January 24, 2022

V&A Celebrates 50 Years of Revolutionary Oz Magazine with Acquisition of Felix Dennis Oz Archive

From the The V&A Museum in London:

Today [Wednesday, June 14, 2017], the V&A announces that it has acquired the Felix Dennis Oz Archive, marking 50 years since the first UK publication of the revolutionary magazine, Oz. Felix Dennis was co-editor of the underground magazine published between 1967 and 1973, which sought to challenge the establishment and encapsulated the spirit of 1960s and 70s counter-culture. His archive not only recounts Oz’s kaleidoscopic history across its 48 issues, but chronicles one of the most politically and socially revolutionary periods in world history.

Media Report

Archive of the ‘Enfant Terrible’ of the Underground Press Bought by the V&A” (via Antiques Trade Gazette)

The magazine became the subject of the longest obscenity trial in British history in 1971 when it was raided by the obscene publications division of the Metropolitan Police.

Dennis and two colleagues were charged with conspiring to corrupt the morals of the young after the magazine printed an issue created entirely by school children, which included a sexually explicit parody of the Rupert Bear cartoon strip.

Celebrities and readers leapt to the groups defence and launched Friends of Oz campaign group. The Elastic Oz Band was formed and released ‘God Save Us’ featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono as part of the protest over the trial. The three editors were eventually acquitted of the conspiracy charge, but jailed for two other minor offences. However, all three eventually won their appeals and were released.

The archive includes posters, flyers and stickers from the protest over the obscenity trial as well as cover artwork, diaries and other documents from the magazine.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.