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Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975

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Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest


  • Bill Schurk, Music Library, Bowling Green State University
  • Marcus Collins, Lecturer in Modern History, Loughborough University
  • Joseph Kruppa, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin
  • Johnny Black, Freelance journalist and writer for Mojo, Q, and The Times
  • Chad Martin, Department of History, University of Indianapolis
  • Norma Coates, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario


The core libraries supporting Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975 collection are:

  • The Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies, Bowling Green State University
  • The University of California at Berkeley
  • The University of Sussex
  • The National Archives, UK
  • Rock Source Archive
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Archive at Warwick University
  • Labour Party Archive
  • Peter Whitehead Archive
  • The Felix Dennis Archive
There are also many smaller supporting libraries and organisations supplying images and data to the entire collection, including Barclaycard, Beaulieu National Motor Museum, Biba, British Telecom, the Communist Party of Great Britain, Gandalf’s Garden, NASA, the People’s History Museum, and the Robert Opie Collection.


Original video footage on key events and topics of the period: from consumerism, advertising and student demonstrations to the Vietnam war, to key political figures such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. 

Additional materials available in Section II provide clips featuring key personalities from JFK, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, to The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, from ITN Source and Huntley Film Archive.


A multi-faceted chronology of the period – with embedded articles and images – aims to help to contextualise many of the topics, events, styles, personalities, and locations (clubs/ record companies) covered within the materials.


The entire Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975 collection covers a wealth of subjects and themes, including:

  • Art and Architecture
  • Civil Rights and Race Relations
  • Consumerism
  • Drug Culture
  • Ecology and the Environment
  • Fashion
  • Gay and Lesbian Rights
  • Literature and Drama
  • Mass Media
  • Music
  • The Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’
  • Pacifism
  • Politics
  • Religion, Morality and Censorship
  • Science and Technology
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Sex and Sexuality
  • Student Activism
  • Vietnam
  • Women’s Rights
  • Youth Culture


  • Manuscripts and typescripts
  • Printed materials (newspapers, magazines, press kits, artist’s files)
  • Video clips of original footage
  • Visual images: photographs, advertisements, memorabilia
  • Ephemera: pamphlets, leaflets, posters, pins, artefacts
  • Fanzines, underground press, scripts
  • Government files


  • The renowned Social Protest Collection from University of California, Berkeley documenting reactions to the Vietnam War, campaigns against nuclear weapons and for civil and women’s rights.
  • A wide range of Underground magazines including OZ (complete runs of both the Sydney and London publications) and IT; as well as an impressive collection of American fanzines and alternative press titles from Bowling Green State University.
  • Original video footage on key events and topics of the period: from consumerism,advertising and student demonstrations on Vietnam, to key political figures such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.
  • Striking visual material - thousands of indexed photographs depicting the people and events of the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's. From ‘teddy boy’ culture to ‘hippies’.
  • Pamphlets, photographs and eye-witness accounts covering events such as the student disturbances in France in Mai ‘68.
  • Key UK government documentation concerning censorship: from the publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover to the Oz trial.
  • Objects and advertising ephemera from the Robert Opie collection.
  • NASA photographs.
  • In-depth interviews with central figures such as Bill Harry and Barry Miles.
  • Music: artist files, record company documents, chart lists, fan magazines, photographs and posters from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • A vast selection of Popular Entertainment Memorabilia from music fanzines, music periodicals, movie press-kits, TV and movie stills, performer cards and lobby cards from Bowling Green State University.
  • Full-colour mail order catalogues and advertising proofs.
  • The complete run of Gandalf’s Garden magazine.
  • Original video footage spanning 1950-1975 featuring key personalities from JFK, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe to the Beatles and Rolling Stones.
  • Further photographic material sourced from the Mirrorpix Archives.
  • Documents from the Labour Party archive charting social change and important records on the Troubles in Northern Ireland from the National Archives, UK.
  • Important documents from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament archives held at Warwick University and student unrest.
  • Original production notes and scripts relating to the films and documentaries of Peter Whitehead.
  • Additional Alternative and Underground Press titles from the Felix Dennis Archive.


Topics covered include:

  • Experiences of Teaching Popular Culture.
  • The Permissive Society and Popular Culture.
  • Recollections of Liverpool in the 1960s.
  • An account of the May 4 Shootings at Kent State University.
  • Popular Music and Mass Media.
  • Changing Patterns of Consumption.
  • Changing Fashion Trends from 1940s - 1970s.
  • 50 Years of Rock Journalism.
Popular Culture receives an Honorable Mention