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Special Collections & Archives at UCSC

news on exhibits, publications, and events featuring our collections

From UC Santa Cruz's Regional History Project, Seeds of Something Different: An Oral History of the University of California, Santa Cruz. This masterful two-volume history weaves together first-person accounts of the campus's evolution, from the origins of an audacious dream through the sea changes of five decades. With more than 200 voices and a trove of archival images from Special Collections & Archives!

Explore SEEDS!

Get your copy:

Sign the SEEDS Guest Book

Support the Regional History Project - Thank you!


Previous Events and Coverage:

The Santa Cruz Sentinel showcases the beginnings of UC Santa Cruz with SEEDS in a gallery of images in its August 5th issue. 

Sam Whiting explores the artistry and history within SEEDS for the June 8th San Francisco Chronicle: "Ansel Adams, Campus Photographer, Featured in New Book on UC Santa Cruz"

Did you miss any part of the Summer 2020 series UC Santa Cruz: A History of Creativity & Change? Each event in this six-part series, featuring the editors of SEEDS alongside prominent UCSC faculty and staff commentators, was recorded and can now be viewed online. With gratitude to co-sponsors the UCSC Alumni Association and the UCSC University Library. 

Cameron Vanderscoff appeared on KSQD's The Cutting Edge with Nada Miljkovic on June 14th. Listen to his interview.

Alessia Cecchet (Graduate Student, Dept. of Film and Digital Media) presented at UCSC's Digital Scholarship Research Symposium on her two-year project to create a digital exhibit that serves as both a companion to SEEDS and a gateway to the University Archives. Watch her presentation!


SEEDS prevailed in spite of a pandemic, and a second printing is in the works! Read more in the University Library's Spring 2020 Newsletter.


"The editors have shown great skill in taking pieces of the oral histories and putting them together to make a compelling and highly readable narrative." - Barry Bowman, UCSC Emeriti Association Newsletter, April 2020 (read the entire review here)


Irene Reti made a special presentation about SEEDS at the May 9th virtual gathering of Researchers Anonymous, an ongoing program for people interested in researching, writing, reading, and sharing the history of Santa Cruz County, California. 


undefinedSarah Rabkin shared excerpts from SEEDS about Ken Norris and early UCSC natural history during the Kenneth S. Norris Center's Shelter in Nature Spring 2020 Virtual Symposium on May 7th. Watch the recorded event here.

Talking SEEDS on KSQD Community Radio: Irene Reti was interviewed by Wallace Baine on May 7th. Listen to her interview here.

New Book Reveals Every Secret and Mystery of UCSC's History (Reddit, 4/28/2020)

Watch this mini-documentary featuring Irene Reti, co-editor of SEEDS and director of UCSC's Regional History Project.

Listen to the recording from the April 10th Virtual Reading and Book Launch Party, organized by the wonderful Jory Post and sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz, Phren-Z magazine, and the Hive Poetry Collective.

Co-editor Cameron Vanderscoff talks about SEEDS with Richard Eeds on Santa Fe's Talk KTRC 1260! Listen to his series of interviews about SEEDS: March 26th (22 minutes) and April 7th (34 minutes); and his return interview on June 3 (23 minutes) which covers SEEDS as well as COVID-19 and protests happening now in New York City.


“Archival Research as Penance”: The Papers and Library of Hayden V. White

Archival Research as Penance1 November 2019 - 22 May 2020

Location: Special Collections & Archives Reading Room, McHenry Library - 3rd Floor

Drawing on Hayden White’s newly available archive, this exhibit traces various sites of his intellectual work, teaching, and activism. Materials document his foundational role in building UC Santa Cruz’s pathbreaking History of Consciousness program, his powerful challenges to prevailing ideas of historical interpretation, and his part in a landmark legal ruling in favor of the civil rights of students in the United States which he regarded as one of his proudest accomplishments. In mapping the times and spaces where White elaborated his ideas, Archival Research as Penance invites others to think with him. 
Curated by Christian Alvarado and Patrick King, 2019-2020 Fellows in the Elisabeth Remak-Honnef Center for Archival Research and Training.
Special Collections & Archives is grateful to Margaret Brose, whose generous donation of Hayden White’s archive to the University Library has made this exhibit possible.
Thanks also go to The Humanities Institute for its support of fellowships in the Elisabeth Remak-Honnef Center for Archival Research and Training.

When We Paint Our Masterpiece: The Art of the Grateful Dead Community


LOCATION: Dead Central, on the main level of McHenry Library

Any reference to the Grateful Dead, perhaps the world’s most iconic improvisational band, can easily conjure images in one’s mind of psychedelic tie-dyed clothes, dancing bears, and rose-garlanded skeletons. But just as they defied expectations with their music, the band also inspired in their listeners a diverse visual landscape in response to their songs. 

The creative works presented in When We Paint Our Masterpiece, drawn from the Grateful Dead Archive, reveal a richly envisioned and varied world of design practices, international traditions, visual icons, and art forms. Sent to the band from around the world, these works document the blossoming of a transnational community of Dead Heads even in countries where the band never toured, like Japan. 
This artwork also reveals the deep affection that the band and its staff—who curated the collection piece by piece—had for Dead Heads’ unique and broadly conceived notions of what Grateful Dead-related art could and should be. Pencil sketches, abstract works, portraits, and screenprints share space with sculptures in paper and metal. Repurposed found objects as well as comic art and drawings inspired by the English Arts & Crafts movement a century ago all have a place here. The Grateful Dead’s universe made space for all of these patterns and images.  
These works, considered collectively, offer a powerful example of the possibilities of fan culture. Collaboratively created, expanded, and improvised for over half a century, the art of the Grateful Dead fan community remains vibrant today. Dead Head artists like Miki Saito and others continue to make new art, and as stewards of the Grateful Dead Archive, we “hang it up and see what tomorrow brings,” as Robert Hunter counseled so long ago. 


(card sent to the Grateful Dead from Dead Heads Japan, with art by Miki Saito)