Sunday, July 1, 2012

Old jewelry trade periodicals online

The digitization of old books and, in particular, periodicals has made pen history research vastly easier. Two of the main resources are The American Stationer (link list here) and The Jewelers' Circular (Google Books links here and here -- UPDATE: may not work reliably, see below). Unfortunately, there are quite a few gaps in each periodical's run, with some available in "snippet view" only and some partially to completely non-text-searchable (digitized as images only, with no conversion to text). In some cases you can't get from here to there: the cross-referencing of other volumes is incomplete and inconsistent. And many of these volumes aren't available outside of the United States, due to copyright issues (though browsing through a US-based proxy server is a simple workaround).

Nonetheless, there's still plenty to work on -- and the prospect of more and more treasures to be digitized in the years to come. I recently ran across an 1892 article surveying jewelry trade periodicals. The full article can be viewed here, along with the chart reproduced below.

Note that of the ten publications listed, only one -- the Jewelers' Circular -- has a significant number of issues available online. I found but three months of the Jewelers' Review, and of the rest, nothing. Cause for despair? Quite the opposite, I think. There's still a lot of material out there, and it's only a matter of time before we get access to it.

PS While a number of these publications ended up merging (The Jewelers' Circular absorbed Jewelers' Review and Jewelers' Weekly, for example, and then Keystone), in 1892 they were still separate entities. With merged titles, library cataloging can be confusing, since often an absorbed publication will be listed only under the title of the absorbing publication.

ADDENDUM (Dec 15, 2013): Google Books' indexing appears to have changed, and though the links above have been updated, there is no guarantee that they will stay valid. Here is an annotated list of direct links to copies of the Jewelers' Circular that I have found, which may not be easily located by normal Google searching. In many cases the runs are incomplete.

ADDENDUM (Feb 12, 2014): Many of these volumes are also accessible at HathiTrust.

UPDATE (Sep 12, 2017): A more complete list is now available here, at Richard Binder's site; the same list is also posted here, at Mike Kennedy's site. Use either of them in preference to our original list below, which has not been updated recently.

Vol. 15 (Feb-Jul 1884; Aug 1884-Jan 1885)

Vol. 23 (only Aug-Oct 1891)
Vol. 26 (only Feb-Mar 1893)
Vol. 27 (only Aug-Oct 1893)
Vol. 28 (only Nov 1893-Jan 1894)

Vol. 29 (only Nov 1894-Jan 1895) also at the Internet Archive

Vol. 34 (Feb-Apr 1897, incorrectly listed as 1892)(May 1897-Jan 1898)
Vol. 36 (Feb-Apr 1898)(May-Jul 1898)
Vol. 37 (Aug-Oct 1898)(Nov 1898-Jan 1899)
Vol. 38 (Feb-Apr 1899)(May-Jul 1899)
Vol. 39 (Aug-Oct 1899)(Nov 1899-Jan 1900)
Vol. 45 (only Aug-Sep 1902)
Vol. 56 (only May 1908)

Vol. 74, Issue 2, May-Jul 1917
Vol. 75, Issue 1, Aug-Oct 1917
Vol. 75, Issue 2, Nov 1917-Jan 1918
Vol. 76, Issue 2, May-Jul 1918
Vol. 77, Issue 1, Aug-Oct 1918
Vol. 77, Issue 2, Nov 1918-Jan 1919
Vol. 78, Issue 1, Feb-Apr, 1919
Vol. 78, Issue 2, May-Jul, 1919
Vol. 79, Issue 1, Aug-Oct 1919
Vol. 79, Issue 2, Nov 1919-Jan 1920

Vol. 80, Issue 1, Feb-Apr 1920
Vol. 80, Issue 2, May-Jul 1920
Vol. 81, Issue 1, Aug-Oct 1920
Vol. 81, Issue 2, Nov 1920-Jan 1921
Vol. 82, Issue 1, Feb-Apr 1921
Vol. 82, Issue 2, May-Jul 1921
Vol. 83, Issue 1, Aug-Oct 1921
Vol. 83, Issue 2, Nov 1921-Jan 1922
Vol. 84, Issue 1, Feb-Apr 1921
Vol. 85, issue 2, Nov 1922-Jan 1923

Following issues to 1934 are semi-available as "snippet view" (have been digitized, but not available online)

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