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The Great Speckled Bird

About The Great Speckled Bird

The Great Speckled Bird was one of several underground newspapers that appeared in the United States in the 1960s. Published in Atlanta from 1968 to 1976, The Bird, as it was commonly known, stood out among the alternative press for the quality of its writing, its cover art and its fearless opinions and reporting on a range of topics—national and local politics, the counterculture, women’s issues, gay liberation, reproductive choice, music, art….The Bird was a new, radical voice from the South.

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About the Project

In 2010, Georgia State University Library began a project to digitize The Great Speckled Bird for inclusion in its digital collections — an effort to create a searchable, accessible online resource for students, historians, and researchers. In support of this project, former members of the Atlanta Cooperative News Project and the Atlanta Progressive Media Foundation, owners of the copyright to The Bird, gave Georgia State University Library rights to place the publication online for educational and non-commercial use. While the University Library’s Special Collections and Archives department owned a near complete run of the publication, members of The Bird community helped fill gaps by donating or loaning additional issues. Scanning for this project was completed in early 2011 and the digitized issues of The Bird were made available online in April. View copyright statement here.

Free Great Speckled Bird Traveling Exhibit

In 2011, Georgia State University Library received a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council to create a traveling exhibit that will introduce The Bird to a new generation of readers.The exhibit consists of four retractable display panels (two panels shown) and is available to libraries, archives, and colleges on request and without charge. The panels, approximately 7 ft. by 3 ft., are free-standing and require minimal assembly. Loan periods are negotiable. Shipping costs will be subsidized for the first five borrowers and after that may vary depending on the location of the borrowing institution. Click for more information.

Related Collections and Resources

Tom Coffin Photographic Collection, Special Collections and Archives, GSU Library.

Great Speckled Bird records, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Great Speckled Bird website, includes articles, reminiscences, and links to other sources.

The Berkeley Barb, Berkeley, California.

The Rag, Austin, Texas.