A commenter the other day (thanks, Elena) was kind enough to ask where I get all the stuff that appears on this blog.
So, for anybody else who might be interested, this is the first installment in what will be an occasional series of posts on researching magazine history (at least in the amateur way I go about it).
For contemporary accounts of editors and their magazines, I’ve enjoyed, and spent far too many evenings, poking around in online newspaper archives. As I’ve mentioned before, the editors of major magazines were once national celebrities, so the gossip columnists of the day, such as O. O. McIntyre, Walter Winchell, and Dorothy Kilgallen, frequently ran items about them. (Whether those items were always reliable is another question.) Magazine launches and closings were also widely covered, and when editors died, newspapers, particularly The New York Times, often ran richly detailed obituaries.
Among the newspaper resources I’ve found useful:
- Chronicling America, from the Library of Congress
- Historical Newspapers Online, a list of free archives assembled by The University of Pennsylvania
- NewspaperArchive.com, a paid site
Next time: A roundup of some of the best general reference books on magazine history.