It was just announced that the BBC is launching a digital archive of The Listener, its radio magazine that ran from 1929 to 1991.
The Listener not only published the BBC’s programming schedule and promoted upcoming radio content, but featured many writers from the Bloomsbury Set such as Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, and T.S. Eliot. It was also at the forefront of the popular science industry, explaining and promoting theories such as Einstein’s relativity, quantum mechanics, and wave-particle duality to a generally educated audience. The Listener, along with BBC pamphlets and other related ephemera, not to mention the BBC’s signal itself, had a wide reach into the European continent and had a broad impact on discourses in all areas of culture, both mainstream and avant-garde.
This resource will make it much easier to study the history and culture of the 1920s and 1930s, and beyond.
I’m pleased to announce that I have begun planning a comprehensive database of Modernist Magazines to be called, “The Database of Modernist Periodicals.” This database was inspired by Scholes and Wulfman’s important contribution to periodical studies, Modernism in the Magazines.
I will make a more detailed announcement this spring, but in the meantime, the database will be designed to be a community undertaking. Much like Turbotax, the database will lead contributors through a series of questions in order to produce a bibliographical correct entry on any modernist magazine. As the database grows, we hope to implement network analysis tools to make it a robust teaching and research environment.
Later this spring, I will ask all of you to look over the draft document and make your own suggestions as to what YOU would like to see in the database.
Finally, I’m looking for a logo for this database. To start this project in a collaborative manner, I would like to ask you all to send me suggestions for “iconic” images of the modernist period published in magazines before 1923 (links to these images would be greatly appreciated).
I look forward to sharing more with all of you, and I wish you all the very best for this coming year.
I hope the new year has been a good one so far! I just wanted to drop a quick note and mention that the Modernist Journals Project has started a new endeavor to broaden our web web presence on Flickr and Youtube. So far, our Flickr page features covers for The Crisis and a special selection of covers and ads from our “on or about” 1910 collection — hopefully, with more theme and cover sets to come. In addition, we have planned a series of Youtube tutorials to help users navigate the database more efficiently. So far, we have our first basic tutorial up and running and will begin work on a new one soon. Any suggestions or feedback you might have on these projects is welcome.
In the Times today I saw a review of the new HBO series “Boardwalk Empire,” which takes place during Prohibition. It stars Steve Buscemi and a number of stellar actors, and had some advisement I believe from Martin Scorsese.
The show seems to pay an unprecedented attention to accuracy of historical detail, and some of the sources were magazines. The caption to one picture in the slide show reads: “Whenever possible, John A. Dunn, the show’s costume designer, used authentic clothing from the period, either rented or bought on eBay or in vintage clothing shops; otherwise the costumes were handmade to designs of the period. He rummaged through the collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum and studied old magazines catalogs and tailoring books.”
It also indicates that the soundtrack features music found in silent movie scores and old nickelodeons that hasn’t been heard for almost a century.
It would be interesting to know why the people on the production side were so interested in material culture sources for a show depicting such a symbolic period in American history (beyond the simple need for realism). I don’t have time at the moment, but I’m going to try and follow up with links to some interviews that might elucidate the creative processes behind this show. Makes me wish I had a subscription to HBO.