Infused with counterculture values since its founding in 1965, decades later UC Santa Cruz is a trusted partner in preserving the norm-bending underground cultures of the ’60s and ’70s. In its best-known gift, members of the Grateful Dead gave memorabilia from the band‘s heyday to the University Library. “We looked around, and UC Santa Cruz seems the best possible home,” band member Bob Weir said “If you ever wrote the Grateful Dead a letter, you’ll probably find it [in the archive]!” Other donors were inspired to support curation of the band‘s gift and a display room, Dead Central. In what became the largest single gift in campus history, the library was selected to house the Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch Photography Collection, including more than 12,000 photographs documenting the people, landscape, and politics of California in the mid-20th century. The archive contains the work of Jones and Baruch, and select prints from collaborators Dorothea Lange, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, and Minor White. An exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love highlights work from both collections—it is open to the public at McHenry Library’s Dead Central through June 2018. Donors also gave two other archival gifts, one documenting new music forms and the other comic books of the ’60s and ’70s, to the library. The acclaimed San Francisco–based nonprofit Other Minds—dedicated to the promotion of new and experimental music—donated its multi- decade archive. And, from the “Silver Age” of comic book art came a private collection of superhero Marvel comics, including the Black Panther, introduced in 1966. A library exhibit curated by three doctoral students explored the connection between the Black Panther superhero and the Black Panther Party—the subject of iconic photos taken by Ruth-Marion Baruch.
Key support provided by the Grateful Dead, Marin County Foundation, Other Minds, Jim Gunderson (Rachel Carson, ’77, philosophy), and Peter Coha (Kresge, ’78, mathematics).