Little Magazines

Guides to Reference Works


Kempcke, Ken, Diana Ramirez, and Steven Smith. ““Reference Sources for the Study of Little Magazines”.” Popular Culture in Libraries 5.2 (1999): 1–28. Z688.P64 P68.

A guide to essential reference sources—overviews, guides to scholarship, bibliographies of magazines, directories, union lists and catalogs, periodicals about little magazines, and indexes—for the study of little magazines. The annotations are typically descriptive (though some offer an evaluative comment).

Histories and Surveys


Hoffman, Frederick J., Charles Allen, and Carolyn F. Ulrich. The Little Magazine: A History and a Bibliography. 2nd ed. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1947. 450 pp. PN4836.H6 052.

A survey rather than a history proper of selected little magazines published since c. 1912, principally in the United States but also including a few from Great Britain and Ireland. The narrative part emphasizes the place of these publications in literary and cultural history, with chapters on individual magazines, types of publications, poetry, regionalism, politics, and psychoanalysis. The selective bibliography of United States, Canadian, British, and Irish magazines (from 1891 through 1946) is organized chronologically by date of first issue. Entries provide title; publication information; frequency; a record of mergers and suspensions; editors; and notes on history, scope, editorial policy, important contributors, and contents (although some information is taken from sources other than the magazines themselves). The bibliography includes a supplementary list of periodicals that are similar to little magazines. (For some additions to both lists, see Carolyn F. Ulrich and Eugenia Patterson, comps., “Little Magazines,” Bulletin of the New York Public Library 51.1 [1947]: 3–25.) Concludes with a list of secondary sources, which must be supplemented by Charles L. P. Silet, “An Annotated Checklist of Articles and Books on American Little Magazines,” Bulletin of Bibliography 34.4 (1977): 157–66, 208. Indexed by persons, titles, and a few subjects. This remains the fullest survey and bibliography of little magazines. Reviews: Louis Filler, American Literature 18.4 (1947): 334–35; Robert Wooster Stallman, Poetry 70.5 (1947): 274–78.

Although many supplements or new histories have been contemplated, none has appeared. For magazines since c. 1940, the best general source is Elliott Anderson and Mary Kinzie, eds., The Little Magazine in America: A Modern Documentary History (Yonkers: Pushcart, 1978; 770 pp.; also published as Triquarterly 43 [1978], 750 pp., but without the index), a collection of essays, interviews, and memoirs treating individual titles and kinds of magazines. The Little Magazine in America also includes an annotated bibliography (modeled on the one in Hoffman) of 84 little magazines since c. 1950, with a valuable preliminary discussion of sources for the study of little magazines in the United States.

Guides to Primary Works

Despite the importance of little magazines in twentieth-century literature, their use is hampered by the lack of adequate bibliographies of magazines and indexes to their content. Consequently, researchers must depend heavily on incomplete collections in various libraries. Willard Fox, “The Archives: An Analysis of Little Magazine Collections in the United States and Canada” (Chielens, American Literary Magazines: The Twentieth Century [Q3410], pp. 439–58), offers an overview of the collections, finding aids, and complementary holdings of 28 repositories.

The fullest—but by no means comprehensive—list of little magazines is Catalog of Little Magazines: A Collection in the Rare Book Room, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin—Madison, comp. and ed. Robert F. Roeming (Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1979; 137 pp.). Profiles of several American little magazines are included in Chielens, American Literary Magazines: The Twentieth Century (Q3410).



The International Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses. Paradise: Dustbooks, 1965– . Annual. Z6944.L5 D5 015′.025. CD-ROM. Former title: Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses (1965–73).

Dustbooks eDirectories. Dustbooks: The Small Press Source. Dustbooks, n.d. 26 Oct. 2012. <>.

A directory of English-language little magazines and small presses, the majority of them in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Presses and magazines are listed alphabetically by name or title, with a typical entry recording such information as press or publisher (for magazines), editor, address, telephone number, e-mail address, Web site, type of material published, notes (on content of recent issues or publications, contributors, editorial policies, and sometimes artistic credos or pleas for submissions), submission requirements, production method, and subscription information. Based on information supplied by publishers or editors, entries vary in fullness, accuracy, and currency. Two indexes: subjects (more thorough beginning with the 46th ed. [2010–11]); regional (by state, then city; foreign countries follow states). The Directory is the best source for identifying current little magazines and active small presses; earlier editions remain valuable for information about defunct publications and presses, especially alternative and underground ones. Between editions, new listings appear in Small Press Review (1967– , bimonthly; PDF only since Jan. 2009).

Two complementary publications based on the Directory are Directory of Small Press / Magazine Editors and Publishers (1971– , annual; CD-ROM) and Directory of Poetry Publishers (1985– , annual; CD-ROM). The three Directorys and Small Press Record of Books in Print (Q4225a) are online through Dustbooks eDirectories.

For earlier English-language little magazines and small presses, Trace (1952–70) remains a valuable source of information, although locating within issues the variously titled “Directory” and its supplements is exasperating.

See also

Sullivan, British Literary Magazines (M1445).

Warwick, Commonwealth Literature Periodicals (R4385).



British Poetry Magazines, 1914–2000: A History and Bibliography of “Little Magazines.” Comp. David Miller and Richard Price. London: British Lib.; New Castle: Oak Knoll, 2006. 452 pp. Z2014.P7 B758 016.80881.

A bibliography of little magazines, originating in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland, that focus on the publication of poetry or, in a few instances, that publish prose or illustrations with “a strong connection to poetry.” Entries are organized by date of first issue (then alphabetically by title) within chronological periods: 1914–39, 1940–49, 1950–59, 1960–75, and 1976–2000; each section begins with a brief overview, but taken together these do not justify the History of the book’s subtitle. A full entry includes title; editor; publication information; dates of publication and issue numbering; references to indexes, studies, anthologies, Web sites, and reprints; notes on related publications (e.g., continuations); commentary on content, ideological bent, and key contributors; location of any surviving archive; and location of copies (usually with shelf mark). Entries for magazines published in Ireland are less full because of their coverage in Clyde, Irish Literary Magazines (N3003).

Concludes with a timeline of notable magazines and four indexes: places; subjects; names (including publishers and associations); titles. Replete with information on nearly 2,000 titles, British Poetry Magazines is the essential resource for identifying and tracking down copies of these frequently scarce publications and a valuable complement to such indexes of little magazines as Bloomfield, Author Index to Selected British “Little Magazines” (K785), and Sader, Comprehensive Index to English-Language Little Magazines (K790).


See Charles W. Brownson, ““Access to Little Magazines”,” RQ 22.4 (1983): 375–87, for a discussion of overlapping coverage in indexes to little magazines and recommendations for improving coverage.


Access: The Index to Little Magazines, [1976–78]. N.p.: Burke, 1977–79. Annual. AI3.A24.

Author, title, and subject indexes to selected little magazines published, for the most part, in the United States. The title index covers only fiction and poetry; the subject index is limited to nonfiction, including book reviews that are listed by the author of the book. Offering no explanation of the criteria governing selection, covering a very limited number of magazines (69 in the 1978 volume), and weak in its subject indexing, Access is principally useful because no other bibliography indexes most of the magazines for these years.


Bloomfield, B. C. An Author Index to Selected British “Little Magazines,” 1930–1939. London: Mansell, 1976. 153 pp. AI3.B56 052.

An author index to 73 little magazines, all but one of them published in Great Britain. Magazines not included—those indexed in general periodical indexes, without literary merit, or unlocated—are listed on pp. vii–viii. The approximately 11,000 entries cite title, publication information, and type of work (verse, prose, illustration); at the end of each author entry is a list of books by that author reviewed in magazines indexed. Although lacking subject access (except for the heading “Films Reviewed”) and encompassing only 73 magazines within a decade, Bloomfield is valuable for the access it provides to magazines otherwise unindexed.


Comprehensive Index to English-Language Little Magazines, 1890–1970: Series One. Ed. Marion Sader. 8 vols. Millwood: Kraus, 1976. Z6944.L5 S23 [PN4836] 016.051.

An author index to 100 periodicals, 59 of which are published in the United States and most of the remainder in Great Britain. Ostensibly limited to the “best” works, the Index does include several publications (such as Modern Fiction Studies and Twentieth Century Literature) that hardly qualify as “little magazines.” Under each author, primary works appear first, followed by works about the author (including reviews). In addition to recording basic publication information, each entry identifies the type of work (see vol. 1, p. xv for a list of abbreviations). Since unsigned works that cannot be attributed are omitted, Sader is not the “comprehensive” index claimed by the title; however, it does offer the fullest access to a minuscule number of twentieth-century little magazines.


Harter, Christopher. An Author Index to Little Magazines of the Mimeograph Revolution, 1958–1980. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2008. 733 pp. Z1231.P7 H37 [PS325] 016.811′508.

An author index to 114 little magazines published in the United States between 1958 and 1980 (not all of which were printed by a mimeograph machine). Excludes most publications that could not be indexed in their entirety as well as underground newspapers; editorials, introductions in individual issues, and illustrations (except for collages and cartoons) are also not included. Entries are indexed alphabetically by the author’s name as it appears in the OCLC Name Authority File ( Under each author, titles are listed alphabetically (and include publication information along with a genre designation); some lists have separate sections for translations by the author, interviews (both by and of the author), reviews by the author, and review of works by the author. Because it makes accessible the contents of many elusive publications not covered by the other indexes in this section, the Author Index will be welcomed by scholars working with little magazines, though many will wish for an index of genres.


Index to Commonwealth Little Magazines, 1964–1965. By Stephen H. Goode. New York: Johnson Rpt., 1966. 187 pp. 1966–1967. 1968. 251 pp. 1968–1969. Troy: Whitston, 1970. 216 pp. 1970–1973. 1975. 550 pp. 1974–1975. 1976. 491 pp. 1976–1979. Comp. Sarah V. Gray. 2 vols. 1984. 1980–1982. 1986. 926 pp. 1983–1984. 1987. 575 pp. 1985–1986. 1989. 280 pp. 1987–1989. 1991. 434 pp. 1990–1992. 1993. 308 pp. AI3.I48 051.

A highly selective author and subject index to articles, original works, review essays, and substantial reviews in 15 to 42 English-language little magazines, many of them published in the British Isles. Canadian publications are excluded. Although offering no explanation of the criteria governing selection, including some periodicals that hardly qualify as little magazines, and utilizing inexact subject headings, the work at least provides access to a few little magazines indexed nowhere else. Reviews: (1964–65) Charles L. Dwyer, English Literature in Transition, 1880–1920 10.2 (1967): 96; (1974–75) Joan Stockard, Literary Research Newsletter 3.4 (1978): 186–90.


Index to Little Magazines, [1948–67]. Chicago: Swallow, 1949–70. AI3.I54. Compilers and frequency vary.

Retrospective volumes have been compiled by Stephen H. Goode:

  • Index to Little Magazines, 1943–1947. Denver: Swallow, 1965. 287 pp.

  • Index to Little Magazines, 1940–1942. New York: Johnson Rpt., 1967. 234 pp.

  • Index to American Little Magazines, 1920–1939. Troy: Whitston, 1969. 346 pp.

  • Index to American Little Magazines, 1900–1919: To Which Is Added a Selected List of British and Continental Titles for the Years 1900–1950, Together with Addenda and Corrigenda to Previous Indexes. 3 vols. Troy: Whitston, 1974.

Contains author and subject indexes to selected little magazines, the majority published in the United States. Volumes typically cover between 31 and 57 important magazines not indexed by general periodical bibliographies such as Readers’ Guide (G400) and Humanities Index (G385). Besides covering 102 magazines, the 1900–1919 index supplements and corrects Goode’s other volumes. The subject indexing is usually too imprecise to be of much use, book reviews are not always indexed, and the coverage extends to only a small percentage of little magazines published before 1967. Still, these works remain the only indexes to many of the magazines.

See also

Annual Index to Poetry in Periodicals (Q4325a).

British Poetry Magazines, 1914–2000 (K777).

Humanities Index (G385).

Humanities International Complete (G360).

Index of American Periodical Verse (Q4325).

Index to Poetry in Periodicals (Q4325a).

““Little Magazine Interview Index”” (Q4235a).

Messerli and Fox, Index to Periodical Fiction in English, 1965–1969 (L1085a).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism


Glazier, Loss Pequeño. Small Press: An Annotated Guide. Westport: Greenwood, 1992. 123 pp. Z472.G58 016.0705′0973.

A selective annotated bibliography of important works, published in the United States between 1960 and 1992, that treat aspects of literary publishing involving small presses and little magazines in the United States (principally since 1960). Excluded are bibliographies and most studies of individual presses, discussions of fine printing and vanity publishing, and material about nonliterary publishing by minority, ethnic, and other groups. The 174 entries are listed alphabetically in five divisions: directories, indexes, and guides; trade journals; studies of cultural aspects of small presses; commercial topics; catalogs, lists, and bibliographies. The thorough annotations are packed with essential information and frequently offer trustworthy evaluations. Indexed by persons, title, and subjects. Although selective and limited to English-language resources published after 1960, Small Press is the essential guide to contemporary literary small presses and little magazines.

See also

Chielens, Literary Journal in America, 1900–1950 (Q4250).