Notes From The Underground | Los Angeles Public Library
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Notes From The Underground

History Department, Central Library,
Underground Newspaper Microfilm Collection

The Underground Newspaper Collection (or Underground Press Collection) is a compilation of alternative/underground newspapers, magazines, newsletters and bulletins (1963-1985) reprinted on microfilm by the Underground Press Syndicate (UPS), later known as the Alternative Press Syndicate (APS). Many of these publications focused on sixties and seventies counterculture in America (a few European and Canadian publications are also included) and were published by a wide range of sources, from local university students to radical political activist groups.

As the Jackson State University Library website describes the collection:

“From the AA Commune to Zig Zag, this collection of over 500 small, alternative press magazines, newsletters, and bulletins centers on topics such as Vietnam War protests, hippies, vegetarianism, alternative “drop out” lifestyles, music, and civil rights. Some of the publications are well-known such as Mother Earth News(volumes 1-24) to lesser known publications such as the Santa Cruz Free Spaghetti Dinner (say what?). Civil rights and revolutionary newsletters include the Black Panther.”

A comprehensive list of titles in this set is available through the reel guide, which is held at the history department’s reference desk.  While there is currently no indexing of article titles, authors, or subjects for these issues, the reel guide is, in and of itself, an invaluable bibliography for primary source documents of this period. A list of underground newspapers by geographical listings (1963-1977) has been made available online by the Free Library of Philadelphia here

The microfilm collection is available in the public reading room and is shelved as Microfilm H-32, located in the back northwest corner of the room. Please note that LAPL holdings are incomplete, they include: rolls 1-26 and 42-48. Some Los Angeles highlights from these holdings include:

Cuervo International



Los Angeles Underground

Oracle of Southern California