Welcome to the Free Flowing digital archive.

Free Flowing was an alternative/”underground”/radical newspaper that appeared from January 1974 until approximately January 1979. It was published in Ames, Iowa from January 1974 until January 1977. Starting in February 1977, publication alternated between Ames and Iowa City, Iowa. Beginning in March 1978 until it’s demise, Free Flowing was published exclusively in Iowa City. After January 1979, it faded into oblivion.

This is an almost-complete archive. It’s only missing volume 1, number 7, September (or October) 1974. If anyone out there has that issue (digital or otherwise), I’d love to include it in this archive.

Now a note about the presentation:

  • Click on the Menu icon in the upper left-hand corner to find the issue you wish to view.
  • Volume 1, Number 1 was mimeographed on 8 1/2 x 14 paper, and is badly faded in places. The faded areas are not quite readable. I’m currently working on obtaining a readable copy, or enhancing the current copy. All subsequent issues were printed on newsprint.
  • At times, the Free Flowing people got particularly creative in their layout. This is most prevalent in the center spread where they (we) offset some of the columns, or laid things out horizontally. While this works fine for a hard copy, it presents problems for an 11″ x 17″ scanner. Please bear with me while I work out a better presentation.
  • This archive represents an initial presentation. It’s very much a work in progress. I plan to make continual incremental improvements to make the archive more readable.

I’d like to thank my old friend and comrade, Tom Davenport. He had the foresight to save several sets of Free Flowing and keep them safe for over forty years. Without Tom’s generosity, this archive would not be possible.

This project has been a labor of love. My time working on Free Flowing, was very special and unique. Having not saved any copies myself, I feared that Free Flowing had, so to speak, been lost to the dustbin of history. Consequently, it’s been a special honor to bring it back to life and allow it, in it’s own unique way, to present a glimpse into the radical/alternative counterculture of Central Iowa in the mid-1970’s.

This site is dedicated to all those who created Free Flowing, and to those who kept it flowing for over five years.

Gary Larsen – former Free Flowing worker and contributor