I’ve never been a deadhead. But, I really appreciate the care and consideration that has gone into creating the online presence for the University of California Santa Cruz’s Grateful Dead archive. In my opinion, this is a superb example of taking a collection with high pop culture value and effectively marketing it in a manner that is appealing and appropriate to the target market or target researcher/spinning hippy.
The collection is still being processed, and in fact, the job posting for an archivist last year was so newsworthy that there was a segment on NPR about it. In the meantime, UCSC has a lovely website as central command and is rolling out pieces of the collection as processing takes place.
And, a collection of items on such a popular topic is likely to draw the attention of many people previously unaware of the UCSC special collections offerings. It really makes you think about other pop culture items that may be sitting around in some guy’s attic and how archivists can inspire donations of these rare, valuable, useful and strategically promotional items.