Library:Finding Magazine Sources

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UBC Library provides access to magazine articles in several different formats, including print, microform, and electronic media. You will find a wide range of contemporary and historical magazines in UBC Library's collections. This guide will cover some search strategies for locating magazine articles and point to some good places to start your research.

Finding Magazine Articles
You Want To Start Here Tips Example
Find a known magazine article Journal Search
  • Search for the magazine by title.
  • Digital Copy: Browse the list of databases that contain the magazine and check the dates of coverage to determine where the specific issue is located. Navigate to the list of available issues in the database.
  • Print/Microform Copy: Choose UBC Library Print Holdings, check the dates of coverage, and use the location and call number information to find it in the library.
Find the date range into which your article falls
Search for magazine articles on a topic Indexes & Databases (Example databases here)
  • Choose the database where you will perform your search
  • Do a keyword search for articles on a specific topic
  • Many databases allow you to limit your results to "Magazines" after performing a search.
  • Click on UBC e-link to find the full text of an article or to check if an item is available in print holdings
  • Not all magazines appear in online databases. Sometimes print indexes are available for locating magazine articles. UBC Library for more assistance in this area.
Using the "Magazine" limiter in the CPI.Q database
Find magazines that cover a specific subject Books & Media tab
  • Do a keyword search for a subject and try adding either "magazine" or "periodicals" as an additional search term to narrow your results.
  • Once you find one magazine that looks useful, you can locate similar items by clicking relevant subject links in the record.
Use subject links to find similar items

UBC Library Resources

Many databases have a certain amount of magazine content. By using subject-specific databases, you can narrow your search to magazine articles that cover particular subject areas. Check out UBC Library's research guides to find the major databases for different disciplines (e.g. Psychology, Political Science, etc.).

However, UBC Library also provides access to certain databases that contain a greater degree of magazine content:

Contemporary Magazine Articles

Academic Search Complete: A multi-disciplinary, full text database that contains a broad range of information sources, including magazine articles. After performing a search, you can limit source type to "Magazines."

MAS Ultra — School Edition: A multi-disciplinary database that contains full text for close to 600 general interest and current events publications, with key magazines dating back as far as 1975. Set source type to "periodicals" to help narrow your search to magazine articles. The "Image Quick View" limiter can be used to locate image content.

CBCA Complete: This database contains full text and indexed content from a wide range of Canadian periodicals, including business, news, and general interest magazines.

Alternative Press Index: Database of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles from over 300 international alternative, radical, and left periodicals. Intended to provide a contrast to the more conservative perspective communicated in mainstream press coverage. Offers some full text.

Historical Magazine Articles

Reader's Guide Retrospective, 1890-1982: Indexes over 3 million articles from approximately 375 leading magazines, providing broad coverage of the popular press in the U.S. and Canada from 1890 to 1982. Contains some full text.

Early Canadiana Online: This digital library has a periodicals collection that contains the full text of over 1,000 early Canadian magazines. It covers a wide range of topics such as political satire, agriculture, religion, medicine and health, as well as many men’s, women’s and children’s popular magazines. This collection is also notable for including the first magazine ever published in Canada, The Nova Scotia Magazine (1789-1792).

British Periodicals: This database provides access to the full text of British magazines and journals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth century. Content is available from the 1680s to the 1930s.

19th century UK Periodicals: An online collection of British magazines, journals and speciality newspaper from 1800 to 1900. This full text database also reproduces the original colour images from these periodicals.

Little Magazines Collection: UBC Library has a significant collection of little magazines (small press literary magazines), which are mostly held in the Rare Books and Special Collections Division. Includes most of the important titles from British Columbia and Canada as a whole. For assistance with this collection, feel free to contact RBSC.

Other Magazine Sources on the Web

Google Magazine Search: Google has currently digitized approximately 150 magazines, including LIFE magazine, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Ebony, the New Scientist, and the New York Magazine. Issues can be viewed in full, but the years of coverage vary considerably, depending on the title. LIFE's entire print run between 1936 and 1972 is available. You can either browse through available issues or search across all of Google's magazine content by using the "Magazines" limiter in the Advanced Search screen.

Media History Digital Library: This Internet Archive initiative provides access to public domain periodicals that relate to the history of cinema, broadcasting and recorded sound. Digitized magazine issues can be viewed in full online or downloaded as PDF files.