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HON 1000: ‘Going Steady?’: Documenting the History of Dating in American Culture, 1940-1990 (Anderson/Fall 2016)

This Week's Assignment

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Read thes two articles linked below and think about about dating, love, and sex are represented.

  • Who is the intended audience for these magazine stories?
  • What, if any, information can you find about their authors? 


We will experiment with searching for magazine articles relating to your topics in class. 

In-Class Exercise Worksheet

  1. Write down the keywords you are starting with for your chosen topic.
  2. Go to the Reader’s Guide Retrospective: 1890 – 1982 database (link is on the class research guide,, Week 6: Popular Magazines tab. Use Advanced Search and try one (or more!) of your keywords in the search box (or boxes).
    1. Write down the title of an article that might be relevant to your topic.
    2. What is the title of the magazine or journal that this article is in? (Hint: this usually appears after the author’s name).
    3. What year was this article published?
    4. Is the article immediately available as a PDF (“PDF Full Text” icon)?
    5. If not, which of these results do you get when you click “Find It @ GSU”? (Circle relevant options)

      Full text online            We may have a copy in print           Request item via interlibrary loan

  3. Open another tab in your browser and go to the course’s research guide, Week 6: Popular Magazines tab again.
    Click the link to Google Magazines on the same tab of the class research guide.
    Go to “Content” and click “Magazines”.
    Go to “Publication Date” and limit to “January 1940” and “December 1990”
    1. Write down the title of an article that might be relevant to your topic.
    2. What is the title of the magazine or journal that this article is in? (Hint: this usually appears after the author’s name).
    3. What year was this article published?

Searching the GSU Library for Historical Periodicals

Use the Journals tab on the GSU Library homepage to search for historical periodical holdings.

Keep the "All Journals" button selected. This will tell you if we have the journal in paper or in microfilm.

Click to enlarge image.

Selected Freely Available Online Periodicals

Looking for LGBTQ Periodicals?

GSU's Special Collections and Archives has a significant collection of periodicals (that is, magazines and journals) focusing on gender and sexuality. These are print periodicals, so are well suiting for flipping through and browsing. Though some of these periodicals are available digitally in LGBT Life, the digital versions can be challenging to search in. 

We don't have full runs (i.e. all issues) of all of these magazines, but you may be able to find useful material in just one issue.

Additionally, some topics may be better addressed through advertisements in these periodicals (advertisements are primary sources!), which are easier found by browsing in the periodicals themselves than by searching online. 

This link will take you to a finding aid which will include a full listing of the gender/sexuality periodicals available in Special Collections. To get to the full list, click on the link and then on the small box that says "Open Finding Aid" (upper left corner). 

Titles include (but are not limited to):

  • The Advocate (1975-2014)
  • International Male (1981-2007)
  • Playgirl (1973 and 1988; restricted**)

If you would like to visit Special Collections to browse through any of these titles, please contact Morna Gerrard, Women and Gender Collections Archivist, at to make an appointment. Or just come to Special Collections' Reading Room during its working hours and ask at the reference desk!

**Note that some of these periodicals are identified as "Restricted." You will need a letter from your professor to be allowed access to these materials. (For this course, that would be me!) You will also need to contact Morna Gerrard directly to find out more about access options for periodicals identified as "Restricted." 

Historical Magazines/Journals (Databases available at GSU)

(Newspaper collections are listed separately in the Historical Newspapers guide)

Feel Like Browsing Old-School?

The GSU Library has bound copies (meaning, paper!) of several general-interest magazines from our time period that may have great advertisements or stories relevant to your topics. You can flip through these and see if anything catches your eye.

Examples include:

So, where are these paper copies?

They're on Library North 3. When you get off the elevator, turn to your right and you'll see wooden shelves with cranks on them. This is the Periodicals section. All the call numbers here start with "Per." (for Periodical). The magazines are in order by call number, so, Ms. magazine is in the HQ section; the others are in the AP section.

Except for Life magazine, which is the the Per. Fol. collection. ("Fol." stands for "Folio," which is a fancy way of saying "big.") To get to the Per. Fol. section, walk through the wooden shelving area toward the link (glassed-in connector between Library North and Library South). The Per. Fol. section is a set of shelves just before you get to the actual link.

Want to make scans or copies from these paper objects?

Scanners are on Library North 2, near the top of the big staircase.

Copy machines are on Library North 1 and 2.

Using WorldCat to Find Historical Periodicals

WorldCat is a database that searches libraries worldwide, including books, audiovisual materials, periodicals (magazines and newspapers), and archival materials. You can request many of the items in WorldCat using Interlibrary Loan.

Use Advanced Search to limit searches by author, title, and/or format.

If you are looking for periodicals, look for records including the word "microform" or "microfilm." Most libraries will not lend out bound copies of periodicals, but many will lend microfilm versions.

When requesting microform copies through Interlibrary Loan, use the "Other (Free Text)" request option and include periodical title, dates needed, and note that you are requesting microfilm.