MAJOR SERIAL ARCHIVES LISTING CRITERIA
Along with books, The Online
Books Page also lists major archives of
serials (such as magazines,
published journals, and newspapers).
Serials can be at least as important
as books in library research. Serials are often the first places
that new research and scholarship appear. They are
sources for firsthand accounts
of contemporary events and commentary. They are also often the first
(and sometimes the only)
place that literary works appear. (For those who might still quibble
about serials being listed on a "books page", back issues of serials are
often bound and reissed as hardbound "books".)
The Online Books Page lists serials in much the same way as it lists
ordinary books. Serials appear in a special
but they also appear in the
and new items listings
intermingled with books. They also have listing criteria similar to
the listing criteria used for books.
There are many newspapers, magazines, and journals that have useful
Web sites, but that do not have archives that qualify for the listings
as I have specified above. While I do not have the time to list all
of these Web sites on this page, there are other indexes that do list
such sites. See, for instance,
- The serial archives must be legitimately available at no charge.
That is, they must be either in the public domain, or online with the
permission of the applicable copyright holders. There must be no
fee (or other consideration) required to access the contents of the serials,
though ads may be included in the archives.
- The serial must be significant. Serials listed must
be carried and cataloged by a major library in order to qualify for listing.
(Hence, most amateur 'zines do not qualify for listing here,
unless they've made it into a major library collection.)
- The serial archives must be accessible and reliable.
(Reliability here refers to the digital data and services, not to the
content of the serial itself).
Poorly done transcriptions, unreadable images, archives on unreliable
Web servers, or archives that are
too difficult for the average reader to navigate, may be omitted from
my listings. Readers should at least be able to locate particular
issues of serials, and then be able to go to any article in the serial.
- The serial archives must be permanent, like they are in a library.
(Some sites have full copies of previous issues, but only for a limited
time period, and the issues disappear after the time period expires. Such
archives normally do not qualify for listing.)
- Complete contents of issues (or at least all of the major items
in the issues) must be offered in the archives. (By this I mean the
text of all the articles, not just table-of-contents listings.)
Serial archives that omit syndicated or reprinted material because
they do not have the copyright permissions to include them may, however,
still qualify for listing, if the archive includes all of the serial's
original material, and if this original material
is the main content of the serial.
(For example, a modern newspaper archive may be included for its
original articles, even if the archive omits
nationally syndicated columns, and stories provided by outside wire services,
that appeared in the original print newspaper.) Omissions of this material
will still be noted in a cover page I provide for the archive, though.
- There must be a significant run of the serial available online.
I don't expect the entire run of a 150-year-old magazine to go online
before I'll list it, but at the same time, it is not worthwhile
to list single issues, for the most part. Generally, I require
that at least one continuous year (12 months, or 52 weeks,
or 365 days)
of a serial be online before I'll list it in my main database. Serials
that lasted less than a full year may still qualify if the full run is available
(the entire run of The Germ,
for instance, was
only four issues).
Serial projects with less than one year's worth of material, but
that are continuing to grow towards that goal, may be listed in
my in-progress page when suggested
- As with the books I list, I give priority to serials in English,
or at least comprehensible to an English-speaking reader. (A serial
that is mostly art, but with some foreign-language captions, for instance,
could qualify, as might a serial with both English and foreign-language
content.) I can sometimes list serials in other languages, but have
limited time and expertise, and will generally only list them when another
digital library project (such as Hathi Trust) has already cataloged the
- If there are multiple archives for a particular serial, I will
generally link to all of the archives with significant amounts of material
(under a single cover page), as long as the sum total of the archives'
contents meet the criteria above.
If the serial in question is still being published, I will include
a link to its official site, if any, even if that official site does
not itself maintain a qualifying archive, as long as there is some
qualifying archive for that serial somewhere on the Net.
I hope the index of major serial archives is a useful service for the Net.
If you find it useful, please let me know
when you learn of
new major serial archives that I haven't listed yet.
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Edited by John Mark Ockerbloom (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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