In the early 1970s, the Northwestern student collective Amazingrace gained prominence in American counterculture, hosting edgy and subversive musical, comedy, and literary talents who later came to wider mainstream fame, including the Grateful Dead, Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Charles Mingus, Ry Cooder, Steve Goodman, Keith Jarrett, Charles Bukowski, Diane di Prima, Robert Coover, Steve Martin, and many, many others.
Northwestern University Library aspires to become the premier repository of materials from the Amazingrace Collective and to make them available to scholars researching U.S. cultural history and popular music of the 1960s and 1970s. This effort will enhance the University's teaching mission by highlighting a record of the achievements of a student group that won national renown.
To complement our existing collection —the materials already held by University Archives include publicity posters, handbills, clippings, business records, and correspondence—the University Archives is hoping that alumni and friends who have kept additional posters, photographs, personal papers (e.g., diaries and journals), and other memorabilia documenting a unique era in American—and Northwestern—history will consider donating them for preservation.
This year, the Library will publish an illustrated book and organize an exhibition of notable Amazingrace artifacts as part of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the collective.