Grateful Dead Archive Analysis

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For this assignment I chose to use the Grateful Dead Archive. It is a extensive online archive featuring over forty-five thousand digital pieces relating to the band. With this archive, the user can access images, papers, recordings, and other memorabilia related to the Grateful Dead. It is an archive that is user generated, meaning that the contributors are people with items that they want to share and will upload images, copies, or audio recordings onto the site. To begin, the archive is set up in a user-friendly way that allows the person accessing it to navigate through the collection with ease. When accessing the site, there is a option bar located at the top center of the web page which has five categories: Shows, Milestones, Artists,…show more content…
It provides digital copies of photos and concert posters from most of the artists that the band hired to shoot and design for them. It provides a look into what their shows were like and how the band changed over time. One of the photographers, Herb Greene, has an extensive collection of photographs of the members of the Grateful Dead. Greene was one of the main photographers for the band and has over one hundred and fifty images currently in the archive. One of these pictures is a headshot of Jerry Garcia, the band’s leader, which was used for a cover of Rolling Stone magazine in September of 1995. It is a close up image, containing Garcia from the neck up, and was more than likely used because of his death in August of the same year. Overall, the photographs and posters as well as other images help to showcase the band as well as their influence. The concert posters are an insight into their laid-back, psychedelic music style. It is an important part of this archive and is one of the more enticing sections because the images can tell a story of the life of the…show more content…
This is one of the more unique sections of the archive because it is comprised of drawings, decorated envelopes, and concert tickets. The Grateful Dead have several symbols associated with their band, and it is in this section that they become widely recognizable. One of the most recognizable symbols is the skull from the album “Steal Your Face”. This image can be found all throughout the fan art section of the archive. It is a skull with a large section on top of the head above the facial features. In this section, the right side is colored blue and the left colored red, while the two sides are divided by a white lightning bolt. It is a distinct image that is widely recognized for its relation to the Grateful Dead. The band has other symbols as well. They include a skull and roses, dancing bears, an Uncle Sam skeleton, dancing terrapins, and a jester. These images can be seen in a large amount of the fan art that has been submitted and is often accompanied by song lyrics or larger images. A majority of the images feature colorful, psychedelic images that adhere to the Grateful Dead’s nature of being associated with things such as LSD. This section of the archive is useful because it can help the reader to see that the band had a large, dedicated following who wanted to share their
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