Reveal Digital’s Independent Voices already comprises over 15,000 issues of US periodicals produced by feminists, dissident GIs, campus radicals and the New Left, Native Americans, anti-war activists, Black Power advocates, Hispanics, LGBTs, the extreme right-wing press and alternative literary magazines. We will now digitise similar UK publications.
Background to the project
During the 60s, 70s and 80s, people on both sides of the Atlantic started to produce their own publications, enabling them for the first time to freely express their views on culture, politics and society. Black consciousness, radical feminism, art, poetry and music all underwent revolutions through emerging independent presses and counter-cultural activism.
These publications were produced by those who felt underrepresented by the mainstream media. They knew that there were like-minded people out there with comparable views and the availability of cheap reprographic devices made it possible for them to reach that like-minded audience. This approach has had a huge influence on publishing to this day. People are still casting their own voice through zines (so-called little magazines) and by blogging on the internet.
What we're doing
We will undertake UK-based digitisation activities to supplement material from this side of the Atlantic, preferably in collaboration with participating libraries. Each library that buys the existing collection will be contributing towards a small digitisation fund to enable this.
The idea is that participating UK higher education libraries will steer the selection of UK content to be digitised and added to Independent Voices.
This means that by 2019 there will be unparalleled open access to a huge range of content which cannot be acquired elsewhere. Many of these publications cannot be accessed in their hard copy form due to preservation issues, scarcity and simply because they were not collected by libraries on a large scale.