Thursday, August 30, 2007

Three Cheers for the Time Archive

I rather suspect that when most people go to the website of Time Magazine, it is to read the latest news and articles from the magazine. But Time has a resource that I have found myself using more and more. Quite simply, they have an archive of every story ever published in Time since 1923.

For someone like me, this can be quite a boon to research. In fact, a lot of the pieces I have written in the past year have used information I have found in old Time articles. Yesterday's article on Harry Donenfeld and his shady past is only the latest article on whichI consulted the Time archive. One would be surprised what he or she can find in the archive. For instance, I was able to find out precisely when Street and Smith shut down their pulp magazine line through simply searching for "Doc Savage" in the archive.

Of course, the archive has its disadvantages. Time has always been one of the more respected magazines, so that it didn't always cover a lot of pop culture in its early years. Indeed, even though his magazine had been published since 1933, Doc Savage is not mentioned in Time until 1949 when that magazine was cancelled. A bigger problem with the archive is that it doesn't differentiate between lower case and upper case. A search for the comic book character "Batman" will yield results for "batman," as in someone assigned in the British military to an officer. And you can probably figure out what happens if you search for the pulp magazine character "The Shadow..."

At any rate, the Time archive is very useful. And it is even fun just to browse. I have actually found out some little tidbits of history I didn't know previously through simply doing random searches in it. It is definitely the best thing about the Time website.

By the way, the rating for this blog has changed drastically. I guess this is what happens when one writes about Harry Donenfeld and, um, the material he published before becoming part of DC Comics....

Mingle2 - Pittsburgh Singles

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