New Resource Gives Researchers Online Access to Trove of 1960s Memorabilia, Artifacts, Interviews, Photographs, and First-Person Accounts

March 6, 2009

ALEXANDRIA, VA March 6, 2009—Electronic publisher Alexander Street Press today announced the release of The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives, 1960 to 1974, the first online collection of primary sources to document the key events, trends, and movements—as well as the look and feel of everyday life—in 1960s America.

Says Alexander Street’s vice president Eileen Lawrence, “Fifty years later, the Sixties have now become a key topic for recollection, research, and analysis. Articles, op-eds, and classes are popping up everywhere, and younger students want to ‘get it.’ The Alexander Street project gathers up and organizes the stuff of our shared memories into an enormous collection of primary materials, ephemera, streaming content, images, historical interpretation, and personal narratives, accessible and searchable for the first time. If you want to understand—and have students grasp—what the Sixties were about and the impact of the decade, we believe this database is the definitive online research tool.”

When complete, the collection will contain 150,000 pages of cross-searchable content, including thousands of artifacts from “hidden” archives and other materials not available anywhere else. The collection includes a wide range of interviews—with the Beatles, the Weathermen, commune members, and women beat writers—as well as memoirs and diaries from Vietnam War veterans, civil rights workers, feminists, and regular people caught up in the times. Included are autobiographies of Abbie Hoffman, Medgar Evers, Bill Graham, and Roger Mudd; Civil Rights Commission hearing transcripts; and books documenting the Sixties, such as Like a Rolling Stone, by Greil Marcus; Forever Young: Photographs of Bob Dylan; and The Genius of Huey B. Newton, originally published by the Black Panther Party. Additional content is being added monthly, including political buttons, photographs, news coverage of demonstrations and marches, and rare underground radio broadcasts.

The Sixties is the most collaborative of Alexander Street’s projects to date. Through an online form right on the product’s home page, libraries, researchers, and individuals can offer their personal or institutional materials or recommend sources they would like added to the collection. Says Alexander Street senior editor Shana Wagger, “You can’t understand the diversity of experience that was 1960s America without casting a very wide net. The potential is enormous—we are seeing draft cards, Woodstock mementos, peace poems, radical manifestos, handbills and flyers from student groups. As we digitize and index these primary sources, we’re enabling new directions for scholarship and study.”

Says Lawrence, “We’re working closely with customers who have acquired the collection. For example, the CIC consortium is one of several groups that purchased The Sixties before it launched, and we’re working with the participating sites to incorporate items from their collections—Illinois at Chicago, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Indiana, Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin at Madison. We plan to work with other groups this way, as well.”

Spanning 1960 to 1974, The Sixties is organized around 12 central themes: Civil Rights; the Women’s Movement; the Vietnam War; the Counterculture; Student Activism; the Environmental Movement; Gay and Lesbian Rights; Law and Government; the New Left and Emerging Neo-Conservative Movement; Science and Technology; Mass Media; and Arts, Music, and Leisure.

The collection will also include over a dozen critical essays from prominent humanities scholars that lend context and serve as practical guides, introducing students to the process and methodology of scholarly research with primary sources.

Contact Meg Keller at mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com ( mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com) for more information.

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About Alexander Street Press
Alexander Street Press is an electronic publisher of award-winning online collections in the humanities, social sciences, performing arts, and music. Since its beginnings in 2000, Alexander Street has developed a reputation for uniquely powerful search capabilities powered by Alexander Street’s Semantic Indexing™, and for offering content—like Sixties memorabilia and ephemera—not available anywhere else. Alexander Street collections are available to library and educational institutions via annual subscription or outright purchase of perpetual rights. For more information, visit http://alexanderstreet.com or contact Meg Keller at mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com ( mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com)

The Sixties can be accessed online at http://sixt.alexanderstreet.com
Anyone may browse this collection for free. Document-level access requires authentication. Reviewers, media contacts, libraries, and university faculty may request immediate access to the collection by emailing Meg Keller at mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com ( mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com) or phoning 703-212-8520 x116 for a username and password.

Contact: Meg Keller
Director of Marketing, Alexander Street Press
3212 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703.212.8520 x 116
mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com (mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com)
http://sixt.alexanderstreet.com