Download 36 Dadaist Magazines from the The Digital Dada Archive (Plus Other Avant-Garde Books, Leaflets & Ephemera)

In search­ing for a trea­sure trove of pub­li­ca­tions spring­ing from the avant-garde, delib­er­ate­ly irra­tional, ear­ly 20th-cen­tu­ry Euro­pean “anti-art” art move­ment known as Dada, where would you first look? Many cor­ners of the world’s his­toric cul­tur­al cap­i­tals may come right to mind, but might we sug­gest the Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa? Even if you don’t feel like trav­el­ing to the mid­dle of the Unit­ed States to plunge into an archive of high­ly pur­pose­ful non­sense, you can view their impres­sive col­lec­tion of Dada peri­od­i­cals (36 in total), books, leaflets, and ephemera online.

“Found­ed in 1979 as part of the Dada Archive and Research Cen­ter, the Inter­na­tion­al Dada Archive is a schol­ar­ly resource for the study of the his­toric Dada move­ment,” says its front page. The col­lec­tion con­tains “works by and about the Dadaists includ­ing books, arti­cles, micro­filmed man­u­script col­lec­tions, vide­o­record­ings, sound record­ings, and online resources,” and in its dig­i­tal form it “pro­vides links to scanned images of orig­i­nal Dada-era pub­li­ca­tions in the Inter­na­tion­al Dada Archive,” includ­ing the influ­en­tial Dada and 291, as well as “many of the major peri­od­i­cals of the Dada move­ment from Zurich, Berlin, Paris, and else­where, as well as books, exhi­bi­tion cat­a­logs, and broad­sides by par­tic­i­pants in the Dada move­ment.” (Note: if you click on mag­a­zines in the col­lec­tion, you can down­load the var­i­ous pages.)

The his­to­ry of the archive, writ­ten by Tim­o­thy Shipe, also address­es an impor­tant ques­tion: “Why Iowa? One answer lies in a clear affin­i­ty between the Dada move­ment and this Uni­ver­si­ty. The inter­na­tion­al­ist, mul­ti­lin­gual, mul­ti­me­dia nature of Dada makes Iowa, with its Inter­na­tion­al Writ­ers’ Pro­gram, its Writ­ers’ Work­shop, its Cen­ter for Glob­al Stud­ies, its Trans­la­tion Work­shop and Cen­ter, its dynam­ic pro­grams in music, dance, art, the­ater, film, lit­er­a­ture, and lan­guages, an espe­cial­ly appro­pri­ate place to house the Dada Archive. A brief glance at the his­to­ry of Dada will make this affin­i­ty clear.”


You can learn more about that his­to­ry from the Dada mate­r­i­al we’ve pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured here on Open Cul­ture: the video series The ABCs of Dada which explains the move­ment (or at least explains it as well as any­one can hope to); the mate­r­i­al we gath­ered in cel­e­bra­tion of its hun­dredth anniver­sary last year; and three essen­tial Dadaist films by Hans Richter, Man Ray, and Mar­cel Duchamp. That will put into clear­er con­text the 36 jour­nals you can peruse in the Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa’s Dig­i­tal Dada Archive, some of which put out many issues, some of which stopped after the first, and all of which offer a glimpse of an artis­tic spir­it, scat­tered across sev­er­al dif­fer­ent coun­tries, which flared up briefly but bright­ly with anar­chic ener­gy, destruc­tive cre­ativ­i­ty, a for­ward-look­ing aes­thet­ic sense, and no small amount of humor.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Down­load All 8 Issues of Dada, the Arts Jour­nal That Pub­li­cized the Avant-Garde Move­ment a Cen­tu­ry Ago (1917–21)

Down­load Alfred Stieglitz’s Pro­to-Dada Art Jour­nal, 291, The First Art Mag­a­zine That Was Itself a Work of Art (1916)

Dada Was Born 100 Years Ago: Cel­e­brate the Avant-Garde Move­ment Launched by Hugo Ball on July 14, 1916

Three Essen­tial Dadaist Films: Ground­break­ing Works by Hans Richter, Man Ray & Mar­cel Duchamp

The ABCs of Dada Explains the Anar­chic, Irra­tional “Anti-Art” Move­ment of Dadaism

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (8)
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  • Ziad Eldada says:

    It is inter­est­ing to see my name used for busi­ness, don’t wor­ry I am not claim­ing roy­al­ty, if I have any. Just inter­est­ed to know what made you use the name Dada.

  • Nick Graham says:

    Dada or Dadaism was a form of artis­tic anar­chy born out of dis­gust for the social, polit­i­cal and cul­tur­al val­ues of the time. It embraced ele­ments of art, music, poet­ry, the­atre, dance and pol­i­tics. Dada was not so much a style of art like Cubism or Fau­vism; it was more a protest move­ment with an anti-estab­lish­ment man­i­festo.

  • mekhlla says:

    its sad that you do not know about The Dadaists !!! its His­to­ry!! Igno­rance def­i­nite­ly is not bliss !!

  • Richard Livermore says:

    Ask Tris­tan Tzara.

  • Daniel john says:

    I am inter­est­ed in dada and sur­re­al­ism

  • Dick van beusekom says:

    Could you give a pricelist of the dada mag­a­zins etc.?

  • Mike Mollett (aka LA DADA, ZTZU, LA Mudpeople says:

    I’m read­ing the new bio of Tris­tan Tzara by Mar­ius Hen­tea,
    “The Real Life and Celes­tial Adven­tures of Tris­tan Tzara.
    Look­ing for­ward to see­ing the dADa pub­li­ca­tions men­tioned
    in the book on your site. Awe­some.

  • Mark Grudzinski says:

    Did you actu­al­ly read the arti­cle? It cer­tain­ly does­n’t seem like it.

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