Black Throated Wind, 95, etc.) and be able to go back and listen, and I am inevitably disappointed, but I also can go back to that time in my life, if only for a few extended minutes.
posted by Danf at 7:30 AM on June 30, 2012

I swear there is a previously (on mefi) where someone pointed out a criagslist ad for UC Santa Cruz's open position "Grateful Dead Archivist", or something like that. They must've filled the role! Nice.
posted by cbecker333 at 11:50 AM on June 30, 2012

^^^hm, can't find it on mefi...but anyway I saw the craigslist ad for this position some years ago. I swear it.
posted by cbecker333 at 11:56 AM on June 30, 2012

Related, for those of you that don't know, you can download SBDs from (I'm not sure how Kosher it is to post here with respect to the ethics of it [then again, it's not a pay site or anything, and it's something of an open secret], but it's a ridiculously simple workaround.)

Shoot me a PM if you want to know.

(Mods, apologies in advance if you feel this is overstepping...)
posted by ssmug at 1:29 PM on June 30, 2012

This MetaFilter post includes this (dead)(pun not intentional) link to the job posting for the archivist position. Ironically, doesn't have a copy of this posting. Jon Stewart covered it on the Daily Show, though, and that archive footage is still available.

Looking forward to poring through this. Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.
posted by knile at 3:04 PM on June 30, 2012

I, for one, am grateful.
posted by grateful at 5:51 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

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