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Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Mapping the Underground/Alternative Press 1965-1975

by Katie Anastas and James Lewes

While the label "underground newspaper" was long used to describe the publications of resistance groups in totalitarian societies, it was repurposed in the mid 1960s by activists in the US and other countries who published radical and countercultural tabloid-format weeklies and monthlies. The interactive maps below show more than 2,600 underground, alternative, and other kinds of unorthodox publications from the decade between 1965 and 1975. Two observations jump out. First, it is clear that newspapers appeared in hundreds of communities, not just big cities and college towns, but also in many towns and medium-sized cities. Second, California hosted more than 400 publications, followed by New York with 306. The maps are hosted by Tableau Public and may take a few seconds to respond. If slow, refresh the page. Here are other maps and articles on Underground/Alternative Newspapers History and Geography 

Move between five maps and charts below

In Progress: We continue to seek additional data and are eager to correct errors. Please Help. If you know something about a periodical, please share it here.

Sources: Annotations (Baltimore, Md.: Alternative Press Centre, 1996). James Lewes, Protest and Survive, Underground GI Newspapers during the Vietnam War (Wesport, Conn.: Praeger, 2003) and GI Press Collection. Roger Lewis, Outlaws of America: The Underground press and Its Context (London: Heinrich Hanau, 1972). Robert H.Muller, From Radical Left to Extreme Right: Current Periodicals of Protest, Controversy, or Dissent (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Campus Publishers, 1976, 1970 and 1974 editions). The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives 1960 – 1974 (Alexander Street Press, 2016). Underground Press Collection: A Guide to the Microfilm Collection (Ann Arbor, Mich. (Hoover Institution, 1988). University of Oregon Underground Press Directory. University of Washington Underground Press Directory. Ken Wachsberger,.Insider Histories of the Vietnam War Underground Press (East Lansing, Mich.: Michigan State University Press, Parts 1 & 2, 2011 and 2012). Independent Voices: An Open Action Collection of an Alternative Press .

Methods note: The categories assigned to newspapers are meant to be helpful but often overlap and certainly are not definitive. "Alternative" is the default. The label "underground" is reserved for those known to have subscribed to the Underground Press Service or which used that term in their own labeling and publicity.

Research and data compilation: Katie Anastas.

Special thanks to Dr. James Lewes who supplied several hundred entries from the GI Press Collection and offered corrections on many other entries.

Maps: James Gregory

Additional underground press maps and charts

Click to see database
Database of 2,621 periodicals 1965-1975

This sortable database shows publications by state, city, type, and circulation level.