Preservation

A Brigade in Scribner's Magazine

I decided to take a look at Scribner's Magazine. The directory notes that "many bound copies remain"--and I was curious as to why that would be the case. Why would especially many copies of a particular publication remain? Something must be unique about the construction, the presentation, or the way it was preserved. The entire thing hasn't been digitized (although the magazine ran from 1870-1939, only the editions from 1910-1922 have been digitally archived on modjourn.org). Interesting that only the very latest twelve years have been converted into a digital format. The directory mentioned something about microfilm, so I looked into that, and apparently microfilm emerged as a method of document preservation in 1839 but didn't become widespread until after 1900. My guess is that magazines already imprinted on microfilm have proven easier to digitize, thus influencing the volumes we have access to in archives.

Scribner's contains a truly impressive amount of advertising. The information page about it on modjourn.org estimates the proportion of advertising to total pages to be about half, and I'd say that's correct. But the magazines are actually quite long--the first two I checked out were 150 pages and 230 pages. So, there was a solid 75-115 pages of solid content in each edition. Accompanying illustrations are of good quality and ubiquitous.

I found a ballad called "The Old Niagara" by Arthur Guiterman with drawings by John Walcott Adams on page 47 of the August 1912 (Volume 52, Issue 2) Scribner Magazine. The title refers to a fire engine. The way the illustrations are laid out around the metered text is fascinating. It's positioned between two other works that have a flavor of loss. That's intriguing, since Guiterman's ballad ends on a note of humor, and it's almost possessed by a kind of energy--the living spirit of a town rallying to fight a fire. I mean, there's loss in the ballad, but it's funny. The pieces in its area take wildly different perspectives on loss, forgetting, and destruction.

Ruskin Proof Cuts and the Test of Time--National Geographic Volume 21 Number 6: June 1910

In my exploration of the Modernist Journals Project, I looked at the 1910 collection,and the National Geographic issue from June 1910 at  http://modjourn.org/render.php?id=1236637331812500&view=mjp_object .  In this issue, advertisements occurred only at the beginning and at the end, but many of them were concerned with time, times changing, and with preservation or keeping of time, including advertisements for watches and cameras.  On one particular page, an advertisement for the selling of Ruskin Proofs, concerned wtih the preservation of the old masterpieces of Rusikin in reproduction, is located next to "Baldwin Dry Air Refrigerators" which are concerned with "The Test of Time."  Within a few pages, there is a full-page advertisement for the Waltham Watch Company, who advertises their watch company as "a matter of history." 

Obviously a magazine like National Geographic appeals to an audience who is interested in the historical record, and interested in preservation of the present for posterity.  That seems to be its intellecual agenda. Advertisements, as such, appeal directly to people who are interested in the history of the company, in objects who will help them record the past or present, and in objects of historical import or authenticity.