Historical magazines at Central Library

by googler@evpl on Wednesday, January 14 2009, 8:58am. Viewed 6,497 times.

Central Library has a large collection of magazines, most of which are held for five or ten years. But there's also a pretty impressive collection of older magazines, which have been bound into hardcover and are being retained for their historical value. They can't be checked out, but they can be used in the library.

American Magazine cover 1920sThe oldest is the American Magazine, which the Library has from 1908 to 1953. This was a general interest magazine that was known for publishing features in the muckraking vein, inspirational "Horatio Alger" type success stories, fiction and poetry, and eventually settled into a family magazine slot, much like Life. Other general interest magazines in the collection are Atlantic Monthly (1921-1974), Harper's (191-1973), Life (1936-1972), New Yorker (1956-1974), Reader's Digest (1931-1974), Saturday Evening Post (1956-1968), and Saturday Review (1924-1942).

There are also a few good examples of women's magazines, Good Housekeeping (1924-1954) and Ladies' Home Journal (1927-1949). I sometimes think today's young women would benefit from looking at the stereotypical way women used to be portrayed in publications like this (or in the display ads of any historical magazine).


Another great cultural resouce are old issues of Architectural Record, which the Library has from 1940 to 1970. Enthusiasts of mid-century design and decor will find a lot to enjoy there. Also, business is represented by Fortune from 1930 to 1974. It's a valuable primary source on the Great Depression.

There are also historical issues of news magazines, for contemporary takes on past events: The Nation (1926-1949), Newsweek (1937-1975), Time (1926-1974), and US News and World Report (1951-1974).

The Library has also retained a few important titles in the sciences (although please understand that the older scientific information is, the less accurate it's likely to be). Bound issues of National Geographic is held from 1920 to 1961, and Scientific American from 1930-1974.

And if you use these volumes in the library, please don't reshelve them! Because they don't check out, the only way we know they're being used is when we reshelve them. And we really like knowing they're being used!


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