- Archival News
• In April 2008, members of the Grateful Dead announced that they would donate their archives to UC Santa Cruz. Documenting the history of the band from 1965 to the present, The Grateful Dead Archive will reside in the University Library’s Special Collections at UC Santa Cruz. The focal point of the collection will be a dedicated room named “Dead Central,” where both academic researchers and the general public will have access to the archive.
“The Grateful Dead Archive represents one of the most significant popular cultural collections of the 20th century; UC Santa Cruz is honored to receive this invaluable gift,” noted UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal. “The Grateful Dead and UC Santa Cruz are both highly innovative institutions—born the same year—that continue to make a major, positive impact on the world.”
The Archive includes business records and correspondence, photographs, and show files with tickets and backstage passes—as well as promotional items such as flyers, posters, shirts, press clips, and awards. Framed photos by renowned photographers and unreleased videos of interviews and TV appearances will be available for viewing. Large stage backdrops, stained-glass pieces, and props from live performances are also featured. An extensive collection of Deadhead fan mail and gifts is an important part of the collection.
“We are excited that The Grateful Dead Archive will now have a home at UC Santa Cruz,” said Christine Bunting, the head of Special Collections at the University Library. “It will provide extraordinary opportunities for researchers and the public to examine the music of one of the most influential bands in history, as well as explore the cultural phenomenon of Deadheads—the most dedicated and celebrated fans in music. The study of popular culture has become an important focus in the academic disciplines of the arts, humanities and social sciences.”
Bunting added that as it works to preserve and prepare the archive for public use, UC Santa Cruz will be forming creative partnerships with Rhino Entertainment (distributor of the band’s music and home of the Grateful Dead web site, dead.net), as well as the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame and key high-tech companies in Silicon Valley.
“We looked around, and UC Santa Cruz seems the best possible home,” Weir noted. “If you ever wrote the Grateful Dead a letter, you’ll probably find it there!”
• In February 2008, at the BFI National Film Archive at Birkhamstead UK, Brian Pritchard and David Cleveland projected Kinemacolor film using a Kinemacolor projector that they restored from the Birkenhead Museum. The exhibition celebrated the 100th anniversary of Kinemacolor. Web site: http://www.brianpritchard.com/Kinemacolor%20Project.htm . [End Page 164]
• In March 2008, the First Sounds Collaborative presented the earliest known recorded sound at the annual Association for Recorded Sound Collections conference in Palo Alto. The recording was a phonautogram created by Parisian inventor Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville in 1860. Phonautograms were visual representations of sound waves, not meant to be replayed. Scott’s device scratched sound waves onto a sheet of paper blackened with smoke from an oil lamp. With the help of scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, First Sounds used high resolution scans and a virtual stylus to recreate the sounds. The 10-second recording of a singer crooning the folk song “Au Clair de la Lune” was discovered early in 2008 in The Academie des Sciences of the Institute de France in Paris. The First Sounds collaborative is headed by audio historian David Giovannoni, Patrick Feaster, Richard Martin, and Meagan Hennesse. Web site: http://www.firstsounds.org/sounds/ .
• In April 2008, The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia and the National Film Preservation Foundation announced a new partnership to preserve and make available eight short American motion pictures from the silent era that no longer survive in the United States.
Through a new program called “Film Connection: Australia–America,” these “lost” films will be preserved and accessed through the five major American silent film archives: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, George Eastman House, the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, and the UCLA Film...