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Grateful Dead Records: Show Files
MS.332.Ser. 3  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Related Materials
  • Additional Grateful Dead Records Finding Aids

  • Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
    Title: Grateful Dead Records: Show Files
    Creator: Grateful Dead Productions
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.332.Ser. 3
    Physical Description: 95.6 Linear Feet 214 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1965-2005
    Language of Material: English .


    This collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright for the items in this collection is owned by the creators and their heirs. Reproduction or distribution of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the copyright owner. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether a use is fair use, and to obtain any necessary permissions. For more information see UCSC Special Collections and Archives policy on Reproduction and Use.

    Preferred Citation

    Grateful Dead Records: Show Files. MS 332 Ser. 3. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Acquisition Information

    Gifts of Grateful Dead Productions; April 2008, 2012. Accession 2022.031 files from 1972-1979 compiled by Noteworthy Enterprises, preserved and donated by Sue Stephens, 2022.


    The Grateful Dead were an American rock band that formed in 1965 in Northern California. They came to fame as part of author Ken Kesey's Acid Tests, a series of multimedia happenings centered around then-legal LSD. Famed for their concerts, the band performed more than 2,300 shows over thirty years, disbanding after the death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia in August 1995. Although their only Top 10 hit, "Touch of Grey," charted in 1987, their popularity was based on concerts, and in their last decade they consistently placed in the top five tours every year. Known for the range of their repertoire and the caliber of their compositions, the Dead's songbook has been covered by a wide range of other musicians, from Bob Dylan to Jane's Addiction. They released thirteen studio albums and nine contemporary live albums during their career, and more than 100 live releases since then. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection contains various materials documenting concerts performed by the Grateful Dead, as well as some show materials from solo and side projects with members of the Grateful Dead such as the Jerry Garcia Band, RatDog, Kingfish, Phil Lesh and Friends, and the Other Ones. Included are show contracts and production information, tour itineraries and planning documents, information sheets for Deadheads, hotline scripts, backstage passes, tickets & laminate lists, crew instructions, general venue information, and thank you notes from fans. Not all performances are represented.


    This collection is arranged in five series:
    • Series 1: Grateful Dead concert files
    • Series 2: Solo and side project concert files
    • Series 3: Venue files
    • Series 4: General show files
    • Series 5: Accession 2022.031: Addition to Grateful Dead Records: Show Files
    Materials within each series are arranged chronologically by date, unless otherwise specified.

    Processing Information

    Initial processing was completed in 2011 by Nicholas Meriwether, Maureen Carey, and the OAC processing unit. Additional processing was done in 2017-2018 by Alessia Cecchet and Gabriel Mindel in the Center for Archival Research and Training (CART) under the direction of Alix Norton. The 2012 accrual of materials was processed and integrated by Alix Norton and student assistant Becca Rapp in 2018-2019, with the finding aid finalized and published in 2019. The Accession 2022.031 addition was processed by Alix Norton and student assistant Rachel Ledeboer in 2022.

    Related Materials

    Related materials can be found in the following cataloged items and collections:
    • Access all areas: backstage with the Grateful Dead, by Timothy Harris and Gary Lambert, 1998. (Call number ML421.G72 H37 1998)
    • A long strange trip : the inside history of the Grateful Dead, by Dennis McNally, 2003. (Call number ML421.G72 M36 2003)
    • MS 388 Grateful Dead Ticket Sales records

    Additional Grateful Dead Records Finding Aids

    1. Series 1: History  
    2. Series 2: Business  
    3. Series 4: Press  
    4. Series 5: Correspondence  
    5. Series 6: Photographs  
    6. Series 7: Media  
    7. Series 8: Posters  
    8. Series 9: Artwork  
    9. Series 10: Realia  
    10. Series 11: Decorated Envelopes  
    11. Series 12: Back Stage Passes, Tickets & Laminates  

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Concert tours
    Deadheads (Music Fans)
    Grateful Dead Productions
    Grateful Dead (Musical group)