underground press, dissent, banned books, government harrassment
underground press, first amendment

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Voices from the Underground: A Directory of Resources and Sources on the Vietnam Era Underground Press

When Voices from the Underground: A Directory of Resources and Sources on the Vietnam Era Underground Press (volume two of a two-volume set), edited by Ken Wachsberger, came out in 1993, it was considered the most important resource guide to the period on the strength of its three articles:

an annotated bibliography of books and articles on the underground press—

Although there never was a truly "underground" press during the Vietnam era, there was indeed a radical voice raised throughout the United States to challenge First Amendment limits and the government's unwillingness to handle dissent in the media. Today, the subject of the underground press is folklore, as veterans and fascinated onlookers continue to embrace its memory, even while critically evaluating it. Books, articles, master's theses, and doctoral dissertations have compared and contrasted the underground press to the mainstream press, spotlighted individuals from the underground press, and documented government harassment of the underground press. Anthologies have brought together its best writings. In this article, Anne E. Zald and Cathy Seitz Whitaker present the most in-depth and substantive annotated bibliography available on this fascinating and important topic. In sidebars, Peggy D'Adamo and Liz O'Lexa introduce readers to the Alternative Press Center and Sanford Berman offers his own annotated bibliography for libraries that want to expand their own collections of alternative materials;

a directory listing of special collections libraries that have major holdings on the period—

Librarians are the original packrats, and the Vietnam era was a packrat librarian's dream period. Collectible materials that originated then, in the form of books, underground newspapers, bumperstickers, buttons, flyers, posters, films, and unpublished notes, were as colorful, inspiring, and intellectually stimulating as any our country's brief history has created. In 1982, Scarecrow Press published Alternative Materials in Libraries. One chapter, by Patricia Case, proved immensely useful as a reference tool for identifying many of these special collections libraries throughout the United States and Canada. In this article, Ellen Embardo updates and expands that directory, which appears in three parts. One listing, devoted to gay and lesbian special collections librarians, expands Cal Gough's 1989 "Gay/Lesbian Archives and Libraries in North America"; and

a listing of underground papers on microfilm—

Why should one attempt to preserve the underground or alternative press in microform? According to Dan Tsang, there are several reasons, including the longer life expectancy the process offers to materials, reduced storage space requirements for libraries, less wear and tear caused by users, and reduced risk of loss through fire, damage, or theft. In this article, Tsang presents an overview of several important microfilming projects to date, including the problems they have faced and the challenges they have overcome. He concludes with comprehensive or selected listings of seven collections in microform. An eighth appendix is of underground press anthologies or reprint editions.

Foreword by Sanford Berman.

Here's what some of the reviewers said:

one of the top five books in the field of communication for 1993—Choice

"Voices from the Underground is an important contribution to the history of contemporary dissent in America. Librarians should promote wide use of this insightful and unique publication."—Bill Katz, Magazines for Libraries

"…furnishes the tools for students, librarians, historians, sixties' veterans, and latter-day activists and journalists to variously identify, access, use, understand, appreciate, and perhaps be energized by that still vibrant, icon-toppling, uninhibited, and hopeful corpus of newsprint called the 'underground press.'"— Sanford Berman, co-editor of Alternative Library Literature, from Foreword

Temporarily out of print ISBN: 1--87946-102-1 Back to Our Books

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