Photo Friday: the “IT girl” of the 60s

20131011 [International Times] BThis week’s photo Friday celebrates the publication of the first issue of International Times on 14th October 1966.

The first issue included a review of a play about the Vietnam war (Royal Shakespeare Company production of “US” ), a piece about the upcoming “Instruction Painting” show by Yoko Ono at the Indica Gallery, an obituary for Andre Breton, and a review of an exhibit “She: a cathedral” in Stockholm, which featured a giant woman visitors had to walk through.  The editorial notes that just days before this issue was published it was uncertain whether IT would ever actually appear, as the team didn’t have an office, typewriter or telephone to call their own.

International Times: The Barry Miles Archive is the archive of the first and longest lasting European underground newspaper, running from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. Barry Miles was the co-founder of Indica Books and Gallery and the International Times. Closely allied to the Beatles, who helped out financially, the IT covered everything from flying saucers to eastern mysticism, taking in contemporary music and literature. Contributors included William Burroughs, Alan Ginsberg, John Peel, Mal Dean and Jeff Nuttall. The iconic “IT Girl” logo appeared on the cover of each issue along with a striking graphic image.

The IT archive include a complete run of the paper along with the editorial minutes and internal memos detailing the finances and reaction to the police raids and take-over attempts which characterised the paper’s colourful history. Of great interest are the letters between Miles and co-founder John Hopkins while Hopkins was in prison, providing insights into the practicalities of running an underground newspaper under the constant scrutiny of the authorities.  Access to the archive is by arrangement with the LJMU Archivist.

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