Nature and Scope
From music and youth culture to politics and fashion, the period from 1950 to 1975 witnessed dramatic changes in society. Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975 traces the development from 1950s austerity to the excess of the 1970s through a range of printed and manuscript sources, visual material, ephemera and video footage including:
- Pamphlets, letters, government files, and eye witness accounts covering key events of the period.
- The renowned Social Protest Collection from University of California, Berkeley.
- Underground magazines including OZ and IT; as well as American fanzines and alternative press titles from Bowling Green State University.
- Thousands of indexed photographs depicting the people and events of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
- Ephemera and memorabilia – posters, pins and artefacts.
- A collection of carefully selected video footage that brings the sights and sounds of the period to life.
Additional material explores the key issues and events of the period and includes:
- Music: artist files, record company documents, chart lists, fan magazines, photographs and posters from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Press kits and lobby cards for popular movies and television 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 John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
- Photographic material sourced from the Mirrorpix archives.
- Documents from the Labour Party archives charting social change and important records on The Troubles in Northern Ireland from The National Archives.
- Important documents depicting student unrest from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament archives held at Warwick University.
The resource enables students and scholars to examine key issues and 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
- Nuclear disarmament
- Women’s liberation
- Fashion and youth culture
- Changing lifestyles, 1950-1975
- The music scene
- The Space Race
- Consumerism, credit cards and computers
- Book, magazine and film censorship
- Consumer culture and mass media.
Archival material has been sourced from key libraries and organisations in Britain and America:
- The Browne Popular Culture Library, Bowling Green State University
- The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
- The National Archives, Kew
- The University of Sussex Library, Special Collections
- MusicDayz Archive
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
- The University of Warwick, Modern Records Centre.
Other supporting libraries and organisations:
- Barclay Group
- Barry Miles
- Beaulieu National Motor Museum
- Bill Harry
- British Telecom
- Huntley Film Archive
- The People's History Museum
- Robert Opie Collection
- Peter Whitehead Archive
Popular Culture features an extensive interactive Chronology, covering significant events for every year between 1950 and 1975. Discover fascinating facts, read quotes from key figures, view images, and search for a theme or artist.
Witness the sights and sounds of the period by viewing the selection of video clips. Topics and events covered include:
- The Race Riots in Atlanta, Georgia
- An Anti-War Protest Rally in Washington, D.C.
- The Beatles across America
- Early space travel
- Responses to the death of Martin Luther King
- Key figures and celebrities of the period, including Marilyn Monroe and Princess Margaret
- Footage of musicians such as Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles
- Search Thematic Image Galleries
- View evocative photographs from the Mirrorpix Archive in the Mirrorpix Photographic Galleries
- Learn more about major topics through Exhibitions
- Use the Glossary to learn more about contemporary key terms, events and individuals
- Read Thematic Guides to understand the major social, political and cultural themes of the period
- Discover more about the changing music scene of the period
- Read Essays by leading academics which provide context and links to key sources.