This page is a guide to finding serial publications of the non-mainstream media, often referred to as “alternative” or “underground” press publications, which include newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and other types of serial publications. These periodicals tend to be written from an acknowledged political perspective–for example, liberal or conservative–and they often promote a specific agenda. They might, however, report on news that is of interest to a specific community–often a marginalized one–without endorsing any defined ideology. Examples of these might be African American newspapers, gay and lesbian magazines, military newspapers, or publications of immigrant groups. The guide covers primarily alternative press publications of the United States, with some coverage of Canada and the United Kingdom.
- Independent Voices: 1951-2015. Over 1,000 alternative press newspapers and periodicals.
- The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives, 1960-1974: Thirty-eight “underground press” periodicals from the 1960s and early 1970s.
- Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest: Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975: Over fifty “underground” press periodicals.
- Alt-Press Watch: 1970-present; mostly United States. Over 670,000 articles from 200 alternative press titles, predominantly news weeklies.
- Ethnic News Watch: 1959-present. Newspaper, magazine, and journal articles from ethnic, minority and native presses.
- ProQuest Historical Black Newspapers: The major black newspapers of the 20th century. Click here to see a complete list. Part of ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
- Hispanic American Newspapers, 1808-1980: Mostly scattered issues of over 300 Hispanic-American newspapers. Purports to be largest compilation of Spanish-language newspapers printed in the U.S. during the 19th and 20th centuries. Based on the “Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project” collection at the the University of Houston. Part of America’s Historical Newspapers and the Archive of Americana.
- Ethnic American newspapers from the Balch Collection, 1799-1971: Over one hundred newspapers of immigrant communities, with heaviest representation frjom Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Polish, and Slovak newspapers. Part of America’s Historical Newspapers and the Archive of Americana.
- Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey: The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Work Projects Administration of Illinois. Its purpose was to translate into English and classify selected news articles appearing in the Chicago area foreign language press from 1861 to 1938. The project consists of a file of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities in Chicago.
- Gender Watch: Newspapers and periodicals with an emphasis on women and gender issues. Indexes publications from 1970-present.
The University Library has hundreds of newspapers on microfilm, with coverage back to 1960 and earlier. The best way to check for availability of specific titles, or to browse by date and place of publication, is to consult the Library’s Newspaper Database.
- Underground Newspaper Collection: Call Number: FILM 071.3 Un2. Most titles from the United States and Canada. With printed guide. Coverage: 1963-1985. Supplemented and continued by the Hoover Institution Supplement to Underground Press Collection, the University of Missouri Underground Newspaper Collection, the Alternative Press Collection, and the Underground Press Collection Alternative Press Center Supplement, for all of which see below.
- University of Missouri Library Underground Newspaper Collection: Call Number: FILM 071.3 Un1m. Most titles from the United States and Canada. Adds 120 titles to those in the Underground Press Collection (see above). Coverage: 1960s-1970s. With printed guide.
- Underground Press Collection. Alternative Press Center Supplement: Call Number: FILM 071.3 Un23. Further supplements the Underground Newspaper Collection (see above). In 2 units, each with its own printed guide.
- Hoover Institution Supplement to Underground Press Collection: Call Number: FILM 071.3 Un24. Supplements the Underground Press Collection (see above): adds missing issues from 88 titles in the original collection, and an additional 178 titles from the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. With printed guide.
- San Francisco / Bay Area Gay and Lesbian Serial Collection: A joint project of San Francisco/Bay Area Gay and Lesbian Historical Society and the University of California: Call Number: FILM 306.76605 SA52. 61 titles on 96 microfilm reels. Coverage: 1953-1989.
- Alternative Press Collection: Call Number: FILM 071.3 AL82. Coverage: 1986-2003, with some outliers (e.g. titles from the 40s, 50s, and 60s). Titles from around the world. Continues the Underground Press Collection (see above). Published in 19 units; each unit has its own printed guide.
- Champaign-Urbana Underground Press Collection: Call Number: FILM 071.3 Un1ic. Coverage: 1960s-1980s.
- Herstory : Microfilm Edition of the International Women’s History Periodical Archive. From the Women’s History Research Center: Call Number: FILM 396 H439. Covers mostly the 1960s and 1970s. Journals, newspapers, and newsletters of women’s liberation organizations, as well as women’s civic, religious, professional, and peace organizations. The collection was issued in five successive parts. Consult the completed guide to understand the complicated arrangement.
- Military Newspapers: Dougherty Collection: Call Number: FILM 071.3 M599. Coverage: Mexican War-Vietnam War. Titles from all branches of the U.S. military. Emphasis on World War II. Almost 2,500 titles. With printed guide.
- The Right Wing Collection of the University of Iowa Libraries: Call Number: FILM 320.52 R44. Collection of periodicals and ephemera. Coverage: 1918-1977.
- The Left in Britain: Call Number: 016.320942 SP44L. Collects the serial publications of over 30 left-wing British organizations active between 1904 and 1997. The link above is to the guide, available at Illinois. Continued by The Left in Britain during 1973 and 1974. The film itself is available from the Center for Research Libraries through Interlibrary Loan.
- The Underground and Alternative Press in Britain: Call Number: MFICHE 301.2 Un2. Coverage: 1961-1972. Continued through 1984 by The Underground & Alternative Press in Britain. Note that the yearly releases are not confined to publications from that calendar year. With printed Guide.
- British Contemporary Press: Coverage: 1998-2000. Intended to supplement the Left in Britain and Underground and Alternative Press in Britain collections. Film available from Center for Research Libraries.
- The Radical Right and Patriotic Movements in Britain: Primary Source Material on the Radical Right and Patriotic Movements in Britain: Call Number: 320.942085 P612r. Continued by The Radical Right and Patriotic Movements in Britain during 1975. Guides only. Request film through Interlibrary Loan. More information.
- Russian Right-Wing Extremist Press, 1990-1998: Call Number: FILM 324.247038 R92.
- Periodicals by and about American Indians: Coverage: 1923-1981.
- American Indian Periodicals from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1884-1981.
- American Indian Periodicals in the Princeton University Library.
In this section: indexes, bibliographies, union lists, handbooks, guides, and directories.
- Alternative Press Index: Identifies articles from alternative newspapers, magazines and journals. Indexes publications from 1969-present.
- Left Index: Identifies articles written from a leftist political, economic, social or cultural perspective. Includes some retrospective coverage of historically significant left wing publications like the People (New York, N.Y. : 1891). Indexes publications from 1982-present.
- Undergrounds: A Union List of Alternative Periodicals in Libraries of the United States and Canada by James P. Danky. Call Number: 016.05 D231U. Publication Date: 1974. Although the union list itself is doubtless full of inaccuracies by now, and the entries contain minimal bibliographic data, this source is valuable in that it contains a place of publication index. Also, for each entry, the bibliographers noted whether the periodical was indexed (in Alternative Press Index, mostly), and also whether it had been cited (twenty sources were consulted).
- From Radical Left to Extreme Right: A Bibliography of Current Periodicals of Protest, Controversy, Advocacy, or Dissent, with Dispassionate Content-Summaries to Guide Librarians and other Educators by ail Skidmore and Theodore Jurgen Spahn. Call Number: Q. 016.323 M91F 1987. ISBN: 0810819678. Publication Date: 1987.
- Alternatives in Print: 1971-1980. Call Number: 016.30124 T18a.
- Annotations: A Guide to the Independent Critical Press by Marie Jones and Robert W. McChesney. Call Number: 070 An782004. Publication Date: 2004. This is the 3rd edition. Lists 385 periodicals. Defines “independent” and “critical” as Leftist. The main part of the guide is a directory of currently published periodicals. Also includes circulation statistics, a subject index, an introductory essay, and much more. See also two previous editions for some retrospective coverage.
- Encyclopedia of the American Left edited by Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle, and Dan Georgakas. Call Number: 335.00973 En19 1998. Publication Date: 1998. Covers left-wing radicalism from the Civil War to the present.
- Directory of the American Left: Call Number: 320.53025 D628. Publication Date: 1981. Continued by: Guide to the American Left.
- The Left Guide: A Guide to Left-of-Center Organizations: Publication Date: 1996- . Includes a periodicals listing.
- Directory of the American Right: Call Number: Q. 322.43025 D62. Publication Date: 1978-1981. Continued by: Guide to the American Right.
- The Right Guide: A Guide to Conservative and Right-of-Center Organizations by Derk Arend Wilcox. Publication Date: 1997- Includes a periodicals listing.
- The Radical Right: A World Directory by Ciarán Ó Maoláin. Publication Date: 1987.
- Native American Periodicals and Newspapers, 1828-1982: Bibliography, Publishing Record, and Holdings by James P. Danky (Editor); Maureen E. Hady (Compiled by); Ann Bowles. Call Number: 016.9730497 N213. Publication Date: 1984.
- American Indian and Alaska Native Newspapers and Periodicals by Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr., and James W. Parins. Call Number: 051 L73A. Publication Date: 1984-1986. Vol. 1: 1826-1924, vol. 2: 1925-1970, vol. 3: 1971-1985.
- African-American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography by James P. Danky, editor. Call Number: Q. 015.73035 Af83. Publication Date: 1998. Arranged alphabetically by title, with a geographic index, as well as an index of editors and a subject index. Known locations are indicated.
- Hispanic Periodicals in the United States, Origins to 1960: A Brief History and Comprehensive Bibliography by Nicólas Kanellos and Helvetia Martell. Call Number: 015.73034 K131h. Publication Date: 2000.
- Trotskyist Serials Bibliography 1927-1991 : with Locations and Indices by Wolfgang Lubitz, and Petra Lubitz. Request through inter-library loan.
- Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses: Call Number: 016.05 D628. Publication Date: 1965-present.
- International Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses. Publication Date: 1965-
- Alternative Press Center: Website has an extensive directory of alternative press publications.
- Hoover Institution Library and Archives.
- Wisconsin State Historical Society Library and Archives.
Carpenter, Gerald. “Alternative Press.” The St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Eds. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Detroit: St. James Press, 2000. 60-62.
Bizot, Jean-François. Free Press: Underground and Alternative Publications, 1965-1975. Trans. David H. Wilson. New York: Universe Publishing, 2006.
Barlow, Aaron. “The Rise of the Blogosphere: Alternative Journalism.” The Rise of the Blogosphere. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 2007.
Cohen, Mitchell. “Decades of Dissent.” Dissent 51, no. 2 (Winter, 2004): 5-8.
Halleck, DeeDee. “Alternative Media in the United States.” Battleground: The Media. Eds. Robin Andersen and Jonathan Gray. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2008.
Shore, Elliott. “Decade of Dissent: The Alternative Press in Philadelphia, 1966-1976.” Drexel Library Quarterly 12 (July, 1976): 59-74.