UCSC Grateful Dead archivist reveals what’s behind locked doors and how he got there
Deep within an ultra-secret high-security room in UC Santa Cruz’s McHenry Library, Grateful Dead archivist Nicholas Meriwether patrols the inner sanctum of all things Dead—holding off the staggering collection from swallowing him whole.
So what’s behind closed doors?
One wall reveals the original artwork from the back of the band’s fourth studio album, Workingman’s Dead—beautiful charcoal drawings of the original Grateful Dead sextet. Endless boxes full of rare posters, concert tickets and laminates, hundreds of miles of business receipts, every book ever written on or mentioning the Grateful Dead, furniture from the headquarters of the band’s business office in San Rafael. Fans have contributed painted jackets, original blotter art and an army of dancing bears that bulge the seams of a jam-packed chamber that holds only 2 percent of the entire collection.