Power to the People: Counterculture, Social Movements, and the Alternative Press | eReview

This user-friendly Gale database contains primary sources from the 19th to 21st centuries that are sure to appeal to people interested in modern counterculture and social histories, along with progressive political and societal movements. 

Power to the People: Counterculture, Social Movements, and the Alternative Press, Nineteenth to Twenty-First Century


CONTENT This robust and varied archive contains 600,000 pages of resources on events, people, and ideas representing left-of-mainstream politics and philosophy during the 19th and 20th centuries, with a primary emphasis on the United States and England. The database features five main collections: the Pacific Coast Counterculture Collection; the University of Bradford’s Special Collections on Peace, Politics, and Social Change; journal publications Fortean Times, Bizarre, and Viz; selections from the Ron Heisler Collections; and the Liberal Students of 1960s University of Michigan Collection. The expansive holdings include leaflets, pamphlets, magazines, monographs, comic books, posters, and other ephemera. They represent an extensive array of subjects, such as media studies, women’s studies, gender equality, civil rights, diversity, politics, and the environment. Coverage of social and political movements during the 1960s through the 1990s is particularly strong.

USABILITY The simple but well-functioning landing page features a prominently located search box with an advanced search option, links to the topic finder and term frequency search tools, and tabs for retrieving search history results, reading a detailed overview of the database, and accessing the database by either collection or publication.

The landing page search box is conducive for basic keyword and subject term searching, whereas advanced search offers nine search options and 10 search limiters for narrowing terms. Users will likely appreciate the “Allows Variations” feature in advanced search, which retrieves imperfect matches to accommodate the spelling variations or approximate spellings sometimes found in historical documents. The “Collections” link on the homepage allows researchers to explore collections by content type, document type, language, or source library. Selecting “Publications” enables browsing by publication or by date. Response time and search results are outstanding.

The quality and readability of scans are impressive, with adjustable zoom and options for viewing images and text. Documents can be downloaded, printed, emailed, and forwarded to Google Drive or OneDrive. Citations can be exported to commonly used citation management tools in MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard styles. Searches can be saved after creating an account. The database is searchable as a stand-alone resource with cross-searching capabilities for libraries that subscribe to two or more Gale Primary Sources. If requested, Gale will deliver data and metadata associated with the collection for use in data mining and textual analysis.

PRICING Pricing begins at $6,250, with a hosting fee that starts at $62 annually. Public library pricing is based on the population served. Academic library pricing is based on an institution’s full-time enrollment and other institutional variables. A free trial for the product can be requested at rebrand.ly/etaj46l.

VERDICT Searching and navigating within the archive is effortless, with convenient and user-friendly features. The database’s manuscripts, articles, documents, and other materials are excellent primary sources that comprehensively capture a unique era that continues to resonate within contemporary life, politics, and society. This will be a first-choice source for anyone with an interest in modern counterculture history, social history, and progressive political and societal movements.

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