What are alternative and underground press publications?
The BPCL's Alternative and Underground Press Collection currently contains more than 250 radical, anti-establishment, and counterculture serial titles (nearly 2,000 issues), ranging in dates from 1950 to 1989. These primary research materials are excellent resources for examining the social and cultural history of the 1960s, 1970s, and subsequent decades. To facilitate the use of this collection, this guide roughly categories these newspapers by subject to provide you with a starting point for your research. These are not hard and fast subjects, though, as many papers cover more than one subject area.
The subject categories that follow are not definitive, so you may need to try related headings to find the resources for which you are looking. The subject headings have been taken from Alternatives in print. For coverage of specific news events from the time period, the best sources are the Los Angeles Free Press , Berkeley Barb , Berkeley Tribe , and Michigan Free Press , as they follow the “typical” newspaper journalism style most closely.
Box 52 of the BPCL's Alternative and Underground Press Collection contains supplemental materials that may be of interest to you, including information on the Underground Press Syndicate.
How to Use These Resources in the BPCL
- Our hours are more limited than the main floor, but we're open late on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
- We're an archive/repository, so most of our materials cannot be checked out.
- Most of our collection is not open for browsing. You need to request materials at our reference desk with your university ID or a photo ID. You will also need to fill out a request form.
- The reference collection is open for browsing! It's the best place to get started with popular culture research.
- We have a copier available for copying materials that cannot be checked out - you just need a BG1 card. A scanner is also available, but at no charge.