Historic Magazine Articles Come to Life on the Internet

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A reliable primary source website has recently added film clips to illustrate their growing database of historic magazine articles.

This site is one of the reasons I can never discourage a student from using the Web. Old articles are hard to find in library databases... The articles on this website are of a more popular genre and provide those kinds of primary documents that are so interesting to read because they contain clues to the culture of the time they were written.

History surfers of the internet are finding a helpful pal in OldMagazineArticles.com . This free, primary source website has been growing in popularity among students and researchers throughout much of the past year for consistently posting historic magazine and newspaper content spanning the years 1861 through 1945. Most recently this site has added video clips to better illustrate the historic topics addressed on the site. The film clips serve to not only complement the written word but to also create a fuller, three dimensional delineation of the important events and the personalities being profiled. Those students and researchers studying the events of World War Two cannot simply read the "Yank Magazine" article covering the 1945 Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay, they can also download the Surrender Document and watch a theatrical newsreel of the event! The film clips on the site are not limited to to period newsreels by any means; users who want to read an interview in which American D-Day veterans recall that miserable morning on the beach can also watch the opening scene from Stephen Spielberg's film "Saving Private Ryan". That chilling dramatization of the American landings on Omaha Beach makes it quite clear why some veterans approached for the interview preferred not to remember it. This scenario is played-out many times over -entirely for free and exclusively for the benefit of the online history buff at OldMagazineArticles.com .

It is this enthusiasm for presenting history in exciting ways that inspired one teacher writing on a librarian's blog to wistfully write, "This site is one of the reasons I can never discourage a student from using the Web. Old articles are hard to find in library databases... The articles on this website are of a more popular genre and provide those kinds of primary documents that are so interesting to read because they contain clues to the culture of the time they were written."

With the appearance of documentary film clips on the site, OldMagazineArticles.com can now offer it's visitors the chance to read the Vanity Fair review covering Jascha Heifetz' first Carnegie Hall performance as well as watch historic 1950s footage of the maestro performing on early television.

Ours is a unique era for history enthusiasts: never before have Civil War buffs been able to sit comfortably at home having instant access to a 1913 magazine article reporting on the fiftieth reunion of the Battle of Gettysburg and during that same sitting, enjoy a film clip depicting the veterans as they attended the 75th reunion. The site offers a multitude of similar experiences for history surfers; art historians can read the earliest magazine articles reviewing the exhibitions by the founders of Dada - in addition to a short film clip explaining the movement and it's place in modernism.

Teachers must go the distance to make history interesting to their students. When an historic narrative is able to get a student's attention by standing up, walking off the printed page and making it clear that historic events and movements were generated and experienced not simply by mustachioed men and corseted women but by living, breathing human beings who were not terribly different from themselves, that's a good thing. The next generation of historians are being weened in the audio-visual classroom tradition set in motion years ago and OldMagazineArticles.com offers them a free and reliable site on the internet for primary source magazine content as well a complement of historic videos to help them along their way. Godspeed to them.

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Matthew Jacobsen
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