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EDITOR’S NOTE: Psst … it’s been 50 years

What a long, strange trip it’s been

00 CL ARCHIVE File Photo Web
Photo credit: Tony Paris
BOUND FOR GLORY: The ‘Creative Loafing’ archives in the M. Rich Building on MLK, Jr Dr.

To mark Creative Loafing’s 50th anniversary, we provide you with a look back at the newspaper and how it reflected events in Atlanta over the last 50 years. This issue is not a history of the paper, nor of the city, but a collection of stories by some of our writers who attempt to capture the essence, maybe even the madness, of what it takes to keep publishing Creative Loafing for five decades.

We reached out to former writers, editors, and Atlantans who either helped the paper get started or whose lives were impacted by CL. Most of them replied. A few did not. That’s to be expected. The Loaf has had a revolving door of contributors, whether that door was located on Beach Valley Road, Cheshire Bridge Road, North Highland Avenue, West Peachtree Street, Willoughby Way, Northyards Boulevard, 18th Street at Atlantic Station, Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, or, in cyber space, where we work currently.

The stories included focus on the roots of Creative Loafing. There is no attempt to create an “oral history.” Such endeavors are nothing more than false narratives.

As for “Volume 51, Issue No. 9,” that’s what happens when you switch from a weekly to a monthly, but it does add up. June, 2022, marks 50 years.

With this anniversary, we are happy to announce the Creative Loafing archives will finally start to be made available online. If you search, you may find a few articles online or on our website from 2000 onward, yet most of the stories are not complete, the graphics may not be present, and the files are certainly not searchable in any way that makes it an easy task to find what you are looking for. This malfeasance is due in part to Creative Loafing having undergone many changes in ownership since the turn of the century. As ownership changed, so did the platforms upon which our websites were built.

For the last five years, however, with Ben Eason having regained ownership of the Atlanta paper, we have been working diligently with the Digital Collections department of the University Library at Georgia State University to pull together all of our archives, whether, loose, in moldy boxes, or in the bound volumes we have kept throughout the years so that each page of each issue is scanned, meta tagged, and available to the public. It is a long, arduous task, and will not be completed soon, but work has begun. Currently, this Digital Collection includes all issues of Creative Loafing published between the inaugural issue of June 3, 1972 and October, 1973. Additional issues will be added on an ongoing basis. You will find them here.