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The Gratuitous Dead

The word is out and generating hoopla at the national level: UC Santa Cruz is looking for a full-time archivist for their Grateful Dead archive. So far the position, offering $52,000 to $68,000 a year for a Deadhead with a master’s degree in archive management, has produced media interest (and some jeers) from the Daily Show to the Wall Street Journal. The archive itself, while full of tripped out tidbits and stoney memorabilia, is in actuality no laughing matter, and was awarded $615,175 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to continue their work. The archive covers the now legendary band’s history from 1965 to 1995 and is comprised of thousands of pictures, documents, and other memorabilia, two-thirds of which were donated by the surviving members of the band in 2008. No one has yet been selected for the position (which will entail continuing the archive’s move onto the web, among other things), but whoever does get the job, with mockery at the national level and outright objection from taxpayers (although the job is not supported by taxpayer money) and students with ever-rising tuitions at the local level, is going to have their work cut out for them.

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