Over 1,100 American magazines spanning 200 years and covering nearly every aspect of American culture.
American Periodicals Series Online (1741-1930) is a major digital collection containing over 1,100 American magazines spanning 200 years and covering nearly every aspect of American culture, especially its history, science, literature, music, legal structures, agriculture, theater, and politics.
Titles range from Benjamin Franklin’s General Magazine (first published in 1741) and America’s first scientific journals, Medical Repository, as well as Scientific American, to literary and professional journals, specialized titles, and such well-known popular magazines as Vanity Fair, Ladies’ Home Journal and The Dial.
The journals in this collection cover three broad periods:
- 89 journals published between 1740 and 1800 offer insights into America’s transition from colonial times to independence. The journals support research for a range of academic fields. Titles include Massachusetts Magazine, which published America’s first short stories, and Thomas Paine’s Pennsylvania Magazine, which reported on inventions. One of the first mass printings of the Declaration of Independence, a letter by George Washington on the crucial Battle of Trenton, and the thoughts of Benjamin Franklin are among the highlights of content from this period.
- The first 60 years of the 19th century became the golden age of American periodicals, with general interest magazines, children’s publications, and more than 20 journals for women. Many of the publications reflect on the growing debate over slavery, including the serialization of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin in National Era that preceded the novel. Also available are hard-to-find materials, such as Edgar Allan Poe’s contributions to the Southern Literary Messenger, as well as the first appearances of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s stories in New England Magazine, and Margaret Fuller’s contributions to The Dial.
- 118 periodicals published during the Civil War (1861-1865) and Reconstruction (1865-1877) eras reflect the nation in turmoil and growth, and titles from the 1880s through 1900 capture the settling of the West and the emergence of modern America. Early professional journals, including Publications of the American Economic Association and Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, popular titles such as Scribner’s and Lippincott’s issued by publishing houses, celebrations of Americana in Ladies’ Home Journal, and the incisive political and social commentary of Puck and McClure’s illustrate the variety of the American experience.
Because the database contains digitized images of periodical pages, researchers can see all of the original typography, drawings, graphic elements, and article layouts exactly as they were originally published.