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FAQ

How to use this resource

The Media History Digital Library contains digital scans of hundreds of thousands of magazine pages from thousands of magazine issues from 1904 to 1963.

We are working to make this resource useful to scholars, people who work in the entertainment industries, and fans. The first step has been to acquire funding (thank you donors!), borrow original materials (thank you libraries and collectors!) and to get materials scanned and online (thank you Internet Archive!).

Downloads and searching

How do I download my own copies of these magazines?
How large are these files?
How do I perform word searches?

Original materials
Why are magazines grouped in volumes instead of individual issues?
Why don’t you work from microfilm?
Can I offer my materials for scanning?

Rights and reuse
What is the copyright status of these materials?
Are there any limitations on reuse of the materials in the Media History Digital Library?

Community
How can I be notified of new additions to the Library?

 

 

Downloads and searching

How do I download my own copies of these magazines?

    1) Downloads from the Media History Digital Library website:

For each of our magazine volumes, you will see three options:

Read Online opens the online viewer. This provides full quality images in a browser, and is word searchable.

Download PDF will open a separate tab in your browser with a searchable PDF of the same magazine. If you right-click the link, you can download the file.

IA Page opens a tab with the Internet Archive page for the volume (discussed next ).

2) Downloads from the Internet Archive page:

If you go the Internet Archive page for a volume of a magazine, there is a box on the left titled View the book.

Read Online will open the online viewer. This provides full quality images in a browser, and is word searchable.

PDF will allow you to download a searchable PDF of the same magazine. The images are slightly compressed (blurry) to keep the filesize manageable. DjVu is a similar format to PDF.

The EPUB, Kindle and Daisy formats don’t work very well because the OCR of the text hasn’t been proofed.

The Full Text file is the OCR layer of the scan. It isn’t perfect, but can be very useful. This is the file that will be found by Google.

If you choose All Files: HTTP you find the following screen:

 

This is another display of the same files as before, with some additions. The nearly 1 GB file that ends in “orig_jp2.tar” contains the raw scans. This shows the magazine on the scanning cradle before the images are cropped. The images are combined in a .tar archive, and each images is in jp2000 format.

The file that ends in “jp2.zip” contains the cropped scans. These images are unzipped and sized on the fly for the “Read online” version.

With the .zip and the .tar files, you will need to uncompress the archive. Then you will probably need to batch convert the jp2000 images to the more common jpeg format. On average, a jp2000 image is 1 MB per page and the less compressed jpeg version of the same image is 2 MB.

 


How large are these files?

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How do I perform word searches?

From the Read online browser:

At the moment, we can only offer searching across one “book” at a time. Since Moving Picture World was scanned in four volumes per year, you will have to open four different copies of the Read online tool and search four separate times.

Searching tips: if you search on multiple terms, the Read online search will find occurrences of any of the terms. A search for Universal Pictures will find any page containing the word “Universal” and any page with the word “Pictures.” You have to include your phrase in quotes – “Universal Pictures” – to get only pages with that exact phrase.

To search PDFs, if you have a licensed copy of Adobe Acrobat (not the free Adobe Reader), you can place downloaded PDFs in a directory and use “Full Acrobat Search” to search the entire directory. Otherwise, you will have to search each PDF separately.

We are in the early stages of developing a search engine that will allow you to search the entire Media History Digital Library, and narrow your search by range of years, or by journal title.

If you are adventurous, you can search the entire Internet Archive collection of scanned books and magazines. The OpenLibrary is “an open, editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published.” The ‘search inside’ feature at http://openlibrary.org/search/inside is slow on compound searches (often about two minutes), but it will find a lot of material. Try searching on the title of the magazine (in quotes) and your search term, and let us know how it works for you in the Forum.

Original materials

Why are magazines grouped in volumes instead of individual issues?

We have been working from bound magazines. The scanning treats a bound volume of magazines as a book, so that anywhere from six to 120 issues are scanned together. Magazines were published using a volume/number system, starting with volume 1, number 1 in August, 1911. After a few missed issues in 1913, the June 1928 issue of Photoplay was volume 24, number 1.

Because numbering started with publication of the first issue, many magazines have odd numbering systems that don’t match the bound volumes. Continuing the Photoplay example, our bound volume of Photoplay from January to June 1928 starts with volume 23, number 2 (January), continues through number 6 (May) and then begins with issue number 1 of volume 24.

All things being equal, we think it is better to have multiple issues together. This allows for easier downloads (would you prefer to download over 300 issues of The Film Daily per year, or four volumes?) and easier searching across multiple issues.


Why don’t you work from microfilm?


Can I offer my materials for scanning?

If you have materials you wish to share, please contact us at mediahist@gmail.com.

Rights and reuse


What is the copyright status of these materials?

To determine which materials are available for digitization, we check the U.S. copyright status of all titles. We reviewed every copyright renewal for serials (magazines) published from 1923 to 1950, and for titles after those dates, we search the copyright records for the status of the major publications published from 1951 to 1963.

The copyrights for nearly all of these media industry, fan and technical publications were not renewed, and those pre-1964 works are now in the public domain.

David Pierce, the founder of the Media History Digital Library, is the author of a reference work on copyright and has performed thousands of copyright searches for hundreds of clients over the last thirty years.


Are there any limitations on reuse of the materials in the Media History Digital Library?

All materials in the Media History Digital Library are available for free viewing and free download. We ask that you not rehost the files, and talk to us if you want to use them in bulk for commercial purposes.

Citing the Media History Digital Library as a source is requested, but not a condition of use.

If you are going to use pages or images on your own website, we have posted thousands of images on our flickr account for that purpose. Or we encourage you to link directly to the original image.

Community


How can I be notified of new additions to the Library?

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