This week’s book, Magazine Movements is by Dr. Laurel Forster, from UoP’s School of Media and Performing Arts. It extends the current research on women’s magazines into broadcast programmes as well as print media, defining magazines as ‘any media genre of mixed content’. Laurel explores the relationship of her chosen magazines to their historical, social, political and cultural context, fundamentally documenting the progress of women. I am sure that Media Studies students undertaking the Print Media unit will find this publication invaluable. I was interested to read about some of the resources and archives Laurel had visited to inform her research.
Primary source material can add an interesting dimension to any research project. Sources might include newspapers and magazines printed at the time of specific historical events, archival ephemera, such as theatre posters or menu cards (we have some of the latter in the University Archive) or contemporary television and radio broadcasts. Laurel visited the BFI National Archive, Wessex Film and sound Archive, the Glasgow Women’s Library, the Women’s Library @ LSE and the BBC Written Archives Centre.
Although there is no substitute for visiting archives to see the actual materials, for your own research you might be interested to know that you can access some archives online. Laurel visited the Keep in Sussex to view the Mass Observation Archive, but you can view it online from the library catalogue: http://capitadiscovery.co.uk/port/items/802378 She also used Bridgeman Images and you can access Bridgeman Education from the library catalogue too: http://capitadiscovery.co.uk/port/items/888009 Some materials are available on the web, for example Spare Rib which has been digitised by the British Library. Spare Rib is a magazine that was an active part in the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s. Thanks to another research initiative from UoP, we also have access to Channel 4 Press Packs,”the brainchild of Press Officer Chris Griffin-Beale…the most comprehensive digest of programme information that any UK broadcaster supplied to the press.”
So, as you can see, there is such a lot of information out there to inform your research. For even more primary source material, such as our extensive newspaper archives, visit the History and other My Subject pages.