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2504346Literary Research Guide — Periodicals2017James L. Harner

This section is limited to works not restricted to a national literature, genre, or subject.

Research Methods[edit]


Marshall, Ashley, and Robert D. Hume. “The Joys, Possibilities, and Perils of the British Library’s Digital Burney Newspapers Collection.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 104.1 (2010): 5–52.

Although focused on Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Burney Collection Newspapers (I524), addresses problems (especially involving full-text searching), limitations, and frustrations that face users of any newspaper digital archive. Additionally, the authors suggest the archives’ important research uses for literature scholars and bibliographers.



MLA Directory of Periodicals: A Guide to Journals and Series in Languages and Literatures [1978– ]. New York: MLA, 1979– . Available online only through vendors of the MLAIB (G335) or, for MLA members, through Updated biannually.

A directory to c. 7,100 print and electronic serials devoted to studies of language or literatures (other than classical Greek or Latin) and included at some point on the MLAIB Master List of Periodicals (the list at was temporarily unavailable as of 24 October 2012; see instead Academic Database Assessment Tool (ADAT), currently hosted by the Center for Research Libraries and jointly supported by JISC Collections [1]; the Master List in the front matter of the print volumes of MLAIB [G335] is not cumulative). Entries typically include MLAIB acronym, scope (articles, notes, reviews, bibliographies), subjects covered, language published, publication information (including ISSN, frequency, circulation, format), indication whether the journal is peer reviewed, editorial and subscription information, and submission details (restrictions on contributors; submission fees and page charges; manuscript length and number of copies required; style manual; time interval between submission and editorial decision and between acceptance and publication; whether a journal has a blind or anonymous submissions policy; number of referees; and number of manuscripts submitted, accepted, and published each year). Since some editors do not respond to requests for verification, information carried over from earlier updates may be outdated. The accessibility of the data in these records varies markedly depending on the vendor.

Although it is not comprehensive and is outdated in some of its information, the MLA Directory is the best source for identifying serials that specialize in an author or topic and for determining where to submit a manuscript. Authors should, of course, verify submission requirements by consulting the most recent copy of the serial or visiting its Web site.


Patterson, Margaret C. Author Newsletters and Journals: An International Annotated Bibliography of Serial Publications Concerned with the Life and Works of Individual Authors. Detroit: Gale, 1979. 497 pp. Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 19. Z6513.P37 [PN4836] 016.809.

A bibliography of 1,129 currently published and defunct serials, arranged alphabetically by author (with additions on pp. 357–65). Entries typically include bibliographical, editorial, and subscription information; description of contents; languages published; reprint availability; and indexing information (in both the publication and standard serial bibliographies and abstracts). Seven appendixes analyze listings in a variety of ways (e.g., by centuries and authors, and by indexing and abstracting services). Title index. Updated by Patterson’s “Author Newsletters and Journals: Supplement 1 [2, 3],” Serials Review 8.4 (1982): 61–72; 10.1 (1984): 51–59; 11.3 (1985): 31–44. Patterson provides a wealth of detail on specialized serials, many of which are not indexed by the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G of this Guide. A revised edition is now needed.

Additional current author journals are listed in Bracken, Reference Works in British and American Literature (M1357).


Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Ulrichsweb. ProQuest, 2013. 26 Aug. 2013. <>. Updated weekly.

Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory: Including Irregular Serials and Annuals (Ulrich’s). New Providence: ProQuest, 1932– . Annual. Title varies. Z6941.U5 011.

A bibliographic database of information on more than 300,000 regularly and irregularly published serials (print and electronic) published worldwide. The Search box allows users to search by title, ISSN, or keyword. The Advanced Search screen allows users to combine record fields (such as title, ISSN, publisher, language, and subject) and to limit searches in a variety of ways (e.g., refereed publications, date, language, availability through document vendors, and publisher). Each entry provides basic editorial and subscription information, ISSN, e-mail address, URL, electronic and other formats, an indication whether the journal is refereed (not always accurate), an incomplete (and sometimes inaccurate) list of serial bibliographies and abstracts that index the publication, and—for some periodicals—a brief description of contents or editorial focus, a link to tables of contents, and reviews published in a limited number of journals.

Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory classifies by subject only active serials and those which ceased publication within the past three years, includes much less information than the electronic versions, and is cumbersome to search. Following the subject classification are indexes of providers of online serials, of providers of serials published on CD-ROM, of serials that have ceased publication within the past three years, of publications by international organizations, of ISSNs, and of titles.

Given the ephemerality of many periodicals, the ease with which they begin and cease publication, and their proneness to frequent changes in editorial personnel or publisher, it is hardly surprising that directories such as Ulrichsweb are so full of errors or outdated information and omit so many publications.

See also[edit]

Anson and Maylath, “Journals in Composition” (U5605).

Dictionary of Literary Biography: Yearbook (J600a).

Directory of Literary Societies and Author Collections (E210a).

Related Works[edit]


Periodical Title Abbreviations: Covering Periodical Title Abbreviations, Database Abbreviations, and Selected Monograph Abbreviations in Science, the Social Sciences, the Humanities, Law, Medicine, Religion, Library Science, Engineering, Education, Business, Art, and Many Other Fields. Comp. and ed. Leland G. Alkire, Jr., and Cheryl Westerman-Alkire. 17th ed. 2 vols. Detroit: Thomson-Gale, 2007. Z6945.A2 P47 [PN4832] 050′.148.

A dictionary of periodical acronyms and abbreviations used by some of the major serial bibliographies, indexes, and abstracts. Coverage is limited primarily to North American and British publications and does not include all works in section G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts. Vol. 1 is an acronym list; vol. 2, a title list. Although coverage is far from exhaustive and includes some serial bibliographies that no longer use acronyms, the work is occasionally useful for interpreting the acronym or abbreviated title for a journal not included in the MLA Directory of Periodicals (K615) or the lists prefacing MLAIB (G335), ABELL (G340), or other standard language or literature bibliographies.

Acronyms and abbreviations of journals in classical studies are more fully covered in Wellington, Dictionary of Bibliographic Abbreviations Found in the Scholarship of Classical Studies (S4890a). A useful supplement for foreign journals is ITA: Internationale Titelabkürzungen von Zeitschriften, Zeitungen, wichtigen Handbüchern, Wörterbüchern, Gesetzen, Institutionen, usw. / International Title Abbreviations of Periodicals, Newspapers, Important Handbooks, Dictionaries, Laws, Institutions, etc., 12th ed., 3 vols. (Munich: Saur, 2009; CD-ROM).

Union Lists[edit]

Union lists of journals are essential tools for finding out what libraries hold a specific journal (and sometimes the volumes or issues held).

In records for journals, WorldCat (E225) both lists holdings in many libraries and provides a link to an institution’s OPAC.

Many library consortia or state associations produce regional union lists of serials. A reference or interlibrary loan librarian is usually the best source for information on the local lists.

Although now dated, Ruth S. Freitag, comp., Union Lists of Serials: A Bibliography (Washington: Reference Dept., Lib. of Congress, 1964; 150 pp.), is still useful for identifying union lists published before c. 1962.


New Serial Titles: A Union List of Serials Held by Libraries in the United States and Canada (NST). Washington: Lib. of Congress, 1953–99. Monthly, with quarterly, annual, and larger cumulations, including one for 1950–70. Available on microfiche since 1984. Z6945.U5 S42 [PN4832] 016.05.

A title list of serials from throughout the world held by libraries in the United States and Canada. Until 1981, NST includes only works first published after 1949; since 1981, it admits newly cataloged serials regardless of initial date of publication; and, since April 1996, it includes only printed serials. NST continues Union List of Serials in Libraries of the United States and Canada (ULS), ed. Edna Brown Titus, 3rd ed., 5 vols. (New York: Wilson, 1965), which records holdings for more than 156,000 serials published before 1950. NST and ULS are essential for identifying libraries that own lengthy or complete runs (but there are numerous errors and omissions in the records of holdings, and after the 1976–80 cumulation NST does not designate specific volumes held). For subject access, see New Serial Titles, 1950–1970: Subject Guide, 2 vols. (New York: Bowker, 1975).


Serials in the British Library. Wetherby: British Lib., 1981–2010. Quarterly, with annual and larger cumulations. Z6945.B874 [PN4832] 011.34.

From 1987 on, this source is restricted to new serials acquired by the British Library, with entries providing title, publication details, and ISSN. Indexed by subject. From 1981 through 1986, it is a union list of serials acquired since 1976 by the British Library and 16 other major libraries in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Serials in the British Library succeeds British Union-Catalogue of Periodicals Incorporating World List of Scientific Periodicals: New Periodical Titles (London: Butterworths, 1964–81, quarterly, with annual and larger cumulations), which records periodicals that were first published, began a new series, or ceased publication from 1960 through 1980, and lists the holdings of a significantly larger number of libraries. The holdings of earlier periodicals are recorded in British Union-Catalogue of Periodicals: A Record of the Periodicals of the World, from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day, in British Libraries (BUCOP), ed. James D. Stewart, 4 vols. (New York: Academic; London: Butterworths, 1955–58); a supplement (1962) extends coverage to 1960.

Digital Archives[edit]

This section is limited to digital archives that include journals from more than a single publisher. Several publishers (e.g., Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Blackwell) maintain their own archives, and several vendors (especially EBSCO [I512] and ProQuest [I519]) offer access to a substantial number of titles. The lack of a common standard for indexing journal issues can frustrate searchers. Some tables of contents include an abstract; some do not distinguish between articles and reviews; some do not identify the author of the book reviewed; some are inconsistent from volume to volume about how and what information is supplied; some do not list separately reviews (requiring that a searcher open and skim the HTML or PDF text of the entire review section); some do not provide a full citation on the first page of the HTML or PDF text of an article; some do not include front matter or back matter that appears in the print version of an issue. For an important discussion of problems involved in searching full-text archives of secondary material, see John W. East, “Subject Retrieval from Full-Text Databases in the Humanities,” Portal: Libraries and the Academy 7.2 (2007): 227–41.

Most publishers and vendors allow users to set tables-of-contents alerts.


JSTOR. ITHAKA, 2000– . 26 Aug. 2013. <>. Updated regularly.

A digital archive of more than 2,500 journals, with individual issues typically added three to five years after publication and with the goal of offering a complete back file for each journal. Some journals provide links to current issues and, since 2011, some publishers submit current issues. Unfortunately, a few publishers have stopped allowing new issues to be added (for a list see About/Content & Collections/Journals–Archive Collections/Complete List; journals with Fixed in the Moving Wall column no longer add issues). Journals can be browsed by discipline, publisher, or alphabetically by title. JSTOR has a growing list of primary collections and scholarly books. Search allows keyword searches of citations and full text. Advanced Search allows users to limit a search to one or more fields (full text, author, title, caption, abstract), to one or more types (article, review, miscellaneous, pamphlet), to a date range, to a language, to content included in an institution’s subscription, and to one or more publication titles or disciplines. Citation Locator allows users to search by title, author, journal title, ISSN, volume, issue, start page, and date. Results can be sorted by relevance or date (ascending or descending). Searches can be saved to MyJSTOR and used to create an alert. A record allows users to go directly to a page scan, PDF file, summary, page thumbnails, citation (which includes a stable URL for the document); to go to a page that includes a search term; and to e-mail, export, track, or save a citation. JSTOR offers full-text searching of several important language and literature journals and remedies some of the major frustrations of working with printed volumes (incomplete runs and missing, misshelved, or vandalized volumes).


Project Muse (Muse). Johns Hopkins UP, 2013. 26 Aug. 2013. <>. Updated weekly.

A digital archive of more than 500 journals and several thousand scholarly books in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. For journals that also appear in print, Muse digitizes all content except advertisements and covers. Users can limit a keyword search to books or journals or browse by research area, all titles, publisher, books, or journals. Results—which can be ordered chronologically (ascending or descending) or by relevance rank and which can be filtered (e.g., by content type, subject, author, language, and documents included in an institution’s collection)—can be marked for saving, printing, e-mailing, or exporting citations. Users can sign up for alerts and RSS feeds (click Tools). Records include a link to HTML or PDF files; users should note that books must be downloaded chapter by chapter. Like JSTOR (K700), Project Muse offers full-text searching of several important language and literature journals and books and remedies some of the major frustrations of working with printed volumes (incomplete runs and missing, misshelved, or vandalized volumes).


IngentaConnect Complete. Publishing Technology, 2013. 26 Aug. 2013. <>. Updated daily.

A bibliographic database that indexes and provides full-text access to several million articles, book chapters, and books covering a wide spectrum of fields and published, for the most part, since 1991. Search allows users to limit basic keyword searches of citations to article title, publication title, author, subscribed titles, index terms, and abstract. Advanced Search allows users to combine searches of author; index terms; abstract; publication title; ISSN, ISBN, or DOI; full text; volume; and issue and to limit searches to documents included in an institution’s subscription. Users can also browse documents by publication title, subject area, or publisher. Records (which can be sorted by relevance or date [ascending or descending]) can be marked for exporting or e-mailing. Users can save searches and create alerts. Although coverage of the arts and humanities is not particularly broad, IngentaConnect is useful for identifying articles in journals not covered by the literature bibliographies in section G.

Book Reviews[edit]

Included in this section are serials whose primary content is reviews. For indexes to book reviews, see sec. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts/Book Review Indexes.


American Reference Books Annual, [1970– ] (ARBA). Santa Barbara: Libs. Unlimited–ABC-Clio, 1970– . Annual. Z1035.1.A55 011′.02.

ARBAonline. Lib. Unlimited, n.d. 29 Dec. 2014. <>. Updated monthly.

Prints brief reviews (typically 150–400 words) of primarily English- and (beginning in vol. 41 [for 2010]) Spanish-language reference works (print and electronic) published or distributed in the United States or Canada (with decent coverage of the latter beginning in vol. 18 [1987]). Although claiming comprehensive coverage, ARBA actually overlooks or ignores each year a substantial number of major works within its scope. Reviews are organized in four extensively classified divisions: general reference works (organized by types of works, including bibliographies, biographical sources, directories, encyclopedias, and indexes), social sciences (including sections for ethnic studies and anthropology, genealogy, history, library science, publishing and bookselling, and women’s studies), humanities (including general works; language and linguistics; literature; mythology, folklore, and popular culture; and performing arts), and science and technology. The literature section has subdivisions for general works, children’s literature, drama, fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and national literatures (with each of the national literatures having sections, as needed, for general works, genres, and individual authors). Some reviews conclude with citations to others in library journals. Two indexes: authors and titles; subjects. Cumulative indexes: Joseph W. Sprug, Index to American Reference Books Annual, 1970–1974: A Cumulative Index to Subjects, Authors, and Titles (1974; 364 pp.); Christine L. Wynar, 1975–1979 (1979; 407 pp.); Ruth Blackmore, 1980–1984 (1984; 402 pp.); Anna Grace Patterson, comp., 1985–1989 (1989; 275 pp.); Patterson, comp., 1990–1994 (1994; 288 pp.); Susan D. Strickland, comp., 1995–1999 (1999; 346 pp.); Martin Dillon and Shannon Graff Hysell, comps., 2000–2004 (2004; 332 pp.); Hysell, comp., 2005–2009 (2009; 281 pp.).

ARBAonline includes reviews from vol. 28 (1997) forward, with new reviews added each month. Users can search by keyword, author or editor, ISBN or ISSN, publisher, subject, and title; searches can be limited to classified divisions and their subheadings (see above), ARBA volume, monthly update (important for those who want to keep current with new reference works; click the last search box in the ARBA Volume line for a pull-down menu), and publication date of the work reviewed. Users can also browse records by subject or by update. Results—which can be sorted by author or editor, publication date, publisher, ARBA volume, relevancy (called # of Terms), or title—can be saved to a list for printing (but not downloading or e-mailing), but each review must be printed separately. ARBAonline saves researchers from having to consult the individual print volumes and is more current than ARBA, but users who want to retrieve more than a couple records will justifiably chafe at having to print (or save through a Web browser) one review at a time.

Although the quality of the reviews has improved a bit over the years, too many remain essentially descriptive, and many that attempt evaluation are simply inaccurate or insufficiently rigorous. In recent volumes, too many reviews are by the editor or an unidentified staff reviewer. Omitting too many significant publications within its scope and insufficiently rigorous in evaluations, ARBA is primarily useful for alerting researchers to some new reference books and to changes in serial ones (which are examined at intervals).

Selected reviews are reprinted in Best Reference Books, 1970–1980: Titles of Lasting Value Selected from American Reference Books Annual , ed. Susan Holte and Bohdan S. Wynar (1981; 480 pp.); 1981–1985, ed. Wynar (1986; 504 pp.); and 1986–1990, ed. Wynar (1992; 544 pp.). None fulfills the claim of the works’ common title and subtitle.


Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. 1964– . 12/yr. Z1035.C5 028.

Choice Reviews Online. Assn. of College and Research Lib., 2013. 21 Feb. 2014. <>. Updated monthly.

A selection guide for libraries, each issue prints approximately 600 brief notices of English-language books published or distributed in North America (for the most part), electronic resources, a few new journals, and some nonprint materials. (For a full statement of the selection policy, see Most issues also feature an extended bibliographical essay on a topic of current interest, and the January issue lists “Outstanding Academic Titles” drawn from works reviewed during the past year. The notices, which have been signed only since vol. 22 (1984), are organized by subject areas, including the humanities, language and literature (classified by language), performing arts (with sections for film and theater), and reference works (although coverage of the last is weak). Two indexes in each issue (authors; titles); annual cumulative index.

Reviews since January 1988 can be searched through Choice Reviews Online, whose interface is a vast improvement over the one used by Individual issues can be searched by keyword. Advanced Search allows for combinations of searches by keyword (author or editor, ISBN, LC number, publisher, Choice review number, and name or affiliation of reviewer), subject area (see above), readership level, recommendation level, copyright year, format, LC classification range, interdisciplinary categories, outstanding academic title, and Choice issue. Users can also search features (e.g., bibliographic essays, editorials, and letters to the editor) published since 2006.

The notices are too seldom by recognized scholars, reviewers are allowed insufficient space for more than a cursory report, and too many important books are ignored or overlooked. Nonetheless, the sheer number of publications noticed, coupled with the abundance of publishers’ advertisements, makes Choice one of the better sources for identifying new and forthcoming English-language books published in North America.

Current Choice reviews are included in Books in Print (Q4225). MLA members have access to Choice Reviews Online through the MLA member page at


TLS: Times Literary Supplement (TLS). 1902– . Weekly. Former title: Times Literary Supplement (1902–68). AP4.T45 072′.1.

TLS Archive. TLS: The Times Literary Supplement. Times Literary Supplement, 2011. 26 Aug. 2013. <>. Updated weekly.

TLS Historical Archive, 1902– . Gale-Cengage, n.d. 26 Aug. 2013. <>. Updated annually.

Publishes reviews of books in a variety of fields (but with a decided emphasis on the humanities, especially literature) and, in recent years, of art exhibitions, television programs, movies, operas, and productions of plays; occasional essays on literary and other topics; a lively, sometimes contentious, letters section; reports on book auctions; and requests for information from biographers, editors, and other scholars (with much fewer appearing in recent years). Since 7 June 1974, reviews are signed. Long regarded as the best general review publication, TLS is valuable for its broad, literate coverage; however, it sometimes still betrays a British bias, the quality of reviews and qualifications of reviewers vary considerably, and the occasional reference work accorded space is rarely subjected to rigorous examination. Author index in each issue. TLS Archive, which begins with 1994 and is free to TLS subscribers, excludes advertisements and some copyrighted material. Users can search by keyword, author, title, contributor, or ISBN. TLS Historical Archive, which identifies many of the anonymous contributors, can be searched in Search (which allows a keyword or full-text search to be limited by date) and in Advanced Search (which allows a search of keyword, full text, article title, book title, author, contributor, illustrator, editor, translator, and record number to be limited by date and article type). In addition, users can browse by issue. (Historical Archive supersedes TLS Centenary Archive [2], which covers 1902–90.) Those without access to the Archives will have to consult the print indexes: the Times Index (M1450; coverage begins with 1973); Times Literary Supplement Index, 1902–1939, 2 vols. (Reading: Newspaper Archive Developments, 1978); 1940–1980, 3 vols. (Reading: Research, 1982); and 1981–1985 (1986; 407 pp.).

For the history of the weekly, see Derwent May, Critical Times: The History of the Times Literary Supplement (London: Harper, 2001; 606 pp.).

Times Higher Education (1971–, weekly) also reviews a number of books of interest to literature researchers.

Little Magazines[edit]

Guides to Reference Works[edit]


Kempcke, Ken, Diana Ramirez, and Steven Smith. “Reference Sources for the Study of Little Magazines.” Popular Culture in Libraries 5.2 (1999): 1–28. Z688.P64 P68.

A guide to essential reference sources—overviews, guides to scholarship, bibliographies of magazines, directories, union lists and catalogs, periodicals about little magazines, and indexes—for the study of little magazines. The annotations are typically descriptive (though some offer an evaluative comment).

Histories and Surveys[edit]


Hoffman, Frederick J., Charles Allen, and Carolyn F. Ulrich. The Little Magazine: A History and a Bibliography. 2nd ed. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1947. 450 pp. PN4836.H6 052.

A survey rather than a history proper of selected little magazines published since c. 1912, principally in the United States but also including a few from Great Britain and Ireland. The narrative part emphasizes the place of these publications in literary and cultural history, with chapters on individual magazines, types of publications, poetry, regionalism, politics, and psychoanalysis. The selective bibliography of United States, Canadian, British, and Irish magazines (from 1891 through 1946) is organized chronologically by date of first issue. Entries provide title; publication information; frequency; a record of mergers and suspensions; editors; and notes on history, scope, editorial policy, important contributors, and contents (although some information is taken from sources other than the magazines themselves). The bibliography includes a supplementary list of periodicals that are similar to little magazines. (For some additions to both lists, see Carolyn F. Ulrich and Eugenia Patterson, comps., “Little Magazines,” Bulletin of the New York Public Library 51.1 [1947]: 3–25.) Concludes with a list of secondary sources, which must be supplemented by Charles L. P. Silet, “An Annotated Checklist of Articles and Books on American Little Magazines,” Bulletin of Bibliography 34.4 (1977): 157–66, 208. Indexed by persons, titles, and a few subjects. This remains the fullest survey and bibliography of little magazines. Reviews: Louis Filler, American Literature 18.4 (1947): 334–35; Robert Wooster Stallman, Poetry 70.5 (1947): 274–78.

Although many supplements or new histories have been contemplated, none has appeared. For magazines since c. 1940, the best general source is Elliott Anderson and Mary Kinzie, eds., The Little Magazine in America: A Modern Documentary History (Yonkers: Pushcart, 1978; 770 pp.; also published as Triquarterly 43 [1978], 750 pp., but without the index), a collection of essays, interviews, and memoirs treating individual titles and kinds of magazines. The Little Magazine in America also includes an annotated bibliography (modeled on the one in Hoffman) of 84 little magazines since c. 1950, with a valuable preliminary discussion of sources for the study of little magazines in the United States.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

Despite the importance of little magazines in twentieth-century literature, their use is hampered by the lack of adequate bibliographies of magazines and indexes to their content. Consequently, researchers must depend heavily on incomplete collections in various libraries. Willard Fox, “The Archives: An Analysis of Little Magazine Collections in the United States and Canada” (Chielens, American Literary Magazines: The Twentieth Century [Q3410], pp. 439–58), offers an overview of the collections, finding aids, and complementary holdings of 28 repositories.

The fullest—but by no means comprehensive—list of little magazines is Catalog of Little Magazines: A Collection in the Rare Book Room, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin—Madison, comp. and ed. Robert F. Roeming (Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1979; 137 pp.). Profiles of several American little magazines are included in Chielens, American Literary Magazines: The Twentieth Century (Q3410).



The International Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses. Paradise: Dustbooks, 1965– . Annual. Z6944.L5 D5 015′.025. CD-ROM. Former title: Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses (1965–73).

Dustbooks eDirectories. Dustbooks: The Small Press Source. Dustbooks, n.d. 26 Oct. 2012. <>.

A directory of English-language little magazines and small presses, the majority of them in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Presses and magazines are listed alphabetically by name or title, with a typical entry recording such information as press or publisher (for magazines), editor, address, telephone number, e-mail address, Web site, type of material published, notes (on content of recent issues or publications, contributors, editorial policies, and sometimes artistic credos or pleas for submissions), submission requirements, production method, and subscription information. Based on information supplied by publishers or editors, entries vary in fullness, accuracy, and currency. Two indexes: subjects (more thorough beginning with the 46th ed. [2010–11]); regional (by state, then city; foreign countries follow states). The Directory is the best source for identifying current little magazines and active small presses; earlier editions remain valuable for information about defunct publications and presses, especially alternative and underground ones. Between editions, new listings appear in Small Press Review (1967– , bimonthly; PDF only since Jan. 2009).

Two complementary publications based on the Directory are Directory of Small Press / Magazine Editors and Publishers (1971– , annual; CD-ROM) and Directory of Poetry Publishers (1985– , annual; CD-ROM). The three Directorys and Small Press Record of Books in Print (Q4225a) are online through Dustbooks eDirectories.

For earlier English-language little magazines and small presses, Trace (1952–70) remains a valuable source of information, although locating within issues the variously titled “Directory” and its supplements is exasperating.

See also[edit]

Sullivan, British Literary Magazines (M1445).

Warwick, Commonwealth Literature Periodicals (R4385).



British Poetry Magazines, 1914–2000: A History and Bibliography of “Little Magazines.” Comp. David Miller and Richard Price. London: British Lib.; New Castle: Oak Knoll, 2006. 452 pp. Z2014.P7 B758 016.80881.

A bibliography of little magazines, originating in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland, that focus on the publication of poetry or, in a few instances, that publish prose or illustrations with “a strong connection to poetry.” Entries are organized by date of first issue (then alphabetically by title) within chronological periods: 1914–39, 1940–49, 1950–59, 1960–75, and 1976–2000; each section begins with a brief overview, but taken together these do not justify the History of the book’s subtitle. A full entry includes title; editor; publication information; dates of publication and issue numbering; references to indexes, studies, anthologies, Web sites, and reprints; notes on related publications (e.g., continuations); commentary on content, ideological bent, and key contributors; location of any surviving archive; and location of copies (usually with shelf mark). Entries for magazines published in Ireland are less full because of their coverage in Clyde, Irish Literary Magazines (N3003).

Concludes with a timeline of notable magazines and four indexes: places; subjects; names (including publishers and associations); titles. Replete with information on nearly 2,000 titles, British Poetry Magazines is the essential resource for identifying and tracking down copies of these frequently scarce publications and a valuable complement to such indexes of little magazines as Bloomfield, Author Index to Selected British “Little Magazines” (K785), and Sader, Comprehensive Index to English-Language Little Magazines (K790).


See Charles W. Brownson, “Access to Little Magazines,” RQ 22.4 (1983): 375–87, for a discussion of overlapping coverage in indexes to little magazines and recommendations for improving coverage.


Access: The Index to Little Magazines, [1976–78]. N.p.: Burke, 1977–79. Annual. AI3.A24.

Author, title, and subject indexes to selected little magazines published, for the most part, in the United States. The title index covers only fiction and poetry; the subject index is limited to nonfiction, including book reviews that are listed by the author of the book. Offering no explanation of the criteria governing selection, covering a very limited number of magazines (69 in the 1978 volume), and weak in its subject indexing, Access is principally useful because no other bibliography indexes most of the magazines for these years.


Bloomfield, B. C. An Author Index to Selected British “Little Magazines,” 1930–1939. London: Mansell, 1976. 153 pp. AI3.B56 052.

An author index to 73 little magazines, all but one of them published in Great Britain. Magazines not included—those indexed in general periodical indexes, without literary merit, or unlocated—are listed on pp. vii–viii. The approximately 11,000 entries cite title, publication information, and type of work (verse, prose, illustration); at the end of each author entry is a list of books by that author reviewed in magazines indexed. Although lacking subject access (except for the heading “Films Reviewed”) and encompassing only 73 magazines within a decade, Bloomfield is valuable for the access it provides to magazines otherwise unindexed.


Comprehensive Index to English-Language Little Magazines, 1890–1970: Series One. Ed. Marion Sader. 8 vols. Millwood: Kraus, 1976. Z6944.L5 S23 [PN4836] 016.051.

An author index to 100 periodicals, 59 of which are published in the United States and most of the remainder in Great Britain. Ostensibly limited to the “best” works, the Index does include several publications (such as Modern Fiction Studies and Twentieth Century Literature) that hardly qualify as “little magazines.” Under each author, primary works appear first, followed by works about the author (including reviews). In addition to recording basic publication information, each entry identifies the type of work (see vol. 1, p. xv for a list of abbreviations). Since unsigned works that cannot be attributed are omitted, Sader is not the “comprehensive” index claimed by the title; however, it does offer the fullest access to a minuscule number of twentieth-century little magazines.


Harter, Christopher. An Author Index to Little Magazines of the Mimeograph Revolution, 1958–1980. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2008. 733 pp. Z1231.P7 H37 [PS325] 016.811′508.

An author index to 114 little magazines published in the United States between 1958 and 1980 (not all of which were printed by a mimeograph machine). Excludes most publications that could not be indexed in their entirety as well as underground newspapers; editorials, introductions in individual issues, and illustrations (except for collages and cartoons) are also not included. Entries are indexed alphabetically by the author’s name as it appears in the OCLC Name Authority File ( Under each author, titles are listed alphabetically (and include publication information along with a genre designation); some lists have separate sections for translations by the author, interviews (both by and of the author), reviews by the author, and review of works by the author. Because it makes accessible the contents of many elusive publications not covered by the other indexes in this section, the Author Index will be welcomed by scholars working with little magazines, though many will wish for an index of genres.


Index to Commonwealth Little Magazines, 1964–1965. By Stephen H. Goode. New York: Johnson Rpt., 1966. 187 pp. 1966–1967. 1968. 251 pp. 1968–1969. Troy: Whitston, 1970. 216 pp. 1970–1973. 1975. 550 pp. 1974–1975. 1976. 491 pp. 1976–1979. Comp. Sarah V. Gray. 2 vols. 1984. 1980–1982. 1986. 926 pp. 1983–1984. 1987. 575 pp. 1985–1986. 1989. 280 pp. 1987–1989. 1991. 434 pp. 1990–1992. 1993. 308 pp. AI3.I48 051.

A highly selective author and subject index to articles, original works, review essays, and substantial reviews in 15 to 42 English-language little magazines, many of them published in the British Isles. Canadian publications are excluded. Although offering no explanation of the criteria governing selection, including some periodicals that hardly qualify as little magazines, and utilizing inexact subject headings, the work at least provides access to a few little magazines indexed nowhere else. Reviews: (1964–65) Charles L. Dwyer, English Literature in Transition, 1880–1920 10.2 (1967): 96; (1974–75) Joan Stockard, Literary Research Newsletter 3.4 (1978): 186–90.


Index to Little Magazines, [1948–67]. Chicago: Swallow, 1949–70. AI3.I54. Compilers and frequency vary.

Retrospective volumes have been compiled by Stephen H. Goode:

  • Index to Little Magazines, 1943–1947. Denver: Swallow, 1965. 287 pp.
  • Index to Little Magazines, 1940–1942. New York: Johnson Rpt., 1967. 234 pp.
  • Index to American Little Magazines, 1920–1939. Troy: Whitston, 1969. 346 pp.
  • Index to American Little Magazines, 1900–1919: To Which Is Added a Selected List of British and Continental Titles for the Years 1900–1950, Together with Addenda and Corrigenda to Previous Indexes. 3 vols. Troy: Whitston, 1974.

Contains author and subject indexes to selected little magazines, the majority published in the United States. Volumes typically cover between 31 and 57 important magazines not indexed by general periodical bibliographies such as Readers’ Guide (G400) and Humanities Index (G385). Besides covering 102 magazines, the 1900–1919 index supplements and corrects Goode’s other volumes. The subject indexing is usually too imprecise to be of much use, book reviews are not always indexed, and the coverage extends to only a small percentage of little magazines published before 1967. Still, these works remain the only indexes to many of the magazines.

See also[edit]

Annual Index to Poetry in Periodicals (Q4325a).

British Poetry Magazines, 1914–2000 (K777).

Humanities Index (G385).

Humanities International Complete (G360).

Index of American Periodical Verse (Q4325).

Index to Poetry in Periodicals (Q4325a).

“Little Magazine Interview Index” (Q4235a).

Messerli and Fox, Index to Periodical Fiction in English, 1965–1969 (L1085a).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]


Glazier, Loss Pequeño. Small Press: An Annotated Guide. Westport: Greenwood, 1992. 123 pp. Z472.G58 016.0705′0973.

A selective annotated bibliography of important works, published in the United States between 1960 and 1992, that treat aspects of literary publishing involving small presses and little magazines in the United States (principally since 1960). Excluded are bibliographies and most studies of individual presses, discussions of fine printing and vanity publishing, and material about nonliterary publishing by minority, ethnic, and other groups. The 174 entries are listed alphabetically in five divisions: directories, indexes, and guides; trade journals; studies of cultural aspects of small presses; commercial topics; catalogs, lists, and bibliographies. The thorough annotations are packed with essential information and frequently offer trustworthy evaluations. Indexed by persons, title, and subjects. Although selective and limited to English-language resources published after 1960, Small Press is the essential guide to contemporary literary small presses and little magazines.

See also[edit]

Chielens, Literary Journal in America, 1900–1950 (Q4250).