Avant-Garde Periodicals Meet Digital Archives

By Karen Gisonny, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Collection Strategy
April 17, 2014
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

The Library's research collections of little magazines and avant garde journals are tremendous and as curator for small press materials I was excited to attend “Remediating the Avant Garde: Magazines and Digital Archives", a symposium at Princeton University, home of the Blue Mountain Project. The symposium focused on the unique issues and challenges that arise when these highly artistic, visual and experimental journals are digitized. Here are some presentation highlights:

The ACC Fackel - Die Fackel, the digital version of the satirical journal edited by Karl Kraus from 1899 to 1936, provides free access to complete set of 37 volumes. The innovative and wide range of search indexes and tools make this an astounding resource. You’ll need to create account to access, while you’re there, enjoy the journal bindings wallpaper.

The Digital Pan - This presentation compared digital and print formats, focusing on use of metadata and how physical elements of the journal can be lost when not properly digitization - such as paper quality, oversize format and how those missing elements reduce the user experience of this visually stunning and important Art Nouveau journal published in Berlin (1895-1900).

DABNAP - This digital archive of little magazines from the University of Antwerp is in the very early stages of development and covers 1950-1990. One of it's significant features is it's mission to stretch copyright issues with digitizing some awesome neo avant garde little mags like Artworker Star...very cool.

Modernism from a Distance: Data Mining the Little Review - I love this project which used data mining of The Little Review to study changes in a journal’s editorial, regional and political focus.

Learn more about Digital Archives and magazines here:

Blue Mountain Project digitizes historic, avant-garde journals for research. NYPL is a partner and contributed Volne Smery, La Cite, Glebe andUmelecky Mesicnik for digitization. When work is completed they'll be available on the Library’s Digital Collections website.

Modernist Journal Project - This joint project of Brown University and University of Tulsa is a major resource in the study of modernism and periodical studies.

Index of Modernist Magazines - This index is compiled by at Davidson College enrolled in the seminar Modernism, Magazines & Media.