All Good Magazines Go to Heaven

The Hyman Archive in London, the world’s largest private magazine collection according to Guinness, contains more than 120,000 titles. Its founder, James Hyman, began collecting magazines as a teenager. Credit:Lauren Fleishman for The New York Times

LONDON — When James Hyman was a scriptwriter at MTV Europe, in the 1990s, before the rise of the internet, there was a practical — as well as compulsive — reason he amassed an enormous collection of magazines. “If you’re interviewing David Bowie, you don’t want to be like, ‘O.K., mate, what’s your favorite color?’,” he said. “You want to go through all the magazines and be able to say, ‘Talk about when you did the Nazi salute at Paddington Station in 1976.’ You want to be like a lawyer when he preps his case.”

Whenever possible, Mr. Hyman tried to keep two copies of each magazine he acquired. One pristine copy was for his nascent magazine collection and another was for general circulation among his colleagues, marked with his name to ensure it found its way back to him. The magazines he used to research features on musicians and bands formed the early core of what became the Hyman Archive, which now contains approximately 160,000 magazines, most of which are not digitally archived or anywhere on the internet.

It was frigid inside the archive during a recent visit — a good 10 degrees colder than the chilly air outside — and the staff were bundled up. Space heaters illuminated a nest that Tory Turk (the creative lead), Alexia Marmara (the editorial lead) and Mr. Hyman had made for themselves amid boxes of donations to the collection. It lines more than 3,000 feet of shelving in a former cannon foundry in the 18th-century Royal Arsenal complex in Woolwich, a suburban neighborhood abutting the Thames in southeast London.

The Hyman Archive was confirmed as the largest collection of magazines in 2012 by Guinness World Records; then, it had just 50,953 magazines, 2,312 of them unique titles. Now, a year and a half after Mr. Hyman was interviewed by BBC Radio 4, donations are pouring in, and amid them Mr. Hyman and his staff have carved out space for an armchair and a snack-laden desk. (The rest of the foundry is a storage facility used mostly by media companies to house their film archives and the obsolete technology with which they were made.)

Stacks of British Vogue in the archive. Credit:Lauren Fleishman for The New York Times

At a moment when the old titans like Condé Nast and Time Inc. are contracting, shape-shifting and anxiously hashtagging, herein lies a museum of real magazine making, testament to the old glossy solidity. The price of admission, however, is stiff: visitors can do research with a staffer’s aid for 75 pounds per hour (about $100), with negotiable day rates (and a student discount of 20 percent), or gingerly borrow a magazine for three working days for £50.

“I always knew it was a cultural resource and that there was value in it,” Mr. Hyman said of the archive. But having the collection verified by Guinness was about validation, he said, “because then people might take it more seriously than just thinking: ‘Some lunatic’s got a warehouse full of magazines.’”

Ms. Turk has a knack for repackaging Mr. Hyman’s animated monologues into what in the trade are called sound bites. “I maintain that James always had the foresight that this was going to be something else, more than just a sort of collector’s dream,” she said. “The archive is all about preserving and documenting the history of print.”

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By David Shaftel, Jan. 24, 2018, first appearing in NYT > Books
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8 In 10 Adults Still See Libraries as Sources of Credible Info

Card Cat

Photo by Sanwal Deen on Unsplash

With the terms of what constitutes “news” or even “facts” ever more in question, most Americans are comfortable depending on public libraries to help guide them toward reliable sources. A new study cited by the Pew Research Center reports that at least seventy-eight percent of adults believe their local library can steer them toward information that is “trustworthy and reliable.” In fact, the public’s growing fear of being bamboozled by “fake news” may actually be working in our libraries’ favor, as “about six-in-ten adults (sixty-one percent) say they would be helped at least somewhat in making decisions if they got training on how to find trustworthy information online.” Chances are, your local librarian will be able to help you with that very objective.

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Learn Your Library Resources – HeritageQuest

HeritageQuest

HeritageQuest Online is a comprehensive treasury of American genealogical sources—rich in unique primary sources, local and family histories, convenient research guides, interactive census maps, and more.

Discover the amazing history of you with HeritageQuest Online. It delivers an essential collection of genealogical and historical sources—with coverage dating back to the 1700s—that can help people find their ancestors and discover a place’s past.

Now powered by Ancestry.com, this amazing collection consists of the following core data sets:

  • U.S. Federal Censuses feature the original images of every extant federal census in the United States, from 1790 through 1940, with every-name indexes for all years.
  • Genealogy and local history books and directories deliver more than 40,000 family histories, local histories, city directories, and other books.
  • Revolutionary War records contains original images from pension and bounty land warrant application files help to identify more than 80,000 American Army, Navy, and Marine officers and enlisted men from the Revolutionary War era.
  • Freedman’s Bank Records, with more than 480,000 names of bank applicants, their dependents, and heirs from 1865–1874, and full-page register views, it offers valuable data that can provide important clues to tracing African American ancestors prior to and immediately after the U.S. Civil War. It is considered one of the most important resources for African-American genealogical research.
  • U.S. Serial Set records the memorials, petitions, private relief actions made to the U.S. Congress back to 1789, with a total of more than 480,000 pages of information.

With a robust search interface, thumbnail images, hit highlighting, easy-to-use tools, and convenient in-library or remote access through Moline Library website (under the Catalogs & Databases tab), HeritageQuest is a valuable resource to any family history publications or genealogist.

The clues are out there waiting. Let HeritageQuest Online help you to find them.

Learn Your Library Resources – Business Source Premier

Looking to start a business? Invest? Just curious about that company that is new to the area? Business Source Premier is the place to go.

Business Source Primier“The industry’s most widely used business research database, this collection features full text and searchable cited references for top journals covering a variety of business disciplines. In addition, it includes market research reports, industry reports, country reports, company profiles and SWOT analyses.”

So, if you wake up tonight at 3am and discover that you have an obsessive need to find out if the Albanian market is ready for a chain of all night taquerias (SPOILER ALERT: It’s probably not), then we have you covered. All you need is a Moline Public Library Card and you can log in from anywhere at anytime.