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Independent Voices

Reveal Digital’s Independent Voices is a collection of alternative press periodicals published during the tumultuous and transitional 1960s, 70s and 80s. The collection provides students and researchers access to primary source
content that documents the roots of societal changes that continue to shape our
culture today.

Independent Voices is composed of seven series that align with the major social movements of the time. 

The GI Underground Press Series was developed in collaboration with the GI Press Project. It is the most comprehensive collection of digitized GI underground newspapers and newsletters ever compiled. Adding to the value of the series is its placement in the context of the hundreds of other underground press publications published during the same period. GI underground publications could be found on military bases, in coffeehouses, and in other places where GI’s gathered in the U.S. and around the world in every branch of the military. The GI underground press covered many topics, including military indoctrination, seemingly arbitrary rules and regulations, racism, sexism, the bounds of power and authority, legitimacy of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, the military as an institution, and the definition of “enemy.” The content was creative and diverse. In addition to news articles and editorials, publications included fiction, poetry, cartoons, letters to the editor, and more.

Throughout the twentieth century, literary magazines were a primary means for sharing new writing and forming literary communities. “Little magazines,” as they are often called, were usually noncommercial in nature and often committed to certain literary ideals. Nearly every literary movement of the 1950s to 1980s began or evolved in the pages of these magazines. Focusing primarily on poetry but also including fiction and criticism, this collection reflects many often-overlapping groups and communities, including writers and editors affiliated with the Beat Generation, the Black Arts Movement, Black Mountain, the Deep Image movement, the New York School, San Francisco Renaissance, Surrealism, visual and concrete poetries, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, and the Kootenay School of Writing.

Underground, alternative, and literary newspapers and magazines from the fifties through the eighties were everywhere. They were in urban, suburban, rural, ghetto, barrio, tribal, and other communities in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. Reveal Digital’s Independent Voices is the most extensive digital collection of these historic publications that has ever been conceptualized and created. The Campus Underground series includes publications that originated from college and university campuses and surrounding communities. Whether laid out in traditional black and white straight columns or full-color psychedelic, the publications in this collection provide a vivid mosaic of the times.

Two of Independent Voices most important series are the Feminist Periodicals and LGBT Periodicals. Sourced largely from Duke University’s Sallie Bingham Center and Northwestern University’s Deering Library, these closely related series include cover-to-cover complete runs of over 120 women’s papers. These publications sparked the women’s movement in the fifties and early sixties and propelled the second wave of feminism in the late sixties and early seventies. Groups represented by these publications include the Redstockings, New York Radical Women, Daughters of Bilitis, Chicago Women’s Liberation Union, The Furies, Third World Women’s Alliance and many others.


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January 17, 2017


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