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Finding Collections of Feminist Periodicals

The following discussion of how/where to find archived
collections of feminist newspapers and magazines took place on
WMST-L in October 2004.  For additional WMST-L files available on
the Web, see the WMST-L File Collection.
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 22:00:26 -0400
From: Jackie Regales <jackie78 AT LOCALNET.COM>
Subject: feminist underground press
Hello everyone:

After spending the past few hours on Google and surfing through the
sites I got from there, I'm going to ask a question:

So far, it seems like to find archived collections of feminist
newspapers and magazines, you have to go either state by state, or sort
through general archives of underground newspapers.  Is that right?  is
there no general archive of feminist newspapers and magazines?  So far
I've looked through links at the University of Wisconsin, Stanford,
Duke, and others, but I'm not a reference librarian, so I fear I'm
making a basic search mistake.

The kind of stuff I'm looking for is collections of newspapers like
"off our backs," and others that were meant for general audiences, and
are not "Ms."  Anytime from the late 1960s until now would be fine.
All I'm finding is information like the "oob" back issues are availbale
from the state historical society of Wisconsin, on microfiche.

Can this be right?  Is there no more organized archive of the feminist

Thanks for any and all help, feel free to email me off-list

Jackie Regales
Anne Arundel Community College
Arnold, MD
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 22:10:43 -0500
From: Susan Bright <sbright1 AT AUSTIN.RR.COM>
Subject: Re: feminist underground press
Plain View Press -- 30 year old feminist literary publishing house. I
can send more info about others in a day or so.

Susan Bright
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 15:05:57 +1000
From: Kate <bicycle AT kooee.com.au>
Subject: Re: feminist underground press
Not sure that this is what you are after but covering the Australia/New
Zealand press at least, there is:
There is also my own small ezboard site, which endeavours to keep
collections of feminist related works under country of origin:
(an adjunct to the latter group,

Kate Walker
bicycle AT kooee.com.au
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 01:52:50 -0500
From: Linda <wayne005 AT TC.UMN.EDU>
Subject: Re: feminist underground press
Hello Jackie,

In order to find older mags and newspapers you need a list of what you're
looking for. For example, if its a lesbian feminist journal you may be more
likely to find it in one of the many LGBT archives that are not located at
a university (Minneapolis, Toronto, NY, and SF spring to mind). Duke has
most of OOB and a lot of other mags as well. In fact its amongst the best
collections in the country. That said, even Duke doesn't have a complete or
totally searchable list of their materials although more of it is being
listed every day. So no, there isn't a comprehensive d-base of this stuff.
More so, some journals are not even kept under their own name, but are in
boxes named after the people who collected them. I have found that the best
way to find stuff is to visit the archive once you know that they have some
of the publications you're looking for. The queens of the archives are
wondrous people who will help you find things you didn't even know you
needed. In terms of Internet searching, I have spent well over 40 hours
scanning the web for these types of materials and I have had better luck
with multi-hit search engines like ixquick.

Happy hunting,
Linda Wayne
wayne005 AT umn.edu
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 23:32:36 -0700
From: Linda Garber <lgarber AT scu.edu>
Subject: finding feminist underground press
There is also a pretty comprehensive microfilm
collection available in many university libraries that
includes a lot of feminist underground publications.
I'd have to dig through old notes to find its title,
but a librarian should be able to find it for you.
It's called something like the Women's Herstory
Microfilm Collection.  Sorry I can't be more specific.
 I used it several years ago at UC Berkeley when I was
compiling the bibliography _Lesbian Sources_.
Linda Garber
Associate Professor
Department of English
Program for the Study of Women and Gender
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA  95053-0280
fax 408-554-4837
email lgarber AT scu.edu
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 08:55:28 -0400
From: Kathleen B Nutter <knutter AT POLARIS.UMUC.EDU>
Subject: Re: feminist underground press
The Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College has an excellent collection
of feminist press, including off our backs.  Their Web site is:

Kathleen Banks Nutter
Associate Professor and Co-Chair, History Undergraduate Program
University of Maryland University College
3501 University Boulevard East
Adelphi, MD  20783
knutter AT polaris.umuc.edu
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 12:34:52 -0400
From: Georgia NeSmith <gnesmith AT FRONTIERNET.NET>
Subject: Re: feminist underground press
Well, actually, this information is of interest to others on the list --
like me! So although the admonition to Jackie put her e-mail address in her
message is appropriate, I'm glad these messages are going to the list.

Seems to me, given the apparent lack of a central, comprehensive online
database that would tell you where to find feminist journals/newspapers,
there's a project out there for some superwoman or two.

I wonder if there's a grant source out there that would fund a database like
this. It would be a wonderful project.

Georgia NeSmith

Georgia NeSmith, Ph.D.
Rochester, NY 14605
gnesmith AT frontiernet.net
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 19:21:14 -0400
From: Sarah Wilcox <swilcox44303 AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: feminist underground press
The best webpage with links to women's studies archives that I found is from
the Women's Studies Section of the Association of College & Research


How did I find this link?  From Joan Korenman's amazing Women's Studies
Online Resources webpage, of course!


Here are some additional links to archives, followed by some more
suggestions for locating feminist periodicals on microfilm and in libraries.


Links to women's studies archives from the Women's Studies Librarian's
Office, University of Wisconsin System:

website with links to lesbian and gay archives:

Lesbian Herstory Archives (New York City) ' excellent extensive archival
collection of feminist and lesbian periodicals ' website includes advice
about how to use the archive from a distance:


UMI provides some alternative newspapers on microfilm.  Go to this webpage
and use the link to 'serials in microfilm' to search for the title you're
looking for:

Off Our Backs, for example, is available from 1970 to the present on
microfilm from UMI.  (And in full text from 2001 onwards from the Ebscohost
research databases).

Microfilm is often available through interlibrary loan, so even if your
library doesn't own a copy, you may be able to borrow what you need from
another library.  I have also driven to libraries near me that have
microfilm that my own school doesn^-t have.  The Library of Congress online
catalog might be helpful for getting the ISSN for making interlibrary loan
requests.  (Because you're near DC, the Library of Congress would also be a
good library to use - they may have periodicals archived or on microfilm.)

If your school has access to it, the RLG Union Catalog - sometimes also
called Eureka - can be helpful for identifying which research libraries have
which periodicals.  I'm not sure that smaller college libraries are
included, though, so you may want to search statewide shared catalogs as

Other microfilm collections include:

Herstory,  (Wooster, OH: Micro Photo Division, Bell & Howell Co., 1973- ),
Reproduces over 800 journals, newsletters, and newspapers relevant to the
women's movement, published between 1956 and 1974.  (I think this is the
collection Linda Garber mentioned.)

Underground Press Collection, 1963 - 1985
  Description from UMI: The radical movements of the 1960s spawned a
multitude of underground newspapers. The causes they espoused or opposed
were as diverse as the issues they confronted. It was the era of the Vietnam
War, of opposition to corporate America and its power, of questioning and
rejecting traditional values.  This unparalleled microfilm collection allows
students and researchers access to more than 550 underground newspapers
dating from 1963 to 1985.


There are reference books with lists of alternative newspapers and feminist
periodicals.  The most well known is probably the annual Alternative Press
Index (http://www.altpress.org/), which provides titles and an index to
stories in alternative newspapers, including some feminist periodicals such
as Off Our Backs.

Other indexes and bibliographies include:

Title Women's movement media : a source guide / by Cynthia Ellen Harrison
Publish info New York : Bowker, 1975

Directory of women's media, (Washington, DC: Women's Inst. for Freedom of
the Press, 1988- ).  International lists of periodicals, publishers, news
services, speakers' bureaus, radio and TV programming, bookstores, and more.

Canadian feminist periodical index, 1972-1985,  (Toronto, Ont.: Canadian
Women's Indexing Group, 1991),  Text in English and French.

Garber, Linda,  Lesbian sources: a bibliography of periodical articles,
1970-1990,  (New York: Garland, 1993),  Indexes U.S. and foreign journals
and international archives of lesbian materials.

Hope this helps!

Sarah Wilcox
Assistant Professor
Kent State University
swilcox AT kent.edu
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 20:37:48 -0400
From: "Pilardi, Jo-Ann" <jpilardi AT TOWSON.EDU>
Subject: Re: feminist underground press
My suggestion is the Alternative Press Index.  It has a website, but
the older titles won't be visible online; it seems they keep only
titles currently published online. The API website is at
www.altpress.org ; the office is in Baltimore City in the Waverly
area, near Hopkins University, so you could visit it, Jackie.
  Jo-Ann Pilardi  --Towson U., Maryland     jpilardi AT towson.edu
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 16:24:44 -0400
From: Cynthia Harrison <harrison AT GWU.EDU>
Subject: Re: feminist underground press (fwd)
Try the Schlesinger Library.  It is among the largest collections and they
have the titles you are inquiring about.


Click on the box on the left "Access to collections during renovations"
and it will get you into the HOLLIS catalog, where you can search by

Cynthia Harrison
Associate Professor of History, Women's Studies, and Public Policy
The George Washington University
837 22nd Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20052
telephone & fax: 202-363-4356           e-mail: harrison AT gwu.edu
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 09:17:50 -0400
From: Laura Micham <laura.m AT DUKE.EDU>
Subject: Re: feminist underground press
Linda Wayne said:

Duke has
most of OOB and a lot of other mags as well. In fact its amongst the best
collections in the country. That said, even Duke doesn't have a complete or
totally searchable list of their materials although more of it is being
listed every day. So no, there isn't a comprehensive d-base of this stuff.
More so, some journals are not even kept under their own name, but are in
boxes named after the people who collected them. I have found that the best
way to find stuff is to visit the archive once you know that they have some
of the publications you're looking for. The queens of the archives are
wondrous people...

We appreciate your kind words! The Sallie Bingham Center for Women's
History and Culture at Duke has an extensive and constantly growing
collection of feminist periodicals. While many of them do exist within the
manuscripts collections (collections of personal and professional papers)
in which they came to Duke, the majority are separately cataloged in our
online system, <http://catalog.library.duke.edu/>. The noteworthy exception
is the periodicals collection associated with the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist
Alliance Archives. A guide for these materials, which have been
microfilmed, is available both in the Bingham Center and the microforms
department in Perkins Library at Duke. I would be happy to respond to
queries about individual titles.

Laura Micham
Director, Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture
Subject Librarian, Women's Studies
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Box 90185, Duke University
Durham, NC 27708-0185 U.S.A.
phone: (919) 660.5828  |  fax: (919)660.5934
website: <http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/women/>
email: <cwhc AT duke.edu> or <laura.m AT duke.edu>
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 09:55:59 -0500
From: Phyllis Holman Weisbard <pweisbard AT LIBRARY.WISC.EDU>
Subject: Re: fem. periodicals,
I've been following the suggestions re: finding early feminist
periodicals and want to make some suggestions with respect to the
University of Wisconsin. First of all, there's a book James Danky and
Maureen Hady compiled that is a useful entry point:
_Women's periodicals and newspapers from the 18th century to 1981 : a
union list of the holdings of Madison, Wisconsin, libraries_ / edited by
James P. Danky ;  compiled by Maureen E. Hady, Barry Christopher Noonan,
  Neil E. Strache ; in association with the State Historical Society of
Publisher: Boston : G.K. Hall, c1982. Description:  xxiv, 376 p. Because
it it such a valuable tool to learning publication information, even if
you aren't in Wisconsin, this book is often found in university library
reference collections. The Wisconsin Historical Society Library has a
major collection of North American feminist periodicals -- as is
apparent from the references in other catalogs to microfilmed from their

I want to alert anyone who may want to visit the University of
Wisconsin-Madison Libraries as a place to find early feminist
periodicals (or other topics), that the Friends of the Libraries has
small grants people can apply for to use the Libraries' collections.
While most North American activist-oriented periodicals are in the
Wisconsin Historical Society Library, which is a separate institution
but physically located on the campus, the more literary periodicals are
often in the "Little Magazines" special collection in Memorial Library,
the University's research library for the humanities and social
sciences. Periodicals from outside North America are also in Memorial
Library. (Friends' grant applications should focus on using material in
the University Libraries.) See
http://giving.library.wisc.edu/friends/grant-in-aid.shtml. Memorial
Library also has an important special collection of American women
writers. That collection is the William B. Cairns Collection of American
Women Writers, 1650-1920 [actually, it now stretches into the 1930s.]
The Cairns Collection is described at
http://memorial.library.wisc.edu/cairns.htm. All material in Cairns is
catalogued and labelled with the location "Cairns" in Madcat, the online
catalog of the University of Wisconsin Libraries
(http://madcat.library.wisc.edu/). The Wisconsin Historical Society
Library holdings are also in Madcat, where you can see which issues of
periodicals are held. The Wisconsin Historical Society Archives
(unpublished personal papers, records of organizations, etc.) has a
separate catalog, at http://arcat.library.wisc.edu/ and description at

Phyllis Holman Weisbard, Women's Studies Librarian
University of Wisconsin System
430 Memorial Library, 728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706
608-263-5754; pweisbard AT library.wisc.edu

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