Grateful Dead

AP Photo/Kristy McDonald

Jerry Garcia can rest assured knowing that this is a match made in heaven.

The late Grateful Dead rocker's former bandmates, Bob Weir and Mickey Hart, announced Thursday they will be donating the group's extensive archives to the University of California at Santa Cruz, a town famous for its easygoing vibe, liberal politics and—so as people don't confuse it with Berkeley—its tolerance of public nudity (not allowed on campus since 1997, however).

The massive stash of memorabilia, documenting the band's journey from its Haight Ashbury-influenced inception in 1965 to the present, will be housed within the University Library's Special Collections, in an area to be specially designated "Dead Central."

"We looked around, and UC Santa Cruz seems the best possible home," Weir said at a press conference at the famed Fillmore Auditorium—one of the Dead's old haunts—in San Francisco. "If you ever wrote the Grateful Dead a letter, you’ll probably find it there!"

If you were to thumb through—or, considering all the loot, shovel through—the treasure trove, you'll find, aside from the aforementioned collection of fan mail and gifts the band received over the years, everything from never-before-seen photographs and unreleased videos of interviews and TV appearances to promo items like posters and T-shirts to entire stage backdrops from live performances.

"It will provide extraordinary opportunities for researchers and the public to examine the music of one of the most influential bands in history, as well as explore the cultural phenomenon of Deadheads—the most dedicated and celebrated fans in music," said Christine Bunting, head of the university's Special Collections.

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