Guide to the Dick Latvala papers MS.333

Nicholas G. Meriwether. Processing assisted by Mathew Simpson, Robert Barrett, and Pauline Disch.
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz 95064


Finding aid revised in 2018

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Title: Dick Latvala Papers
creator: Latvala, Dick, 1943-1999
Identifier/Call Number: MS.333
Physical Description: 47 Linear Feet 67 boxes
Date (inclusive): 1966-1999
Date (bulk): 1990-1999
Abstract: This collection documents the tape collecting and archival release work of Dick Latvala.
Physical Location: Collection stored, in part, off-site at NRLF: Advance notice is required for access.


Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights for this collection reside with the University of California. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. The publication or use of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use for research or educational purposes requires written permission from the copyright owner. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information on copyright or to order a reproduction, please visit

Preferred Citation

Dick Latvala papers, MS 333. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz


Dick Latvala (1943 – 1999) was the first Vault Archivist for the Grateful Dead. He graduated from San Francisco State University and attended shows at the Fillmore Auditorium, the Avalon Ballroom, and other San Francisco venues in the 1960s, including famous events such as the Trips Festival in January 1966 and the Great Human Be-In in January 1967. He began taping shows in 1971 from radio broadcasts and began collecting and trading concert tapes in 1974, amassing an impressive collection that he thoroughly documented in notebooks and correspondence. He became a friend of the band and the crew, and was hired by the band in 1985 to organize their tape collection. As the first Vault Archivist, he was instrumental in the archival recordings released by the band; the series Dick's Picks is named in his honor, and was continued by his successor David Lemieux for a total of 36 releases.

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the tape collecting and archival release work of Dick Latvala, the Grateful Dead's first Vault Archivist. The papers comprise his notebook entires, documenting his impressions of live performance tapes, and his later research on what shows would be good cadidates for commercial release. His personal collection of reel-to-reel tapes, a series in the collection, is an indication of the range of recordings that the first generation of Deadhead tape collectors could amass.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Latvala, Dick, 1943-1999
Grateful Dead (Musical group)




Latvala kept these entries in four binders and seems to have ceased actively making records circa 1983. Early entries are well documented, often with succeeding impressions entered when a tape was replaced with a better quality one. By 1982, entries are often limited to song lists only, with little to no annotation, although the entries for 1983 are somewhat more frequent, and most with greater detail.
box 1, folder 1

1968-1969 Entries

box 1, folder 2

1970 Entries

box 1, folder 3

1971 Entries

box 1, folder 4

1972 Entries

box 1, folder 5

1973 Entries

box 1, folder 6

1974 Entries

box 1, folder 7

1975 Entries

box 1, folder 8

1976 Entries

box 1, folder 9

1977, February - June Entries

box 1, folder 10

1977, September - December Entries

box 1, folder 11

1978, January - May Entries

box 1, folder 12

1978, June - December Entries

box 1, folder 13

1979, April - September Entries

box 1, folder 12

1979, October - December Entries

box 1, folder 13

1980, January - June Entries

box 1, folder 14

1980, August - December Entries

box 1, folder 15

1981, February - May Entries

box 1, folder 16

1981, July - December Entries

box 1, folder 17

1982, February - July

box 1, folder 18

1982, August - December

box 1, folder 19

1983 Entries



box 2-14

Dead.Net, Dead.Net Central

box 15

Dead.Net, Dead.Net Central: shelf lists, notebooks 1978-1979, Dick's Picks files

box 16

Dick's Picks binders

box 17

Vox Pop

box 18-21

Dead Net Central & other topics binders

box 65

Miscellaneous files



box 22-59

7-inch reels


10.5-inch reels

box 60

Winterland, 10/22/1967 (2); Unknown, 1968 (2); Carousel Ballroom, 2/14/1968; Avalon Ballroom, 10/12/1968, 1/26/1969 (2)

box 61

Avalon Ballroom, 1/26/1969, 4/5/1969 (2), 4/6/1969, Winterland 1/1/1979 (2)

box 62

Fillmore East 4/29/1971 (2); Jackson, MI 12/19/1978; Frost 5/11/1986; HJK 2/11/1986; Telluride, CO 8/15-16/1987; Red Rocks, CO 8/13/1987

box 64

Providence, RI 9/9/1987; Madison Square Garden 9/11/1987, 9/17-18/1987; Philadelphia Spetrum 9/22-24/1987, 9/11/1988



box 66-67

Reel-to-reel tape recorder and accessories