Hat tip to PC World Australia for the pointer to the new digital archive of Australian Women’s Weekly, brought to you by the National Library of Australia. This archive spans 10 June 1933 to 15 December 1982, which is 2500 issues and 220,000 pages, totaling about 275,000 articles. That’s not small, but I did find some pages that were listed in the search engine but weren’t viewable yet. You can do a keyword search at http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/title/112.
The search box is in the upper right, and you have to make sure you click on the “Limit to issues of this title” checkbox underneath the search form, but I love this publication home page. There’s a browsing mechanism, citation information, and RSS feeds for new articles that are added to the collection.
I did a search for fashion hats, always fun when you’re searching an archive that spans so many years, and got over 4100 results.
Search results include title and date of article and some context. Some articles are not available, with a notation marked COMING SOON, but each of those COMING SOON articles offers an RSS feed for an update on when that article is available.
For the available articles, click on a title and you’ll get a page viewer with your search keywords highlighted. You can zoom and pan as you’d expect. To the left of the viewer there’s a machine-generated transcript (which you’re invited to correct) with spaces for tags and comments and lists. Quick links allow you to print the article, save it as a PDF, or view it as a JPG.
This archive is extensive but in addition a lot of effort has gone into making it easy to use and follow up. Excellent.
This archive is a huge deal for Australia. “The Weekly”, as it was known for most of it’s life, is a huge cultural institution in Australia and had a huge influence on our lives – most of my generation had at least one birthday cake built according to it’s patterns, cake stalls were covered in slices made from it’s recipes and a week would not go by without a recipe at dinner from it’s pages. It set styles in food, fashion and decor. It had the highest per-capita circulation of any magazine in the world, by a long margin.
Understanding post-war Australia will be much easier for historians as a result of this move.
Glad to hear that you are finding the digitised issues of the AWW interesting and the interface easy to use. I can advise that we are scheduled to have all issues for the dfirst 50 years availale online by 31 December 2010.
Cathy Pilgrim- National Library of Australia