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Grateful Dead Records: Business Records
MS.332.Ser. 2  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access Restrictions
  • Use Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Related Materials
  • Additional Grateful Dead Records Finding Aids

  • Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
    Title: Grateful Dead Records: Business Records
    Creator: Grateful Dead Productions
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.332.Ser. 2
    Physical Description: 131 Linear Feet 169 boxes, 1 map-case folder, 9 oversized items in rolling cart
    Date (inclusive): 1966-2011
    Date (bulk): 1970-1995
    Language of Material: English .

    Access Restrictions

    Collection is open for research.

    Use Restrictions

    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: Business Records. MS 332 Ser. 2. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Acquisition Information

    Gifts of Grateful Dead Productions; April 2008, 2012


    The Grateful Dead were an American rock band that formed in 1965 in Northern California who 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.

    Administrative History

    In the early 1970s, the members of the Grateful Dead formed the organization Grateful Dead Productions, Inc. The band's publishing enterprise, Ice Nine Publishing Company, Inc., was formed in 1970 in order to license musical compositions by the band, and Grateful Dead Merchandising was formed to oversee merchandise sales and licensing. Two independent record labels, Grateful Dead Records and Round Records, were created by the band members in 1973 in order to gain more creative control over the production and distribution of albums by group and solo projects, respectively. These two labels disbanded after the band signed with Arista Records in the mid-1970s. In 1997, Grateful Dead Merchandising merged with Grateful Dead Productions, which continues to oversee the band's merchandising and album distribution.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This series contains materials pertaining to the business practices of the Grateful Dead. It includes financial and accounting documents, and documentation from the production and promotion of various Grateful Dead projects including album production, merchandise sales, and publications. The Grateful Dead Records and Round Records companies are represented in financial records and production documents for various album projects, including those recorded by groups associated with the Grateful Dead. Ice Nine Publishing materials include songbooks, correspondence, royalty information, contracts, copyright registrations and early lyric drafts from the Grateful Dead's publishing enterprise. Business correspondence, materials related to the running of the office, and legal documents and correspondence are included, as well as materials related to the band's relationship and interactions with their fans (Deadheads). Telephone equipment and scripts from the band's ticket hotline are also included.


    This collection is arranged in eleven series:
    • Series 1: General
    • Series 2: Production and Promotion
    • Series 3: Financial and Accounting
    • Series 4: Ice Nine Publishing
    • Series 5: Correspondence
    • Series 6: Deadheads
    • Series 7: Legal
    • Series 8: Office
    • Series 9: Terrapin Station
    • Series 10: Dick's Picks
    • Series 11: Hotline
    Materials within each series are arranged chronologically by date created, unless otherwise specified.

    Processing Information

    An initial finding aid was published in 2011 by Nicholas Meriwether, Maureen Carey, Debra Roussopoulos, and Mathew Simpson, and revised in 2017-2018 by Alix Norton, Gabriel Mindel, and Alessia Cecchet in the Center for Archival Research and Training (CART).

    Related Materials

    Related materials can be found in the following cataloged items:
    • Dead Heads Newsletter (Call number ML421.G72 D38)
    • Grateful Dead Almanac (Call number ML421.G72 G66)

    Additional Grateful Dead Records Finding Aids

    1. Series 1: History  
    2. Series 3: Show Files  
    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)
    Liquid Blue (Firm)