American Periodicals Series includes digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals published from colonial days to the dawn of the 20th century. Titles range from Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine and America's first scientific journal, Medical Repository; popular magazines such as Vanity Fair and Ladies' Home Journal; regional and niche publications; and groundbreaking journals like The Dial, Puck, and McClure's.

APS chronicles the development of America across 150 years. The journals in this collection cover three broad periods:

  • 89 journals published between 1740 and 1800 offer insights into America's transition from colonial times to independence. The journals support research for a range of academic fields. Titles include Massachusetts Magazine, which published America's first short stories, and Thomas Paine's Pennsylvania Magazine, which reported on inventions. One of the first mass printings of the Declaration of Independence, a letter by George Washington on the crucial Battle of Trenton, and the thoughts of Benjamin Franklin are among the highlights of content from this period.
  • The first 60 years of the 19th century became the golden age of American periodicals, with general interest magazines, children's publications, and more than 20 journals for women. Many of the publications reflect on the growing debate over slavery, including the serialization of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom’s Cabin in National Era that preceded the novel. Also available are hard-to-find materials, such as Edgar Allan Poe's contributions to the Southern Literary Messenger, as well as the first appearances of Nathaniel Hawthorne's stories in New England Magazine, and Margaret Fuller's contributions to the Dial.
  • 118 periodicals published during the Civil War (1861-1865) and Reconstruction (1865-1877) eras reflect the nation in turmoil and growth, and titles from the 1880s through 1900 capture the settling of the West and the emergence of modern America. Early professional journals, including Publications of the American Economic Association and Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, popular titles such as Scribner's and Lippincott’s issued by publishing houses, celebrations of Americana in Ladies’ Home Journal, and the incisive political and social commentary of Puck and McClure’s illustrate the variety of the American experience.

Because the database contains digitized images of periodical pages, researchers can see all of the original typography, drawings, graphic elements, and article layouts exactly as they were originally published.

Cross search APS and ProQuest Historical Newspapers™!

Customers of APS Online and any or all of the ProQuest Historical Newspapers can expand their research coverage by seamlessly searching across 200 years of American magazines and journals and these important newspapers of record.

Accessing American Periodicals Series

The database is available on the Web through ProQuest®, a premier information access and retrieval system. In addition to the standard ProQuest interface, APS is available in a customized interface that provides more immediate access to the historical content, plus information on all of the more than 1,100 periodicals.

APS is suitable for all types of researchers, whether online novices or information professionals. The complete ASCII text in the American Periodicals Series (including tables of contents) is searchable by keywords and Boolean operators. Articles are linked to the corresponding page images, which are downloadable in Adobe® PDF.

The ProQuest interface is OpenURL-compliant for both inbound and outbound linking. This capability allows users to access articles or publications from their other electronic resources. Create links to a variety of resources including:

  • E-Journals
  • Document delivery services
  • Link resolvers
  • Your library’s OPAC
  • A to Z list providers such as Serials Solutions

Free MARC records are available.

Rarity of source material means that there will be some gaps in the collection.

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