On April 3rd, 2000, the psychedelic bard Terence McKenna departed the material realm. Despite leaving us far too early, aged just 53 at the time of his passing, McKenna left behind a massive body of work – most notably in spoken word lectures and discussions, but also in book/text form and documentary appearances – with no small number of brilliant insights and profound observations.
It is obviously extremely important that McKenna’s large body of work not disappear or be forgotten by future generations. As such, researcher Kevin Whitesides created The Terence McKenna Archives – a multi-pronged effort to “collect, digitize, transcribe, store, and preserve the imprint of Terence McKenna’s presence from his birth in 1946 to his death in 2000 as well as the persistence of his influence into the present”, in a single archive.
The archiving work consists of five sub-projects: collection of material; transcription of all of Terence McKenna’s 500+ hours of audio/video material into a searchable database; interviews with family, acquaintances, and any person suitably inspired or influenced by Terence McKenna; construction of TerenceMcKenna.com; and groundwork on potential future publications, such as a comprehensive biography of Terence McKenna.
Whitesides’ work on the Terence McKenna Archives comes with a seal of approval from McKenna’s family, and acquaintances such as Erik Davis:
The work of Terence McKenna is both vital and unruly, excessive and fragmented across a myriad of media formats. Organizing this work into an archive requires a genuine scholar who is careful, tireless, and a bit mad. Luckily, Kevin Whitesides has taken up the enormous task. I have a great deal of respect for Kevin and his different archival projects, which will help ensure that minds not yet born are blown. I know Terence would be pleased as punch.
The Terence McKenna Archives is now looking for financial help from the community – so if you feel Terence’s legacy deserves preserving, now would be a good time to chip in over at GoFundMe. I’m sure any amount will be greatly appreciated.