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Grant number like: HAA-255942-17

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James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA 22807-0001)
Brooks E. Hefner (Project Director: January 2017 to October 2022)
Edward Timke (Co Project Director: May 2017 to October 2022)

Participating institutions:
James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA) - Applicant/Recipient
Regents of the University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) - Participating Institution

Digital Humanities Advancement Grants
Digital Humanities

[White paper][Grant products][Media coverage]

$50,904 (approved)
$48,422 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2017 – 10/31/2020

Circulating American Magazines: Making Lost Historical Data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations Publicly Available

The creation of web-based tools to visualize magazine circulation and readership data for historically significant magazines dated between 1880 to 1972. This will allow scholars and students to easily access information about circulation that has, to date, been “virtually invisible” due to an arcane and difficult-to-navigate cataloging system.

Although digitization has made more periodical content available to historians, literary critics, and print culture specialists, scholars remain largely in the dark about periodicals’ reach. Circulating American Magazines offers tools to analyze and visualize circulation data for historically significant magazines between 1880 and 1972. Using detailed reports from the Audit Bureau of Circulations and the advertising firm N.W. Ayer & Son, this project provides complete access to circulation numbers by issue, in addition to each title’s geographical circulation across the United States and abroad. The project offers web-based visualization tools that allow students and scholars to investigate the history of a magazine or compare multiple magazines’ readership. The project’s centralization of circulation data allows students and scholars to see American periodical history in radically new ways, describing periodicals’ development with an accuracy that has not been possible before.