Welcome to the Maclean’s archives

108 years of the magazine will soon be digitized


This year marks Maclean’s 108th birthday — and the country’s only national newsmagazine has had a front-row seat to Canada’s growth as a country since that first edition came out in October, 1905.

But you’d have a hard time comparing Maclean’s then and now, and not just because of shifts in coverage and approach. At present, past issues of Maclean’s have only been digitized as far back as 1986. That means that, for library visitors or Maclean’s staffers, viewing issues from 1985 and prior is only possible through the use of a card catalogue, and only in locations where microfilm copies exist — you won’t find the bulk of our history online.

Fortunately, that’s soon to change. After more than a century of publication, we thought it was high time we made our trove of past issues digitally available not only to us, but to the public, as well.

The Maclean’s Historical Digitization Project, made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, has us partnered with ProQuest, a company that will be making a PAO (periodical archives online) database of our past coverage. If all goes well, the back-end work on the Maclean’s digital archive will be complete by the end of 2013, with work on the publicly accessible archive to get underway in 2014.

It’s a rich collection: there are the historic covers, including some by Group of Seven members like A.J. Casson, Arthur Lismer and J.E.H. MacDonald, and a celebrated cast of contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Robert Service, Farley Mowat, David Suzuki, W.O. Mitchell, Ray Bradbury, Mordecai Richler, Bertrand Russell, and Lucy Maud Montgomery. That’s not to mention a veritable who’s who of Canadian journalists who’ve edited and filled our pages: Ralph Allen, Pierre Berton, Robert Fulford, McKenzie Porter, Peter C. Newman, Christina McCall, Barbara Moon, Peter Gzowski, Trent Frayne, June Callwood and Fred Bodsworth, to name a few.

We’re missing some issues, particularly from our first few decades, and we hope to solicit your help in locating some of these missing copies down the road. Please stay tuned for specifics.

You can also watch for archival updates on our Twitter, and Facebook and Tumblr accounts, where we’ll periodically post highlights of what we encounter–from unusual stories to beautiful images.

In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of our archives as they exist, now:


Welcome to the Maclean’s archives

  1. Hi, I make extensive use of original magazines in my work as an art historian of illustration. I do hope you are making high quality pdf scans of full pages and covers, including all the advertising, and also any inserts and subscription cards. BTW the New York Public Library has a very good set of MacLean’s, but bound volumes only.

  2. Hello I have 1969 / 1970 . I need this back because it a article about my father in it.. I am searching for two more articles that I am missing. I need them to finish writing a book about a crime that took place in Hamilton Ontario, So if you need what I have Just maybe you would have what I need aa well……

  3. In 1965 the magazine ran a feature on the Halks Nest Disco when it opened I was in it. How can i get a copy ?

Sign in to comment.