to copacetic web sites, groups, philosophies, direct actions,
libraries, etc. ...
The hope was when the world wide web was still in its infancy that the
online Digger Archives would help preserve and propagate the memory of that
amazing moment in time. Now, more than a decade later, there are signs
everywhere that not only the memory but the practice of the Diggers has
taken root not just in the counterculture but in the cyberculture which itself
grew out of the Sixties. This page will provide evidence of this statement.
Also included are sites that have a similar frame of reference in telling
the story of that period in world history.
Categories listed here:
Anyone who wants to suggest a site or link not listed here, please use
the Feedback Form.
2002-09-28. This page was first started in 1996. By now, many of the
sites listed in those early years of the World Wide Web have died. I try to
get around to updating this page, but if I have overlooked one (or been
perennially occupied with more pressing matters) please understand the
reason. In any case, I will leave all the sites below as a record of what
was once here.
In addition to the Digger Archives (the site you are currently reading),
there are several projects that have popped up over the past few years to
document the San Francisco Diggers and their progeny. Here they are:
The Digger Archives (www.diggers.org)
was started in 1993 by the "Digger Archivist" (so named by Peter Berg) after
attending a demonstration of HTML by Tom Bruce, the author of the first
graphical web browser (himself a protégé of Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of
the World Wide Web). To follow the history of the hundreds of accretions to
this site over the decades, check out the "What's New" page:
https://diggers.org/whats_new.htm. The Highlights page is also a
starting point for new visitors:
Diggers Docs (www.diggersdocs.org)
has specialized in oral history interviews of the surviving members of the
San Francisco Diggers. Written in blog format, the standard side panel index
links the articles and interviews that Jay Babcock has studiously compiled.
Here are the interviews he currently has transcribed:
Jane Lapiner and David Simpson,
Peter Berg, Vicki
Chuck Gould, and
Found SF: the San Francisco digital history archive (www.foundsf.org)
is an offshoot of Shaping San Francisco (www.shapingsf.org)
which describes its mission as "a participatory community history project
documenting and archiving overlooked stories and memories of San Francisco."
Chris Carlsson and LisaRuth Elliott are the curators of the vast collection
of histories and documents that tell the story of San Francisco's past. The
Diggers are but one group included. I have found the best approach to
locating materials here is their search engine. Some Digger-related
A Digger Family Album (diggers-photo-gallery.com)
is a collection of hundreds of photographs by Chuck Gould. These are
primarily of the Free City period (with the daily readings on the steps of
City Hall in the spring of 1968) and later years when many of the Diggers
had moved to country communes after leaving San Francisco following the 1968
Summer Solstice. This album is an incredible treasure that Chuck spent years
The Really Really Free Market [no longer live]
This group holds a monthly bazaar in public spaces to provide for free
flow of energy and goods. If anyone wants to get a sense of what the Digger
Free Stores were like, just visit your nearest RRFM. Their motto: "No money.
No Barter. No trade. Everything is FREE!" Website: http://www.reallyreallyfree.org
[no longer active].
Note (2020): Even though no longer active, fortunately the curator saved
a copy of their home page. Here's a
PDF Snapshot of the RRFM web
site in 2010.
There are various connections between the Digger and Free Software
movements. Early hackers revered Richard Brautigan's poem,
All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving
Grace. One of the early Silicon Valley groups called themselves
Loving Grace Computers. Chester Anderson and Claude Hayward ran the
Communication Company presses at the Invisible Circus under the name John
Dillinger Computer. Unlike the New Left whose slogan "Do Not Fold
Spindle or Mutilate" showed a true Luddite reaction to the potential for
computers wreaking destruction on humanity, the Digger and countercultural
embrace of computers was in the spirit of what individuals could do with
this technology once freed from the control of the few. The marriage of the
counter and hacker cultures in the early 1980s gave us the microcomputer
revolution. Today, the Free Software
is the purest reverberation of these roots. Their motto:
You deserve to
use software that is: free from restriction; free to share and copy; free to
learn and adapt; free to work with others -- you deserve free software.
Every student who downloads the latest video or song for free is
participating in this underground culture. Here's a
PDF of the FSF web site.
The 17th century English Diggers originated a creative response to the
Enclosure movement that had seen the traditional land which had been open to
common usage fenced off and deeded to rich and powerful landowners. This
impulse to privatize common ownership of resources continues to this day.
Corporations are laying claim to the human genome, putting patents on gene
sequences that will privatize our very DNA. The movement to reclaim a commonspace for creative works is most definitely in alignment with the
impulse that caused Gerrard Winstanley and his fellow Diggers to plant the
soil on St. George's hill in 1649, and that caused a group of hippies to lug
milk cans of hot stew to the Panhandle in 1966.
Creative Commons invites
participation of all artists, musicians, writers and anyone who has produced
work to share for the generations. Here's a
PDF of the CC web site.
It is too easy to suggest that the Free
Words project is an offshoot of the Inevitable Gift
Economy suggested by the Digger experiment. Perhaps future
historians will provide the links of influence. Nevertheless,
the forces behind this work need to be included in the
pantheon of the descendants of Free.
This is the thing about digger energy, it's irrepressible and
sprouts wherever officialdom is attempting to block people's energy
from solving social problems outside proscribed solutions. Check out
the San Diego Black's
Beach Diggers, indubitably heirs to an authentic digger
tradition [link removed 2004 when the domain name was lost to
a commercial rip-off].
From their website:
Welcome to the Black's Beach Diggers front door page.
The largest clothing-optional beach in the
western hemisphere is Black's Beach in northern San Diego County. It
sits at the base of the 350-foot high cliffs of the Torrey Pines
city park. These cliffs are steep and slippery, and climbing down
can be dangerous.
For decades, the city of San Diego has neglected to build safe
access to the beach, despite the fact that people who climb down the
cliffs sometimes fall and get injured, and occasionally die.
So, some regular beachgoers began constructing a trail down the
cliff. Over the last twenty years they have placed several tons of
brick, hundreds of square feet of blacktop, and thousands of feet of
lumber. It is all done by volunteers, who supply all their own tools
and materials. This web site is about the trail they have built.
And from another page on their site:
The Legal Bullshit.
The City of San Diego has harassed people who build the trail,
citing them for "destruction of plants" under Municipal
Code 63.0102(B)(4), and even getting restraining orders which forbid
them from setting foot on the Torrey Pines City Park.
One Digger, who was issued a citation, asked the citing lifeguard
why he was doing it. The lifeguard, one Mr. T. Cicchetto, said that
the city was concerned about liability. He explained that if the
city builds nothing, and permits no one else to build, then it is
not liable. Then, if you fall and break your leg, it is you vs.
However, if the city builds even one step, or permits someone to
build a step, then the city is liable for any injuries, according to
In summary, the city puts bureaucratic
concerns ahead of the health and safety of its citizens. That,
ultimately, is the reason for this web site.
(added August 2001)
Free Print Shop
The Free Print
Shop has been in continuous operation since 1968, when it was
inspired into existence by the Diggers in conversation with the
communal group that formed around the project.
Check out their Free Charts that are so reminiscent in layout and intent of the
Free City News resource sheets. They have Free Eats, Free Shelter, Free Medical,
Neighborhood Fix-It and Free Pantry charts, all intended for San Francisco
Planet Drum Foundation
Planet Drum, which originated the Bioregional Ecology movement,
was a continuation of the
evolutionary thread that began with guerilla theater of the SFMT and
evolved into the street theater of the Diggers. Peter Berg sent a report
on the Turtle Island Bioregional Gathering held in Mexico in November,
1996.: "Without the arguesome baggage of a political ideology, new
forces for change in political-cultural consciousness have begun
operating in response to present world realities. ...The concept of a bioregion is proving to be a practical
tool that can communicate older concerns in contemporary terms. It
represents a life-raft for survival and a new basis for alliances
between land-based groups to counter a rising tide of global
Food Not Bombs
The Food Not Bombs movement is remarkable for its congruence with the
Digger ideals, and yet the members profess no prior knowledge of the SF
(or English) Diggers. That's what makes social history so exciting some
times, the spontaneity and confluence of underground movements that
re-create basic forms that are never lost no matter how much repression
the State may mete out. Food Not Bombs is alive and well, and growing
with over 100 autonomous chapters serving food and social theater at
your local park. Food Not Bombs has had a home page at:
Let me know if there are other pages in their network.
Black Bear Ranch
From the home page of the
Black Bear Ranch:
and Andy are kind of focusing this page, but the intent is
that it be available for all of us to use as we would like.
Here are some of our intentions, requests and suggestions for
the ways we might use it:
We plan to develop this site with the
spirit of creative anarchy and self-organization that characterizes
our history together.
We would like this to be a site that
reflects our common history and experience and respects
the spirit and diverse feelings of the Black Bear Family.
We would also like it to be a place where
we can get to know ourselves better as a family and to get
to know each other as the individuals we have become over
It can be a place where we explore our
history together and where we make new plans for the
future and discuss future possibilities for the Ranch.
For those of you that have some web
development skills or want to take the time to learn them,
we would be happy to give you access to the web host site
so you can get creative.
We also have plans to include some
wiki-wiki pages on this site which will let anyone with
any level of skill add new text to the page, insert links
or change what is already there.
We will include an area where anyone can
say or argue about what they think about any part of the
site or anything else. (We can even talk about the goats.)
If you send me (Kenoli) pictures or text,
along with ideas of how you might want to see them posted,
as I find time I will try to include them in the site.
Send URL address for links to your site
or other sites of interest and we will post them on the
We welcome your comments, additions,
ideas, anything. Feel free to
us. Send ideas and attached photos and document.
"Welcome Home" is the greeting of the
when new arrivals make their way to one of the yearly,
pOoTers pSycheDelic shAcK
There are individuals and groups of young people today who have
taken up the Digger mantle and are carrying on their interpretation
of "digger do". This is one of those manifestations. The
statement of purpose on the web site states "pOoTers pSycheDelic shAcK operates a kind of Diggers perspective on stuff.
pOoTer likes free stuff and likes to do stuff for people for free so this site is an
information sharing project. It's only here to spread the word.........."
[Back to top]
Music of the 1960s is a page of links that cover the broad range of
musical styles of the era, including "The British Invasion"; "Folk"; "Rock";
"Pop"; "R&B, Motown, Soul,"; "Country" as well as general Sixties culture
[Many thanks to
Education Lab and specifically to one of their volunteers, Ashley,
for this recommendation. May 2021]
A beautiful web site devoted to Atlanta's hippie community:
The Peachtree Strip Project.
The Hippie Museum site has
some useful info but seems incomplete (no mention of the Diggers in
their Timeline, for example.)
Infography about Social Movements of the 1960s is a compilation of
sources recommended by a librarian whose research specialty is the
Sixties and social activism.
A Timeline of
San Francisco History, 1950-Present.
Literary Kicks by Levi
Asher (Beat history, excellent site).
Summer of Love Web. Curtis and Chet (and a bunch of other rainbow warriors) put together
the 30th anniversary celebration of the
Love, October 12,
1997. Check out their web site.
Glad to see that the BGP people don't own that domain name!)
Project and Vietnam Generation
Free Speech Movement Archives
Groovy Hippie Links. (with a midi version of Dr. John's Band)
Rockument has a page of links,
Music and Culture. They also have information on the CD-Rom that
Allen Cohen and Tony Bove produced,
In The Sixties. There's also an article by Allen,
Notes on the S.F. Oracle.
Links no longer active (as of 2021)
[Note: I have kept the original hyperlinks below in the hope that
someone will find their new locations if they have simply moved. In which
case please send me an update: curator at diggers dot org. Merci!]
Sixties page. [no longer active, 2021]
Page (very cool page of links) [no longer active, 2021]
Gene Anthony's Photo Archive.
The Haight-Ashbury Scene, Alive and
Online contains the beginnings of an archive of Gene Anthony's
photographic oeuvre covering the minute-to-minute life of the Haight
Ashbury from 1965 onward. Well worth a visit to see the 'real deal.' If
you want to see what it really looked like, especially recommended are
his snapshots of street scenes. Good collection of photos showing the
Digger events, including Death of Money/Now! parade. [none of these
links are any longer active, 2021]
Home Page has many rich and valuable resources for anyone studying
the Sixties, and specifically the Haight-Ashbury, including
Who of the Haight-Ashbury Era,
Haight-Ashbury sites. [none of these links are any longer active,
Haight-Ashbury Free Press. The Haight-Ashbury Free Press
publishes an eclectic range of articles. They have one page with
reminiscences of the Haight,
the Haight-Ashbury, and a page of
[none of these links are any longer active, 2021]
1968 [no longer active, 2021]
Land Web sites (Morningstar, Wheeler's, Black Bear) [no
longer active, 2021]
[Back to top]
Radio For All. Clearly "something's happening" here, what it is ain't
exactly clear. The Anarchist movement has grown, seemingly
exponentially, with the evolution of the Internet. How strange,
considering the philosophical objection to technology that many
Anarchists espouse. One of the sites that typifies this dichotomy is
Radio 4 All. Read the Digger
manifesto, Post Competitive,
Comparitive Game of Free City, and you can see the outlines of
this techno-friendly anti-corporate landscape that the Diggers
envisioned and now seems to be shaping itself in cyberspace. The
goal of R4A? Practically a
direct read from Post-Competitive: to create a widely distributed,
loosely coupled global network of community news to challenge
corporate control of the media.
Broadly. The founding members of the San Francisco Diggers were always actors
first and foremost. Consequently, they would have acknowledged Artaud or
Brecht as their intellectual precursors more than the Anarchist
movement. However, clearly to anyone looking at the fully developed
ideology and agenda of the diggers, they take an important place in the
history of Anarchism. Today, the Internet, in some places and in some
ways a working Anarchy itself, has been a catalyst to the growth of
anarchist groups worldwide. See
Press, Freedom Press,
and the Anarchist
FAQ for points of entry into this history.
is a gigantic project akin to the Digger Archives — to compile the
outlines and sources to document a social philosophy that has roots
hundreds of years old. (A North American
is available if the primary location isn't.)
The Land and
The Provos of Amsterdam.
Eventually, there should be a section on the Digger Archives that treats the
influence the Provos had on the Diggers and others in America. The Dutch
Provos lasted barely two years, just like the San Francisco Diggers,
although the time shift was one year. (Provos = 1965-1967; Diggers =
1966-1968.) Just like the Diggers, though, there were many offshoots of the
Provos in the subsequent years. The SF Diggers were most definitely in
contact with the Provos. (Evidence abounds, more on that later.) The link at
the head of this paragraph is to an excellent archive of the materials that
have been archived from this joyful anarchist movement. [11 May 2023[
[Back to top]
Black Panther Party. "The Black
Panther Party was a progressive political organization that stood in the
vanguard of the most powerful movement for social change in America
since the Revolution of 1776 and the Civil War: that dynamic episode
generally referred to as The Sixties. It is the sole black organization
in the entire history of black struggle against slavery and oppression
in the United States that was armed and promoted a revolutionary agenda,
and it represents the last great thrust by the mass of black people for
equality, justice and freedom." —from the
The Panthers and the Diggers had friendly, cooperative relations
around the time of the Huey Newton trial. Emmett mentions visits to the
Oakland headquarters of the Panthers at several points in Ringolevio.
[Search for "panther" in the Ringolevio pages.] Recently
I came across David Hilliard's absolutely engrossing story of his life
and the Black Panther Party. There are three passages that clearly show the passing of
Digger dharma that helped
inspire the Survival Programs that the Panthers made so central to their
message of revolutionary change:
Excerpts from: This Side of Glory: The Autobiography of David Hilliard
and the Story of the Black Panther Party by David Hilliard and Lewis
Cole, Little Brown & Co., 1993.
"Emmett Grogan sticks his head in the office. Emmett is the founder of
the Diggers, a tribe — that's what some radicals call their groups — who
organize the 'street people' of the Haight into revolutionary activity. A
few weeks ago, Emmett left off some bags of food his group distributes to
the runaways, draft resisters, and freaks who have flocked to Berkeley,
turning the town into the nation's counterculture capital. We told him to
put the stuff outside the office: in a few minutes people were flocking by,
stocking up on onions and potatoes. Now Emmett donates the food regularly.
Like the newspaper, the food serves a double purpose, providing sustenance
but also functioning as an organizing tool: people enter the office when
they come by, take some leaflets, sit in on an elementary PE class, talk to
cadre, and exchange ideas, all part of the revolutionary ferment I have
imagined when listening to Huey describe Fidel and Che in Cuba.
"'Potatoes and beans today?' Emmett asks. Nothing of the eager-to-please
liberal about Grogan. He dresses out of Rebel Without a Cause: black
motorcycle boots, jeans, white T-shirt, a pack of nonfilter Camels tucked
into his rolled-up left sleeve. He thinks he can teach me about the streets.
'You want it?'
"'Yeah, sure,' I say, 'leave it by the door.'"
"Bobby's [Bobby Seale, Chairman of the Black Panther Party] gifts for
inspiration are invaluable to the Party. A practical visionary, he convinces
crowds they can make a revolution, and has the same effect on the cadre. One
day he enters the office after Emmett has left off bags of beans and rice.
"'Damn, this is a good idea,' he says. 'We should do this.'
"'We are doing it,' the officer of the day says.
"'No, we should establish it. Every day. A Free Food Program. Get
contributions from the local businessmen and put together packages. Help
"And the Free Food Program starts."
"One aspect of our strength is that we're starting new programs. We begin
a program called Breakfast for Children, collecting donations of food and
supplies from local merchants and offering hot meals in St. Augustine's
Episcopal Church under the auspices of a Party friend named Father Earl
Neil. The program grows naturally from our new lives — Emmett Grogan's free
food baskets, the need now to feed our own kids, our desire to show the
community we do something more than shoot it out with cops. We call the
program a 'survival' program — survival pending revolution — not something
to replace revolution or challenge the power relations demanding radical
action, but an activity that strengthens us for the coming fight, a lifeboat
raft leading us safely to shore. Plus, the program helps organize people
into the Party and provides members with something to do other than worrying
about when they're going to off a pig. Bobby talks of initiating many free
programs, helping the old people cash their checks, giving medical aid,
providing education, all the necessities people do without."
[Back to top]
Public Secrets is Ken Knabb's monumental attempt to create
an archive of Situationist (and Anarchist) documentation.
Among the real gems of this site is an expanding
Archive with many of the Great Poet's essays, articles and
California Historical Society's
San Francisco MSS collections. Excerpt from "Collection Descriptions for the Preliminary
Listing of the San Francisco Manuscript Collections:"
Title: Haight Street Diggers. PAPERS, 1966-69. 1/2 box.
Papers of an organization founded in 1966 to provide free services to
the Haight-Ashbury District. The collection consists mainly of xerox
copies of flyers, broadsides, poetry, manifestoes, and other printed
material that were distributed in the community. There are also several
issues of the "Free City News" and the "Free News",
a community newsletter. Subjects of the material include the Summer of
Love, 1969; Glide Church Be-In; 1% Free Card; Free City Collective;
Happening House; KIVA; Chester Anderson; the Communication Co.; Hippies;
and Planet Edge. (MS 3159, unprocessed)
Bancroft Library at the University of California has several
collections relating to the Haight-Ashbury during the Sixties,
including a set of Communication Company photocopies that Michael Bowen
sold them ca. 1971. There is also the set of Communication Company papers that Chester Anderson
was sending to his "archivist" in 1967. And the Bancroft is
home of the Richard Brautigan Papers. Click the outline button to
see collection information below.
Bancroft's collections (as well as other major California
repositories) are cataloged in the massive
Archive of California, a gem of a research tool for any
historian of the West.
Title: Richard Brautigan Papers, 1958-1984.
Call No. BANC MSS 87/173 c.
Author: Brautigan, Richard
Title: Richard Brautigan papers, 1958-1984.
Description: 4 boxes, 9 cartons, 4 oversize folders.
Copies of prose: carton 4, folders 31-55; carton 5 : 2 microfilm reels : negative
(BNEG Boxes 1789-1790) and positive.
Copies of poetry: cartons 6-7 : 2 microfilm reels : negative BNEG Boxes 1791-1792) and positive.
Copies of notebooks, miscellaneous fragments: carton 8, box 4 : 2 microfilm reels : negative
(BNEG Boxes 1802-1803) and positive.
Copies of correspondence and miscellaneous personalia, 1965-1984, n.d.: boxes 1-2 : 2 microfilm reels : negative
(BNEG Box 1951-1952) and positive.
Copies of literary miscellany, 1965-1984, n.d. : box 3 : 1 microfilm reel : negative
(BNEG Box 1953) and positive.
Copies of notebooks: carton 9 : 2 microfilm reels : negative (BNEG Box 1954-1955) and positive.
Notes: Included in the Bancroft Poetry Archive.
Restrictions: RESTRICTED ORIGINALS. USE MICROFILM COPIES ONLY. Use of originals only by permission of the Curator.
Contains manuscripts of his writings, notebooks, financial records, correspondence, and other papers and memorabilia concerning his life and career.
Boxes 1-4, cartons 4-9, oversize folders 2-4 : also on microfilm.
Original manuscripts, letters, notebooks, and other manuscript materials created by Richard Brautigan may not be photocopied except by written permission of the copyright holder. Requests for such permission will be forwarded by the Curator. All other materials may be photocopied in accordance with standard Bancroft Library procedures. Refer any questions to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library.
Photographs transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 1987.068--AX)
2 motion pictures transferred to Microforms Division of The Bancroft Library (Classified as: Motion Picture 455 C & 456 B).
19 phonotapes transferred to Microforms Division of The Bancroft Library (Classified as: Phonotape 1975).
American writer (novelist, poet). Born Tacoma, Washington, January 30 1935. Died Bolinas, California, September 1984. For many, Brautigan was a quintessential voice of California in the 1960s.
Finding aid available in Library. Electronic version available on the Internet.
Subjects: Authors, American--20th century--California
Manuscripts (for publication)
Other entries: Online Archive of California Project
Bancroft poetry archive
Title: Chester Anderson Papers, ca. 1963-1980
Collection Call No.: BANC MSS 92/839 c.
Author: Anderson, Chester, 1932-
Title: Chester Anderson papers, [ca. 1963-1980]
Description: 1 box (.4 linear ft.)
Notes: Records (Jan.-Sept. 1967) of the Communication Company (San Francisco, Calif.), a member of the Undergound Press Syndicate, including broadsides, flyers, and handbills printed for the Diggers, San Francisco Mime Troupe, and the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, among other organizations, individuals, and events, including Human Be-In and the Invisible Circus at Glide Church. Also includes copy of a letter, 9 Feb. 1967, written by Chester Anderson to his friend, Thurlonius Benjamin Weed in Florida, discussing his move to San Francisco, his work, and his involvement in the Haight-Ashbury community. Also, includes edited typescripts of "Puppies"
(Entwhistle Books, 1979) and "Fox & Hare" (Entwhistle Books, 1980).
Literary figure of the Beat Era and the Haight-Ashbury community of San Francisco, Calif. in the 1960s. Founded the Communication Company, an innovative news service in 1967. Published works under his own name and a pseudonym, John Valentine. Anderson died in April 1991 in Homer, Ga., where he lived with relatives.
Subjects: Communication Company (San Francisco, Calif.)
Underground Press Syndicate
Diggers (Organization : San Francisco, Calif.)
San Francisco Mime Troupe
Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council
Human Be-In (San Francisco, Calif.)
Invisible Circus (San Francisco, Calif.)
Beat generation--California--San Francisco
Haight-Ashbury (San Francisco, Calif.)
Other entries: Weed, Thurlonius Benjamin
Valentine, John Puppies. 1979
Anderson, Chester, 1932- Fox & hare. 1980
SF Library History Center
The San Francisco History Center
at the SF Main Library has three boxes that Gladys Hansen (the founder
of the Center's predecessor SF History Room in the old Main) used to
call "her hippie collection." Still uncataloged and unarranged
to this day (I first used this collection in 1972), these boxes contain
mostly papers and records from the San Francisco Oracle. They appear to
be part of Allen Cohen's papers, though when I mentioned this collection
to him in 1996 he didn't remember donating them to the Library. There
are a few Communication Company papers, as well as correspondence
to/from the Oracle staff. I recently sent Rachel Barrett Martin a copy
of a transcript I found in this collection of a taped conversation among
several hippie and Hopi representatives. She is researching the
connection between the hippies and the American Indian mythology that
developed in the counterculture.
University of California at Davis Library
The Department of
Collections houses manuscripts that are of particular interest
in the history of the Diggers.
San Francisco Mime Troupe Archives. Accession Number: D-61.
50 linear feet. Biography: Founded by Ronald G. Davis in 1959
and later reorganized as a collective, the San Francisco Mime Troupe
is one of the oldest surviving radical theatre groups in the United
States. Description: Audio-visual materials, business records,
correspondence, designs, ephemera, films, financial records, legal
documents, photographs, promotional materials, and scripts;
extensive documentation of the Troupe's activities during the 1960's
and 1970's. Inclusive dates: 1961-1977.
Coyote, Peter (1941- ). Papers. Accession Number: D-121. 8
linear feet. Biography: Writer, director, and performer with an
environmental focus; early member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe
(1965-1967); founding member of the San Francisco Diggers
(1967-1970); member of the California State Arts Council
(1975-1983). Recent popular films include The jagged edge, E.T., and
A man in love. Description: Correspondence to and from agents,
lawyers, directors, actors, friends, and family members relating to
Coyote's professional work, political activities, and personal
lifestyle. Inclusive dates: 1983-1994
Davis, Ronald G. Papers. Accession Number: D-65.11.4 linear
feet. Biography: Actor, director, and founder of the San Francisco
Mime Troupe. Description: Audio tapes, photographs, scripts,
promotional materials, and ephemera relating the history and
productions of the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Inclusive dates:
Museum of the City of
Gladys Hansen started this Museum when she left the Library, where
she had curated the San Francisco History Room for many decades. The
Museum has continued Gladys' perseverance to the dream of preserving
our local history. And, they have no qualms about acknowledging the
Counter Culture's place in that history.
San Francisco Rock 1965-1969 is a good compilation of the
beginnings of what would be called the San Francisco Sound.
University of California Library
Video: Les Diggers de San Francisco, UCB Media Ctr VIDEO/C 7270.
Title: Les Diggers de San Francisco, La Seine et Planete presentent un film de Celine Deransart et Alice
Publisher: [France] : La Seine/Planete, 1998.
Description: 1 videocassette (84 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in.
Notes: Credit: Escriture, realisation et montage, Alice Gaillard, Celine Deransart ; image, Jean-Pierre
Performers: Commentary: Ron Davis, Peter Coyote, Peter Berg, Judy Goldhaft, David Simpson, Nina
Blasenheim, Lenore Kandel, Kent Minault, Freeman House, Michael Doyle, Allen Cohen, Jane
Lapiner, Eric Noble, Chuck Gould, Keith McHenry.
Subject: In 1965, while thousands of young people converged on San Francisco to protest the American way of life, the theater group The Diggers set up the Haight Ashbury free commune by means of guerrilla theater and street performances. Through interviews with members of the group and others this film looks at the evolution and experiences of the Diggers Theater Group, their eventual migration to a commune in Marin County and the impact of their performances.
Language: In English and French with English and French subtitles.
Subjects: Diggers (Organization : San Francisco, Calif.)--History.
Street theater--California--San Francisco--History
Theater--Political aspects--California--San Francisco
Popular music--California--San Francisco
Popular music--Political aspects--California--San Francisco
Beat generation--California--San Francisco
Communal living--California--San Francisco
Communal living--California--Marin County
Haight-Ashbury (San Francisco, Calif.)--History.
San Francisco (Calif.)--Social conditions.
Other entries: Gaillard, Alice
McHenry, Keith, 1957-
Diggers (Organization : San Francisco, Calif.)
La Seine (Firm)
- Michael William Doyle
- Title: THE HAIGHT-ASHBURY DIGGERS AND THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF UTOPIA, 1965-1968 (COUNTERCULTURE, SAN
FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE, CALIFORNIA, NEW LEFT)
Author(s): DOYLE, MICHAEL WILLIAM
Institution: CORNELL UNIVERSITY; 0058
Advisor: Adviser: MICHAEL KAMMEN
Source: DAI, 58, no. 11A, (1997): 4415
Abstract: The Diggers were an innovative collective of artist-anarchists who were active primarily in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district between 1966 and 1968. Their name derived from a group of seventeenth-century peasants who had courageously, if unsuccessfully, resisted the enclosure of the English commons. Organized by veteran members of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the later Diggers adapted the dramatic form known as "guerrilla theater" (originally conceived by the Troupe's founding director, R. G. Davis) as a mode of prefigurative politics in the realm of everyday life. The resulting technique, which they referred to as "life-acting," combined the direct action of anarchism with dramaturgical role playing.
The Diggers' principal project was to enact 'Free,' a comprehensive utopian program that attempted to function outside the money economy. It included providing no-cost medical and legal services, as well as operating free stores, hostels, farms, communication and transportation networks, among other endeavors. These alternative institutions and practices were swiftly emulated in numerous countercultural enclaves throughout the United States and abroad. Most of these undertakings proved to be
shortlived, supported as they were by the donation of surplus goods and cash that proved difficult to sustain with the disappearance of the "post-scarcity economy" beginning in the late 1960s. Similarly, the mutual aid network of volunteers that worked on a neighborhood level did not thrive when extended beyond a face-to-face community, or when overwhelmed by the rapid influx of large numbers of disaffiliated young people who proved unwilling to reciprocate.
During their last year of existence the Diggers took to calling themselves the Free City Collective. The change in name signalled a shift in their focus to expand the project of 'Free' so that it encompassed all of San Francisco. Although they formally disbanded in mid-1968, several members of the collective have continued the attempt to counteract what they regard as the more destructive aspects of American culture by working through the bioregional movement, which they were instrumental in founding in the early 1970s.
Descriptor: HISTORY, UNITED STATES
Accession No: AAG9813931
- David Kirschenbaum
- Title: Dig yourself :
Emmett Grogan and the diggers
Author(s): Kirschenbaum, David A.
Description: 44 leaves,  leaves ; p., 29 cm.
Named Person: Grogan, Emmett.
Named Corp: Diggers (San Francisco, Calif.).
Note(s): Bibliography: leaves -./ Dissertation: Thesis (M.A.) -- The University at Albany, State University of New York, Dept. of History.
Responsibility: Kirschenbaum, David A.
More Corp Auth: State University of New York at Albany.; Dept. of History.
- Arthur Richard Rizzo
- Title: The Diggers :
a study in the development of ideology
Author(s): Rizzo, Arthur Richard.
Description: iii, 75 leaves ; p., 29 cm.
Descriptor: Social movements.
Named Corp: The Diggers.
Note(s): Typescript./ Bibliography: leaves 73-75./ Dissertation: Thesis (M.A.)--San Francisco State College.
Class Descrpt: LC: AS36 1969
Responsibility: by Arthur Richard Rizzo.
Document Type: Book
Accession No: OCLC: 6037015
Document Type: Book
Accession No: OCLC: 29406654
- William George Thiemann
- Title: Haight-Ashbury :
birth of the counterculture of the 1960s
Author(s): Thiemann, William George.
Publication: [Ann Arbor, MI : UMI Dissertation Services,
Description: iii, 205 p. ; p., 22 cm.
Geographic: Haight-Ashbury (San Francisco, Calif.)
Note(s): Includes bibliographical references (p. 191-205)./ Dissertation: Thesis (Ph. D.)--Miami University, Dept. of History, 1998.
Responsibility: by William George Thiemann.
More Corp Auth: Miami University (Oxford, Ohio).; Dept. of History.
Document Type: Book
Accession No: OCLC: 41184124
[Back to top]
The San Francisco Poetry Renaissance preceded and set the stage for the
emergence of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco as one of the
worldwide origin points of the Sixties Counterculture. Thus, it needs to
have a place in the history of the Digger movement.
American Dust: Richard Brautigan's life and writing. Excellent resource.
Six Gallery Reading postcard:
Photo of jazz at The 6 Gallery 1957:
Photo of Kerouac gesticulating.
Ginsberg wearing Uncle Sam tophat:
Ginsberg on Beat Generation:
Ferlinghetti on Six Gallery reading:
(Berkeley Barb, Volume 26, issue 10(631), Sept. 16-22, 1977)
[Back to top]
The communal movement, with roots much earlier than simply the
60s, is alive and well at the beginning of the 2000s. The Internet
has proven a boon for young people (of all ages) who are seeking
alternative lifestyles. Our own Digger Guestbook(s) have been a
waystation for seekers to leave messages requesting guidance. One of
the best links I've found (please send others) is the
Communities magazine web site.
Loki wrote us and requested that we link to Eastwind
Community — "a commune that is still working at the