Experts on Andy Warhol and Grateful Dead Collections Help iSchool Students “Keep it Weird” for Archives Week

Oct. 17, 2011

Event: In honor of American Archives Month, The University of Texas at Austin student chapter of the Society of American Archivists (SAA-UT) will host a series of events Oct. 24-29 inspired by Austin’s uniquely offbeat vibe.

“Curiouser and Curiouser: Exploring the Wonders that Keep Archives Weird” will survey the challenges of collecting and preserving 20th-century alternative American culture with symposia from professionals who work with the historic records of Andy Warhol and the Grateful Dead. There will also be a workshop to help others preserve their own unique stories. All events are free and open to the public.

When/Where:  7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 24: Marie Elia, project cataloger at the Andy Warhol Museum, will speak at the UT Student Activities Center North Ballroom, 2201 Speedway. The keystone of the Warhol archives is Time Capsules, a serial work that spans the last 30 years of Warhol’s life. It consists of more than 600 boxes the artist filled, sealed and put into storage in an attempt to manage the unique materials that passed through his life. Elia will speak on her work cataloging these materials and making the information accessible to the public.

When/Where: 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27: Nicholas Meriwether, archivist for the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California-Santa Cruz, will speak at the UT Student Activities Center North Ballroom. The Grateful Dead archive documents the band’s creative activity and influence in contemporary music history from 1965 to 1995, including the phenomena of the deadheads – the band’s extensive network of devoted fans – and the band’s highly unusual and successful musical business ventures. Meriwether is working to process the immense amount of documents and artifacts in the collection and make it accessible to scholars and fans.

When/Where:  1–3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 29: SAA-UT and the Austin History Center are teaming up to offer an archives clinic at the Austin History Center, 810 Guadalupe St. The public can bring their personal materials to get advice on how to preserve stuck-together photographs, deteriorating letters, aging video and more. Experts will be on hand to assess materials and explain how to preserve them.

Background: SAA-UT, a graduate student organization at the university’s School of Information, has been organizing Archives Week events since 1999. The students celebrate archives week as a part of American Archives Month, a collaborative effort by professional organizations and repositories around the nation to highlight the importance of records of enduring value.

These events would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors: Hollinger Metal Edge, Inc.; Gaylord Brothers, Inc.; Atlas Systems, Inc.; the University Co-Op; and MAM-A, Inc.

For more information, contact: Amy Crossette, Office of the President, 512-573-1078; Carin Yavorcick, SAA-UT, 419-787-8146.