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What’s New Is Old

April 13, 2012

Cover of a Kirkland student publication donated by Alice Hildebrand

In the 1970s, we didn’t have blogs or tweets. But we did have our own version of print on demand. Among our student-generated publications were Public Fantasies, The Whole Works Too, and The Political Spark. These homegrown magazines were created and produced by Hamilton and Kirkland students outside the purview of the Publications (now Media) Board. Similar to Hamilton’s current The Green Apple or The Daily Bull, these publications offered satire, political commentary, and literary works. Some were posited as an antidote to such sanctioned campus publications as Dessert at the Plaza or The Spectator.

One early example of cross-campus collaboration was The Outside, edited by Philip Hill, Robert Hubbard and Connie Sayan K’72.  (One of the contributors to The Outside, Kirkland’s Ellie Tupper, has work in the upcoming Lost Orchard: Prose and Poetry from the Kirkland College Community.) An inside cover of a 1969 copy reads:

The Outside is a privately sponsored publication. Although the material in this issue is limited to the writing of Hamilton and Kirkland College undergraduates, The Outside welcomes contributions from all colleges and universities as we plan to distribute the magazine as widely as possible.”

Detail of typescript cover design, 1969

Although it’s hard to fathom in this digital age, these homemade creations were typed on a typewriter, photocopied, illustrated, and distributed by hand. On their own, students independently conceived of, staffed, funded, produced, and disseminated creative publications without the ease of 21st-century self-publishing tools.

Do you remember these or other student publications? What do you recall about their origins or the process of putting them together? Did you publish in them? Send us your recollections as well as any scanned covers!

by Jo Pitkin K’78 and Jennie Morris K’72

Take Note:

The Burke Library offers a “Hands-On Hamilton” every month, and the topic for April 2012 is literary magazines, starting from the earliest ones in the middle of the 19th century, including the Royal Gaboons and Continentals early in the 20th century, to the many different literary magazines published by Kirkland and Hamilton in the second half of the 20th century, up to the current publications.

A Bicentennial-oriented exhibit in the  Library is scheduled to run from April 19 through Reunion Weekend, June 3rd.  If you are able to visit the Hill during that time, check it out!

donated by Alice Hildebrand K'73

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