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Published: 2010/12/20

Sen. Tom Coburn Picks Grateful Dead Archive for "Wastebook 2010"

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has identified the University of California at Santa Cruz’s Grateful Dead Archive in his “Guide to some of the most wasteful government spending of 2010.” Coburn writes in his Wastebook 2010, “Grateful Dead chose a public institution to archive the band‘s memorabilia―because the whole idea of it being public and free was important to them, yet taxpayers are paying $615,000 to make the band‘s archives ―free and ―public. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded the University of California at Santa Cruz the federal funds to digitize Grateful Dead photographs, tickets, backstage passes, flyers, shirts, and other memorabilia.”

On Rachel Maddow’s blog, Laura Conaway responds, “Sen. Coburn has picked a classic culture war target. The Grateful Dead and their buckets of hallucinogens, etc., can be counted on to divide opinion, should anyone actually notice Mr. Coburn’s Wastebook. And the $615,000 wouldn’t amount to single ray of very groovy light from even one note of Jerry Garcia’s best ever version of Dark Star. It’s purely symbolism. Change the channel.”

For our recent interview with archivist Nicholas Meriwether, please click here.

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