v. 1.1. Rev. 03/2021

Grateful Dead Studies adheres as closely as possible to the Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) with a very few exceptions for our house style, indicated here. We use the Chicago Author-Date system, which calls for in-text citations with a Works Cited list and minimal endnotes. Examples for the most common types of works are given here. Chicago allows for multiple ways to list recordings and some book editions and variants, depending on what authors wish to emphasize; if authors have compelling rationale for adhering to a specified variant, that is permissible. Discuss your reasoning with the editor.

Reference Authorities

We use the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., for general rules, supplemented by the 15th and 16th editions when necessary. Chicago is available online ( and offers free, thirty-day trial subscriptions and low-priced annual subscriptions. Note that the online version is often abbreviated and favors the endnotes/bibliography system over the author/date system used here.

For spelling, we use the Merriam-Webster dictionary, 2016 edition, available online (

Beyond what appears in Chicago, some basic conventions for musical terms and notation may be found in D. Kern Holoman, Writing About Music: A Style Sheet (3rd. edition, University of California Press, 2014). Do not use his reference and bibliography rules, many of which conflict with Chicago.

In-Text Citations

Chicago Author-Date style specifies that citations follow quotations. For in-line quotations, the final period follows the citation. For block text (indented) quotations, the period falls before the closing parenthesis.

In-Line Format

(Garcia, Reich, and Wenner 1972, 38).

(Boone 2007, 52).

Block Text Format

(Garcia, Reich, and Wenner 1972, 38.)

Multiple-Author Works Involving Four or More Authors

Chicago shortens in-text citations for works involving four or more authors to simply the first author’s last name followed by “et al.”

(McNally et al. 2013, 21).

Works Cited


Chicago treats abstracts like journal articles but adds the word “Abstract” after the title. Use page numbers or page ranges, as if indicating a chapter page range.

Roth, Julie. 2019. “‘New Ones Coming As Old Ones Go’: The British Romantic Era Revival in the American 1960s.” Abstract. In The Twenty-Second Annual Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus, edited by Nicholas G. Meriwether, 52–53. [Albuquerque, NM]: Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus.

Sohcot, Sandy. 2013. “The Rex Foundation and the Philanthropy of the Grateful Dead.” Abstract. In Studying the Dead: The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus, An Informal History, edited by Nicholas G. Meriwether, 281. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Archival Materials

Chicago allows for considerable leeway in citing manuscript materials in public repositories. In general, best practices call for as much information as is practicable to allow for verification. Repositories also may request a preferred citation format. Cite the collection first, including series (section or division), box number, and folder label; then the repository and finally the host institution.

Anonymous. 1979. Letter to the Grateful Dead. Grateful Dead Archive, Correspondence, Box 6, Folder 3: [1979]. University Library, Special Collections, University of California–Santa Cruz.

Articles, Periodical

Rogers, Robert E. 1913. “The Poems of Paul Mariett.” Harvard Monthly 56 (5): 147–52.

For online articles that do not have a date, Chicago specifies an “Accessed” date (15.50):

Wood, Brent. n.d. “The Musical Imagination of Phil Lesh: The Grateful Dead’s Difference Engine.” Popular Musicology Online 4. Accessed October 10, 2016.

Articles, Newspaper

GDS departs from Chicago for newspaper articles, adding page numbers or page ranges to your citations:

Van Soest, Eric. 1974. “Grateful Dead Will Perform Saturday in UCSB’s Stadium With New Sound.” UCSB Daily News (UC Santa Barbara), May 23, 1974: 8.

If the citation is to a clipping, every effort should be made to locate the original appearance, due to the fact that different editions of an issue could change the editing of a story or even whether it appears. If necessary, cite clippings as part of the collections in which they appear:

Lienkaemper, Linda. “Variety of Performers at Festival for Peace.” Pacific Sun (Stinson Beach, CA), October 21, 1966. Clipping. Regional Music Collection, Box 231, Folder 21, California Historical Society.

Blog Posts or Entries

If the blog has the word “blog” as part of its name, do not include “(blog)” in the citation. If the blog is a part of a larger publication, include that title as well.

Whenever possible, provide the author/creator. Pseudonyms need not be indicated; do not use “[pseud.]”

Treat blogs on as any other blog, and cite as the publisher.

Format: Author last name, First name. Year. “Post Title,” Blog Title (blog), Month Day, Year. URL. If there is no date, use “n.d.” and add an “Accessed” date at the end (see Articles, above).

Light Into Ashes. 2009.“December 1972,” Grateful Dead Guide (blog), December 24, 2009.

Lemieux, David. 2019. “July 29-August 4, 2019,” Taper’s Section (blog),, July 29, 2019.

Blog Comments (see also Online Comments)

Comments or replies are almost never listed in the Works Cited, only in the running text. If absolutely required, list by the comment author and use the date of the comment, not the date of the blog entry to which it refers. If a comment is untitled, the first few words may be used as the title. If there is no date, use “n.d.” and add an “Accessed” date at the end (see Articles, above).

Space Jogger. 2010. “Thanks For This!” Comment on “December 1972,” Grateful Dead Guide (blog), April 2, 2010.


Lesh, Phil. 2005. Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead. New York: Little, Brown.

Malvinni, David. 2013. Grateful Dead and the Art of Rock Improvisation. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Scott, John W., Mike Dolgushkin, and Stu Nixon. 1999. DeadBase: The Complete Guide to Grateful Dead Song Lists. 11th ed., Cornish, NH: DeadBase.


O’Donnell, Shaugn. 1999. “Space, Motion and Other Musical Metaphors.” In Perspectives on the Grateful Dead, edited by Robert G. Weiner, 127–35. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Conference Papers

Cite the conference, not the area (e.g., the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association, not the Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus), and the actual day the paper was presented, not the date range of the conference. If you specify the meeting (e.g., 21st Annual Meeting, etc.), do not spell out the number “twenty-first”: shorten to “21st”. Do not abbreviate the conference meeting name (i.e., Southwest Popular/American Association, not SWPCA). For conferences spanning multiple dates, specify the actual day the paper was given, not the conference date range.

Hill, Sarah. 2008. “The Sound of San Francisco? The Grateful Dead, Urban Hippies, and the Memory of the Sixties.” Paper presented at the 31st Annual Conference of the Southwest/Texas Popular/American Culture Association, Albuquerque, NM, February 15, 2008.

Note: The SWPACA is not a membership organization so its meetings are conferences, not meetings. For membership conferences, “Meeting” may be used instead, as appropriate:

Jewell, Katharine. 2019. “‘Indie’ Authenticity: Redefinitions of the Counterculture in the 1980s and 1990s.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Chicago, IL, January 5, 2019.

When citing a paper given at an independent conference, i.e. not associated with a regular meeting, capitalize the name but do not italicize or put quote marks around it and include the sponsoring institution:

Balter-Reitz, Susan. 2014. “‘Shall We Go?’ Visiting the Enshrined Grateful Dead.” Paper presented at So Many Roads: The World in the Grateful Dead, San José State University, San Jose, CA, November 7, 2014.


Spell out “dissertation.” Provide a Proquest number if one is available.

Kaler, Michael. 2014. “Ensemble Stuff: The Grateful Dead’s Development of Rock-Based Improvisational Practice and its Religious Inspiration.” Ph.D. dissertation, York University.


Marre, Jeremy, dir. 1997. The Grateful Dead—Anthem to Beauty. Rhino Home Video R3 2385, DVD.

Gast, Leon, dir. 2004. The Grateful Dead Movie. Monterey Video 319802, 2 DVDs.


Italicize the title. Include the venue, place, and date or date range, separated by an en dash.

Stallings, Tyler, and Chris Cole, curators. 1996. Dead on the Wall: Grateful Dead and Deadhead Iconography From Thirty Years on the Bus. Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, CA, June 29–September 1, 1996.

Interviews (unpublished)

GDS differs from Chicago in calling for author-conducted or otherwise unpublished interviews to be cited. Include date, interviewer, and place (the city and state), if conducted in person. If conducted via telephone, indicate that.

Garcia, Jerry. 1991. Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco, CA, February 21, 1991.

Kreutzmann, Bill. 2014. Telephone interview by Benjy Eisen, April 12, 2014.

Liner Notes

The term “liner notes” covers all accompanying texts for an audio-visual release, including track notes, essay booklet, program booklet, etc. Signed notes are cited by the author’s name. If the notes are titled, the title follows the author’s name.

Bear [Stanley, Owsley]. 2005. “Notes: On Sound, My Theories and My Techniques.” Liner notes for The Spectrum, September 21, 1972, by the Grateful Dead. Dick’s Picks 36. Grateful Dead Records DECD295, 4 compact discs.

Jackson, Blair. 1999. “On the Selection Process.” Liner notes for So Many Roads (1965–1995), by the Grateful Dead, 51–53. Arista GDCD 4066, 5 compact discs.

Silberman, Steve. 2008. “Counting Stars by Candlelight.” Liner notes for October ’77, by the Grateful Dead. Road Trips Vol. 1, no. 2. Grateful Dead Productions GRA2 6002, 2 compact discs.

Older LP releases often provide no identifying information for liner notes. If no author or title has been provided, GDS departs from Chicago and uses the following style, which provides greater clarity:

Anonymous. 1960. Liner notes for Change of the Century, by Ornette Coleman. Atlantic SAD 1327, LP.

Musical Transcriptions

Garcia, Jerry and Robert Hunter. 2005. “Help on the Way.” In Garcia/Hunter Songs: Songs of the Grateful Dead, transcribed by Hemme Luttjeboer, 94–95. Los Angeles: Alfred Publishing.

Note: if the original date of the composition is required, that may be added at the end: “Originally published 1976.” The date of publication should be its first appearance as a recording, not as a transcription.

Online Comments

Comments or replies are usually not listed in the Works Cited, only in the text. If required, list by the comment author and the date of the comment, not the date of the article to which it refers. If a comment is untitled, the first few words may be used as the title; if that is a fragment, end in ellipses. The article should have its own entry; in the rare circumstance that it does not, cite it as a regular online article.

Buettisman. 2019. “Who Else Blazed …” Comment on Boylan 2019.

Full citation:

Buettisman. 2019. “Who Else Blazed …” Comment on Jennifer Finney Boylan, “The Brilliant Uncertainty of the Grateful Dead’s ‘Dark Star.’ New York Times, February 27, 2019.


Chicago provides several variants for citing recordings; see 14.263–265 (17th ed.). In general, brevity is preferable to expansiveness; do not provide detail unless required for clarity.

Grateful Dead. 1968. Anthem of the Sun. Warner Bros. WS 1749, LP.


Grateful Dead. 2019. Anthem of the Sun. Expanded ed., Rhino cat no, 2 compact discs. Originally released 1968.

Specific Issues with Grateful Dead Live Recordings

The Dead’s recordings present several cataloging challenges, summarized here. Specific examples for each series appears below.

Catalog numbers: omit hyphens and use spaces instead (i.e., GRA2 6005, not GRA2-6005); for catalog numbers without hyphens or spaces, reproduce exactly: DECD295.

Record labels: Do not specify more than one record company (ie, Grateful Dead Records/Rhino, or Grateful Dead/Arista), unless the release is on one label but distributed by another:

Grateful Dead. 1995. Hundred Year Hall. Grateful Dead Records/Arista GDCD 40202, 2 compact discs.

When Rhino took over, Vault releases were on their label:

Grateful Dead. 2011. Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings. Rhino GRA2 6023, 73 compact discs.

Consult the physical object to be sure. The Wikipedia page for “Grateful Dead Discography” lists all live releases; it does not differentiate between Grateful Dead Productions and Grateful Dead Records but otherwise is accurate (

Chicago specifies that series be treated in a way that privileges the historical recording. When dates are abbreviated, spell them out:

Grateful Dead. 2005. The Spectrum, September 21, 1972. Dick’s Picks 36. Grateful Dead Records DECD295, 4 compact discs.

When a recording title is a specific name (often because it spans multiple dates and/or venues), use that. The series title and number follow the title and are not italicized.

Grateful Dead. 2008. MSG September ’90. Road Trips Vol. 2, no. 1. Grateful Dead Productions GRA2 6005, 2 compact discs.

Grateful Dead Recording Series

Dave’s Picks (2012–present)

Continuing. As of July 2020, there have been 35 releases. All have been released by Rhino.

Bonus Discs

These are annual, included for subscribers.

Dick’s Picks (1993–2005)

35 numbered releases. Earlier releases are on Grateful Dead Records; later volumes are on Grateful Dead Productions.

Download Series

12 releases, 2005–2006. Rereleased in 2010 by Rhino. No catalog numbers. Spell out dates and specify file type and extent.

Grateful Dead. 2005. Palladium, New York, NY, April 30, 1977. Download Series Vol. 1. FLAC file format, 3 compact discs.

Road Trips (2007–2011)

Seventeen releases. The label switched for the last two releases from Grateful Dead Productions to Rhino. Many of these have been rereleased by RealGone

Vol. 1, No. 1 – Vol. 4, No. 1: Grateful Dead Productions.

Vol. 4, no.1 – Vol. 4, No. 5 (final release): Rhino.

Road Trips Bonus Discs

For several early individual releases and later, for full years, bonus discs were included for subscribers. Treat the bonus disc as an entry in a series. Titles should be by place and date, where appropriate:

Grateful Dead. 2011. Cleveland Public Auditorium, Cleveland, OH, December 6, 1973. Road Trips Bonus Disc 2011. Rhino PRCD 52701R, compact disc.

Early Road Trips bonus discs pose additional cataloging problems: for example, the bonus disc for Vol. 1, No. 2 uses the same catalog number as the release. In these situations, treat the bonus disc as an extension of the actual release:

Grateful Dead. 2011. October ’77. Road Trips Bonus Disc 2011. Grateful Dead Productions GRA2 6002, compact disc.

Vault Series

3 releases.

View From the Vault Series

4 releases.

Live Recordings on Internet Archive

Recordings on Internet Archive should be treated as unreleased recordings.  Use the title supplied by Internet Archive. Do not repeat the band name in the title. Note that early recordings (especially those labeled as 1965 or Acid Test performances) are often mislabeled; use—and cite—with care.

Grateful Dead. 1966. “Live at Carthay Studios on 1966-03-19.” Internet Archive,

If the taper needs to be identified, that can be added:

Grateful Dead. 1991. “Live at Boston Garden on 1991-09-20.” Recorded by James Young et al. Internet Archive,

Single Songs On An Album

The original release date should be specified after the band name, as long as the actual release date follows the album title:

Grateful Dead. 1969. “Doin’ That Rag.” On Aoxomoxoa. Warner Bros. R2 74401 D, 2001, compact disc.


For named sites, supply both the name and the URL. Chicago’s author-date citation style does not require adding the date the site was consulted (i.e., “Accessed Sept. 17, 2019.”). (not

Many sites host or point to live and unreleased Grateful Dead recordings; do not cite any sites that are not publicly accessible. Only cite host sites; do not cite mirror sites: concert recordings at, for example, only point to the Internet Archive.