Enter “The Magazine Rack,” the Internet Archive’s Collection of 34,000 Digitized Magazines

Before we kept up with cul­ture through the inter­net, we kept up with cul­ture through mag­a­zines. That his­tor­i­cal fact may at first strike those of us over 30 as triv­ial and those half a gen­er­a­tion down as irrel­e­vant, but now, thanks to the Inter­net Archive, we can all eas­i­ly expe­ri­ence the depth and breadth of the mag­a­zine era as some­thing more than an abstrac­tion or an increas­ing­ly dis­tant mem­o­ry. In keep­ing with their appar­ent mis­sion to become the pre­dom­i­nant archive of pre-inter­net media, they’ve set up the Mag­a­zine Rack, a down­load­able col­lec­tion of over 34,000 dig­i­tized mag­a­zines and oth­er month­ly pub­li­ca­tions.

Mag­a­zines haven’t gone away, of course, and at the Inter­net Archive’s Mag­a­zine Rack you can do just what you might have done at a tra­di­tion­al mag­a­zine rack: flip through brand new issues of pub­li­ca­tions like Tech Advi­sor, Avi­a­tion His­to­ry, and Amer­i­ca’s Civ­il War. But quite unlike a tra­di­tion­al mag­a­zine rack, where recen­cy was all, you can also read back issues — in some cas­es quite far-back issues, stretch­ing all the way to the mid-18th cen­tu­ry. The Lon­don Mag­a­zine, or, Gen­tle­man’s Month­ly Intel­li­gencer vol. XXII for the Year 1753, the old­est mag­a­zine on these dig­i­tal shelves, offers such arti­cles as “Remark­able acci­dents,” “Dan­ger of the empire’s being with­out a head,” and “Life and char­ac­ter of Christi­na, queen of Swe­den.”

As British mag­a­zines of the past go, it also delight­ed me per­son­al­ly to find in the Mag­a­zine Rack many issues of Com­put­er and Video Games (also known as CVG) which did much, giv­en its inex­plic­a­ble avail­abil­i­ty at the library of the Seat­tle sub­urb where I grew up, to shape my world­view. Oth­er titles cater­ing to “nerdy” inter­ests, broad­ly speak­ing, have — per­haps pre­dictably — been archived with a spe­cial exten­sive­ness: com­put­er and gam­ing mag­a­zines have their own vast sec­tions, but the col­lec­tions of ear­ly Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can, sci-fi fan mag­a­zine Star­log, vin­tage men’s mag­a­zines (some, of course, NSFW), and the long-run­ning ama­teur radio jour­nal 73 Mag­a­zine come not far behind.

The Mag­a­zine Rack also con­tains plen­ty of pub­li­ca­tions of the kind we tend to ref­er­ence here on Open Cul­ture, includ­ing quite a few titles devot­ed to pulp fic­tion, the influ­en­tial Moe­bius- and H.R. Giger-fea­tur­ing “adult fan­ta­sy mag­a­zine” Heavy Met­al, the Hugo Award-win­ning sci­ence fic­tion mag­a­zine IF, and the made-for-PDF-for­mat inter­na­tion­al art mag­a­zine Rev­o­lu­tion­art. Spend enough brows­ing time there and you’ll remem­ber — or learn — that, espe­cial­ly in the print-sat­u­rat­ed twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry, mag­a­zines did­n’t just let us keep up with the cul­ture, they helped cre­ate it.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

A Dig­i­tal Archive of Heavy Met­al, the Influ­en­tial “Adult Fan­ta­sy Mag­a­zine” That Fea­tured the Art of Moe­bius, H.R. Giger & More

Read 1,000 Edi­tions of The Vil­lage Voice: A Dig­i­tal Archive of the Icon­ic New York City Paper

A Com­plete Dig­i­ti­za­tion of Eros Mag­a­zine: The Con­tro­ver­sial 1960s Mag­a­zine on the Sex­u­al Rev­o­lu­tion

Down­load the Com­plete Archive of Oz, “the Most Con­tro­ver­sial Mag­a­zine of the 60s,” Fea­tur­ing R. Crumb, Ger­maine Greer & More

Enter the Pulp Mag­a­zine Archive, Fea­tur­ing Over 11,000 Dig­i­tized Issues of Clas­sic Sci-Fi, Fan­ta­sy & Detec­tive Fic­tion

Enter a Huge Archive of Amaz­ing Sto­ries, the World’s First Sci­ence Fic­tion Mag­a­zine, Launched in 1926

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (4)
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  • Warren Jones says:

    The title you have cho­sen for this web­site is “The Mag­a­zine Rack.” With that title, I nat­u­ral­ly expect­ed to be able to find some mag­a­zines; how­ev­er, I see none. Where are they?

  • Roz says:

    When­ev­er you see “The Mag­a­zine Rack” men­tioned in the arti­cle, you can click the hyper­link and it takes you to the Mag­a­zine Rack web­site which has all the mag­a­zines you’re look­ing for. It’s not on this web­site. This web­site just talks about the oth­er web­site which has the mag­a­zines.

  • GLENN Slaby says:

    Have learn­ing dis­abil­i­ty. Can we/someone ver­bal­ly dis­cuss how to use the site. Those like me muss so much because of issues not if our doing. Thanks

  • Robert Launer says:

    I am look­ing of the entire issue of Mon­ey Mag­a­zine the cov­ered elec­tron­ic bank­ing in 1985

    It should be in one of the fol­low­ing months(???): March ‚April, May, June, July
    (Not sure exact­ly when)

    It is impor­tant to me, as I am one of the peo­ple inter­viewed about the new online bank­ing sys­tem access.

    Need to get a copy in any for­mat of either the actu­al issue or the entire 1985 year.

    I moved to South Africa in 1990, and was part of the country’s tran­si­tion team from 1990 to 1994.
    Also, one to the developer’s of elec­tron­ic bank­ing, pay­ments and col­lec­tion sys­tems, B2B, B2C, eForex, eBucks.com, etc.

    Attached find my busi­ness card and full details of my work.

    Side Note: Mov­ing to South Africa in 1990, I need­ed to bring my library of books and doc­u­ments, so I put them all on Micro­fiche. I have been work­ing with com­put­ers and IT since 1965.

    –Full Details at URL:
    –Emo­tions & Feel­ings Jour­nals: http://www.shorturl.at/jGMQU
    –Lever­ag­ing AI in Psy­cho­me­t­ric Assessment(14Apr2020): http://www.shorturl.at/abFVW
    –Health and Well­ness: http://www.shorturl.at/MPZ15

    I can process doc­u­ments in any for­mat or media.

    Shipping/cost to South Africa is not an Issue, as I have been get­ting items from all over the world. We can dis­cuss the options, as need­ed.

    Look­ing for­ward to get­ting the mag­a­zine.


    Robert Launer
    PNI, NLP, CCTP, MSCEIT-EQ, EQ‑i, MLE, FIE, LPAD, PPA, Baby Mil­len­ni­al
    PH Chron­ic Dis­ease Man­age­ment
    IT Sys­tems, Inte­gra­tion, Net­works
    SAQA and SETA Asses­sor, Mod­er­a­tor, Pro­gram Cre­ator and Train­er
    Cog­ni­tive Appren­tice­ship Devel­op­ment

    ☎/✆ +27-(0)827-TOP-GUN (867–486) / Fax: 0866–713-446
    E‑mail: rlauner@netactive.co.za / rlauner@cask-aid.com / cask-aid@netactive.co.za

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