Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest

21 July 2011

Philippa Hubbard, Editorial Assistant

This week marks the beginning of London 60s Week (22-31 July), an annual festival commemorating the golden anniversary of the 1960s. A programme of London-based activities and events celebrate the creative spirit of the age through music, film, photography and dance. You can find out more on their website:

Here at Adam Matthew we have our own forthcoming project that will promote and support research into this exciting era. Due for publication later this year, Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest: Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975 will enable students and scholars to examine this dynamic period in detail through an array of printed and manuscript sources, visual material, ephemera and video clips. From psychedelic music, hippies, and miniskirts to civil rights, student protests and Vietnam – 1950-1975 was a truly revolutionary era.

Our full-text searchable documents, digitised in colour, include:

  • A wide range of Printed and Manuscript material – pamphlets, letters, government files, and eye witness accounts covering key events of the period
  • The renowned Social Protest Collection from University of California, Berkeley
  • A wide range of Underground magazines including OZ, IT and Gandalf’s Garden; as well as an impressive collection of fanzines and alternative press titles from Bowling Green State University
  • Visual material – thousands of indexed photographs depicting the people and events of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s
  • Ephemera and Memorabilia - posters, pins and artefacts
  • Video – a collection of carefully selected video clips that bring the sights and sounds of the period to life!

The material covers key areas and major events of the period, including:

  • Student Activism across Europe and the US, including the disturbances in France in Mai ‘68
  • The Vietnam conflict
  • The fight for Civil Rights
  • Women’s Liberation
  • Fashion and Youth Culture
  • The Music Scene
  • Book, Magazine and Film Censorship

The core libraries supporting this collection are: The Browne Popular Culture Library; Bowling Green State University; The University of California, Berkeley; The National Archives at Kew; The University of Sussex; and Rock Source Archive. There are also a number of other supporting libraries and institutions including Mirrorpix; Barclay Card Group and the Robert Opie Collection.

Our rich digital collection is a treasure trove of engaging and intriguing historical records. Read the letters sent to the British government in response to the lifted ban on Lady Chatterley’s Lover; view thousands of evocative photographs covering an array of topics from tower blocks to hippies; and watch video clips on the race riots, early space travel and the Beatles across America.

This exciting digital collection covers the entire period from the austerity of the 1950s to the excess of the 1970s. It promises to enrich teaching and research into the social, political and cultural events of this dynamic period of transition in British and American society.

Sandra Ford driving her paisley coloured Mini February 1969 Copyright

Click on Sandra Ford's Mini to view sample images from Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest (PDF)