American Periodicals


American periodical series I, 1741-1800.Ann Arbor, Michigan, University Microfilms, 1941- . 33 reels. Single entry analytics. Olin Film 639A

Online Access: American Periodicals

Note: This database contains the full text of periodicals published between 1740 and 1940, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines and many other historically-significant periodicals.


In 1941 University Microfilms began filming all existing periodicals published in the United States between 1741 and 1900. Series I runs to 1800 and presumably was based on William Beer's "Checklist of American magazines, 1741-1800," American Antiquarian Society Proceedings, n.s. 32 (October 1922):330-345 (E172/A506/P9). Series II covers 1801-1900; Series III, the Civil War and Recon- struction. These later series have not been purchased by Cornell but are available from the Center for Research Libraries.

In his History of American Magazines, Mott notes that the average life of a magazine during this period was eighteen months; that no book reviews appeared in them until 1799; and that three- quarters of the contents of periodicals during this period were extracted from other publications, usually British works. He con- cludes, however, that "they are invaluable as a mirror of the current ideas of writing and literary taste, and as a picture of the social and political life of America during the years they cover." (Mott, I:67)

The completed Series I includes all ninety-one periodicals which could be located for the years 1741-1800. The titles are listed in the Library catalog.


Mott, Frank Luther.A history of American magazines, 1741-1850. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press [1930-68]. Olin Reference PN4877 M92 also copies of v1-4 in Olin stacks

Hoornstra, Jean. American periodicals, 1741-1900: an index to the microfilm collection... Ann Arbor, Mich., University Microfilms International, 1979. Print copy: Olin Reference Film 639A Index
The 1128 periodicals which comprise the total collection are indexed by title, subject, editor, and by reel. Complete bibliographic information is given for each title, and the library owning the original material is named. An annotation for each entry gives such information as political leanings, contents if not obvious from the title, famous authors published, etc.

Lemay, Joseph A. Leo.A calendar of American poetry in the colonial newspapers and magazines through 1765. Worcester, American Antiquarian Society, 1978. Library Annex Z1231 P7 L54
In addition to the calendar, it contains the following indexes: first line; poet's name, pseudonym, titles; subject and genre; periodicals. For authors not listed in DAB, Lemay cites any available biographical source he has found.