Jim Watson, AFP Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart is wanted by police…
- Posted on Dec 22nd 2010 3:02AM by Benjy Eisen
Richard E. Aarons, Redferns
But, in the end, their legacy might just be a big waste of taxpayers time and money, according to Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) who listed the public Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California-Santa Cruz's library as the government's fourth most wasteful spending project of 2010. In his 85-page report entitled 'Wastebook 2010,' the Republican Senator from Oklahoma states that the late Garcia likely has a net worth of $40 million, yet the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences awarded the university $615,000 to create a free, public archive that details the band's history. The archive is now in the process of digitally chronicling everything from performance contracts and business documents to personal journals and other revealing artifacts.
UCSC librarian Virginia Steel defends the archive in an article published by the Calgary Herald this week. "There is a lot of scholarly interest in the Grateful Dead, whether it's studying the significant role that they played in our culture and society, or their management and how they ran the business," she argues.
That said, Steel also points out that the ultimate goal of the project is to establish new archival practices in the digital realm and the Dead just happen to be ideal test subjects. "The digital archive will have significance in the way it changes how people can view the materials and interact with them," she tells the Herald. In other words, long after they played their last jam, the Grateful Dead remain as experimental as ever.