Derived from the acclaimed American Periodicals Series microform collection, APS features over 1,500 periodicals spanning nearly 200 years — from colonial times to the advent of American involvement in World War II. Titles range from America's first scientific journal, Medical Repository, to popular magazines like Vanity Fair and Ladies' Home Journal. American Periodicals Series Online (APS) chronicles the development of America across 200 years. The journals in this collection cover three broad periods:
- 89 journals published between 1740 and 1800 offer insights into America's transition from a British colony to an independent nation. The journals support research for a range of academic fields. Titles include Massachusetts Magazine, which published America's first short stories, and Thomas Paine's Pennsylvania Magazine, which reported on inventions. One of the first mass printings of the Declaration of Independence, a letter by George Washington on the crucial Battle of Trenton, and the thoughts of Benjamin Franklin are among the highlights of content from this period.
- More than 900 titles from the first 60 years of the nineteenth century showcase "the golden age of American periodicals." General interest magazines, children's publications, and more than 20 journals for women are among the historically-significant content that also includes the serialization of Harriet Beecher Stowe's “Uncle Tom's Cabin” in National Era. Like most great literary works of the nineteenth century, this piece first appeared in a magazine. Also available are hard-to-find materials, such as Edgar Allan Poe's contributions to the Southern Literary Messenger, as well as the first appearances of Nathaniel Hawthorne's stories in New England Magazine, and Margaret Fuller's contributions to the Dial.
- 118 periodicals published during the Civil War (1861-1865) and Reconstruction (1865-1877) eras reflect the nation in turmoil and growth, and titles from the 1880s through 1900 capture the settling of the West and the emergence of modern America. Early professional journals, including Publications of the American Economic Association and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Proceedings, popular titles such as Scribner's Monthly and Lippincott's issued by publishing houses, celebrations of Americana in Ladies' Home Journal, thoroughly-researched investigative journalism in McClure's, and the incisive political and social commentary of Puck illustrate the variety of the American experience. Titles like Forum (1886-1930) and Forum and Century (1930-1940), and Littell's Living Age (1844-1896) and Living Age (1897-1941), expand the range of primary source material in APS across 200 years.
Because the database contains digitized images of periodical pages, researchers can see all of the original typography, drawings, graphic elements, and article layouts exactly as they were originally published.
In addition, a Search for Periodicals function in APS leads to bibliographic information and a summary of the historical significance of all the periodicals represented in the database. Extensive primary source content in its original context and a history of American magazine publishing are made available in APS.