VRW: Open Access Periodicals

peter.suber's bookmarks 2024-05-24


"Here is a preliminary attempt at creating a working list of 19th-century British periodicals that are accessible online for free, as distinct from the much larger number of titles to be found behind the subscription paywalls of the commercial Gale and ProQuest collections. The core of the list is based on the list of serials assembled by John Mark Ockerbloom and his team at Penn, as part of their Online Books pages, with additions from various other sources,

Many of these titles are partial runs, and most are linked to the copy found in HathiTrust, which imposes a very useful bibliographical order onto scans by Google Books (and others) and provides an elegant reader interface.  HathiTrust has two grave drawbacks, however:  (1) some titles are not accessible, in whole or in part, outside of the U.S., and (2) most titles, although they can be searched and read online and a few individual pages copied, cannot be wholly downloaded unless you are affiliated with a university that is a member.  Luckily, a downloadable copy of a periodical listed only from HathiTrust can usually be found using the "Find in Google Books" link (under the "Get this item" tab at left) on the HathiTrust page for the item. 

The difficulties posed by HathiTrust are not found in Internet Archive, although the IA has disadvantages of its own: volumes often show up separately rather than as a set, searching for titles from scratch can be difficult, it is not nearly as sophisticated about metadata, and sometimes its scans are lousy.  And yet its advantages are great, as well, particularly since a 2018 donation led to the creation of the Serials in Microfilm collection of some 14,000 periodical titles, including such Victorian mainstays as Punch and the Illustrated London News. Unlike HathiTrust, IA highlights results when searching across volumes, and enables bulk downloads. Ignore the IA page headings for these serials, however, which invariably claim that the periodicals listed were published in the U.S.


A few of these links are to open-access curated collections like The Yellow NinetiesBLT19, and Nineteenth Century Serials Edition.  Where the link is to Google Books alone (rather than from the Online Books page) it is to the earliest available volume; to see more volumes, if any, of that title, scroll down and click on "Other editions" or "More editions." Titles not listed here may well be locatable through the Advanced Search feature of Google Books...."



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Date tagged:

05/24/2024, 09:15

Date published:

05/24/2024, 05:14