The digital collection Canadian Magazines presents an array of magazines that were printed in Canada between 1873 and 1977. The digitized images include the front and back covers of each issue, along with its table of contents, in order to communicate the visual style of each magazine in conjunction with a survey of its contents. Rather than laying claim to being a comprehensive collection, this site endeavours to represent the broad spectrum of periodicals that were circulating among readers over the course of a century.

Particular consideration was given to the intended readership of each magazine in the design of categories. Advertising, editorials, cost, and contents all suggest the different economic groups, gender divisions, and cultural desires to which different magazines spoke. By gathering these materials together in the on-line collection, it becomes possible to gain a greater understanding of the public attitudes to major political and historical events (such as World War I and World War II), sweeping changes in social structures (for example, the re-domestication of women following the Second World War), shifts in material production (such as the rise and fall of Canadian pulp publishing), and consumer tastes for fiction (for example, the sustained desire for family-oriented fiction in general interest magazines like Maclean?s).

The future development of the Canadian Magazines project includes building up the depth of materials represented. To this end, fictitious works (whole or in part) will be made available, as will editorials, advertisements, and artwork. Additionally, complementary research-and-resources site is currently being designed. This side of the project will focus on the political, social, economic, historical, and cultural context in which Canadian magazines were published over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth century.

Michelle Smith is the Site Curator for Canadian Magazines. Any comments or queries about the project may be directed to her at