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Research Guides

HSTAA 110: History of American Citizenship: Primary Sources: Newspapers & Magazines

Image: sample newspaper & magazines (LA Times, Essence, Pittsburgh Courier, Life and Seattle Times)  

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Finding Printed Magazines

In addition to the online resources listed on this page the UW Libraries has a printed collection of 20th century magazines such as Time, Newsweek and the Saturday Evening Post. Just go to the AP2 section on the 4th floor of Suzzallo Library to browse these magazines. 

Newspapers & Magazines as Historical Evidence

Strengths

  • Newspapers focus more on local or national issues and events rather than foreign countries. Magazines tend to be more national in scope -- news magazines (such as Time) and politically oriented magazines (such as The New Republic) cover everything from politics to wars while specialized magazines provide insight into cultural issues and material culture and cover sports, entertainment, fashion and more
  • Commentary, cartoons and letters to the editor provide public opinion information
  • Photographs and other graphics
  • Advertising included in magazines are useful primary sources especially for the study of consumerism, gender roles, material culture, history of technology, and popular culture. Display and classified newspaper advertisements provide Information about local prices, rents, jobs, etc. 
 

Keep in mind

  • Newspapers & magazines usually do not provide in-depth analysis nor do they provide scholarly context for an issue. They really do focus on the who, what, where and when rather than the why of an issue or event.
 

For more information on using newspapers see: Analyzing NewspapersNewspapers & Learning to Do Historical Research Prowling the Periodicals