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Go Slugs!

August 20, 2008

Comes the news from my alma mater, the University of California at Santa Cruz, that the Grateful Dead has donated their complete archives to the University Library’s Special Collections. Believe me, this item made front page, above-the-fold news in the alumni newsletter. The Chancellor commented: “UC Santa Cruz is honored to receive this invaluable gift. The Grateful Dead and UC Santa Cruz are both highly innovative institutions, born the same year [1965]…” What is going to happen to this collection? Researchers will use it to study music and popular culture of the twentieth century. It’s a significant gift and quite a coup for UCSC.

The campus is also known for its mascot, the Banana Slug, which made ESPN’s top ten list of best college nicknames. It seems that when UCSC decided to start competing in NCAA Division III, the administration tried to change the unofficial name to Sea Lions. The students of course protested, and the Banana Slug prevailed.

So here’s my point. Getting back to the Grateful Dead, we learn that all kinds of people have archival material in their possession, that the late twentieth century is now a legitimate field for historical research, and that sometimes scholars approach their work with great glee. This is a scholarly community that understands the joy of the humanities and how they interface with our very personal lives.

Way to go, Slugs!

This entry was posted by: Nancy
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