Magazines & Archives

This week, I checked out The Dilettante (one of the "ephemeral bibelots" of the 1890s), the socialist magazine The Masses (my favorite magazine so far - it's delightful), and the Irish magazine Dana. I was particularly interested in finding magazines that represented either minority or burgeoning political factions - The Masses and Dana definitely satisfied those criteria. I chose the Spokane-based Dilettante for a similar reason, in that, as a magazine from "backwards America" (released just about 10 years after Washington achieved statehood), it also corresponds to a kind of burgeoning political identity (albeit in a less immediate way than The Masses or Dana). With each magazine, I chose the first and last issues as well as an issue from the middle in order to map, in a way, the formal evolution of the magazines. 

The questions that I was considering as I read these texts were (unsurprisingly) political in nature. I was drawn to the fact that, with The Masses and Dana at least, these magazines were less of a business venture and more of an attempt to form a political coalition. So, for my question, I would like to consider the relationship between the political potential of these magazines as social networks. Can we see a correlation between these magazines and the social media that we know today? I'd also like to consider, more broadly, how the political potential of these magazines changes over time.  What happens when The Masses, for example, as a socialist magazine can only be accessed at an archive based at an institution such as a university? Is there a loss of political potential? Is that potential reclaimed when the text transitions from a physical archive to a digital archive?