Magazines Are to be Read and Studies as Primary Source Documents

Decent Essays

It is a well-noted fact, among periodical experts and students of print culture alike, that the word magazine, in English as well as French, bears the original meaning of “storehouse” (Scholes and Wulfman 29). Here, etymology provides valuable insight into the interdisciplinary nature of this field of study and the essential characteristics of the study itself which merit such an approach as is hereunder delineated. In viewing the early twentieth-century magazine as a repository of distinct yet reticular pieces of information, it is evident that special care must be given to the investigation of its contents. Among the most prominent concerns of modernist periodical research in that regard, according to the writers surveyed, is the …show more content…

In order to construct an effective means for studying periodicals, therefore, it would seem that deliberate effort must be given not only to the assembly and dissemination of unexpurgated copies of these texts but also to material categorization and searchability. One cogent statement by Latham and Scholes reiterates this simple truth: “the usefulness of a digital archive depends heavily on our ability to find things in it” (521). In order to further mitigate the debilitating effect that library cataloguing and anthologization have had on modernist periodical researching techniques, it is necessary to employ a system whereby works can be sorted according to their linguistic as well as bibliographic, or physical, features. Scholes and Wulfman propose a method for bringing about such an arrangement in their chapter entitled “Rethinking Modernist Magazines” (54-55).
In closing, it is important to note that the conceptual approach described above—albeit promising—does not come without certain implicit restraints, perhaps the most notable of which is the pressing need for quality research through interdisciplinary cooperation. One writer proposes “the creation of humanities labs” in addition to the implementation of “tools and institutional structures necessary to engage the diversity, complexity, and coherence of modern periodical culture” (Latham and Scholes 530). Above all, research that is truly

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