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What are the Maclean’s Archives?
The Archives is a searchable, digital library of every issue, article, photograph and advertisement that has appeared in Maclean’s in its 113-year history (going back to 1905, when we debuted as “The Business Magazine.”) It contains more than 3,400 issues, with more than 100,000 stories. You’ll find Canada’s greatest writers and journalists there: Pierre Berton and June Callwood, Peter Newman and Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler, Joseph Boyden and Peter Gzowski. Not to mention some you might not expect: Rudyard Kipling, Lucy Maud Montgomery, even George Bernard Shaw. And you’ll see all our fantastic covers, including work by the likes of A.J. Casson, Alex Colville and Yousuf Karsh. To help guide you to our best work, we’ll update our Archives homepage regularly with story suggestions and reading lists.
So is this a spectacular, one-of-a-kind, can’t-get-it-anywhere-else sort of thing?
Exactly. The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Esquire and Vogue all have something similar in the U.S. But only Maclean’s has anything like this in Canada, and we’re quite proud of that.
How do I navigate the Archives?
Click on FULL ISSUES at the top of the homepage. That will take you to the Decades page where you can click through to the decade you want, pick a year, or scroll down to see all the issues from that decade.
What happens when I click on an issue?
That takes you to the Issue Page, where you will see the issue cover, with the three biggest stories beside it. Below that you will see the VIEW ISSUE button—click there and you are into the issue, and able to use the arrows on the side of your screen to flip through page by page, forward and backward. The MORE FEATURES button advances you to the list of the major feature stories below. You will also see a TABLE OF CONTENTS menu that gives you a detailed list of everything in that issue, including the ads.
Okay, now I want to read a story. How do I actually do that?
For any story on the Issue Page, either in the top three, or the features list, or the full contents, you can click on the headline, or on the image of the magazine spread, and a digital replica of that story as it was published will fill your screen. If a text-only version is available, you’ll see a READ RAW TEXT button at the bottom and you can click on that. (Most of our stories have that option, but some don’t. We’re working on that.) You will also see icons for the FULL SCREEN MODE and for ZOOM on the bottom right. At the bottom left you’ll see three dots. Click there to share the story. To go back to the Issue Page, click the X at the top right.
How do I search?
Click on the SEARCH tab at the top right of the navigation bar, and you can dig deeper, searching by keyword, author or story headline. When you search results come up, you’ll see thumbnails of covers, articles, ads and images related to your search. You will also see a SORT BY menu that allows you to refine further.
Clicking on the VIEW COVERS, VIEW ARTICLES, VIEW ADS or VIEW IMAGES buttons will display those results, and will allow you to narrow your search even further by means of a REFINE BY tab on the left side of your screen. Click on the AUTHOR selection there, for example, and it will give you a list of writers who wrote about that subject or personality you’ve searched for, and it will bring up thumbnails for those stories. So if you want to read everything Peter C. Newman wrote about Pierre Trudeau, that’s how you do it.
Tablet, phone or desktop: what’s the best way to read the Archives?
All of the above. It’s designed to look great on all platforms. If you are reading on tablet, the replica pages fit perfectly in the window. You can zoom and pinch pages on the phones, and read the text-only versions of our best stories, and easily sort through covers and issues. Desktop is best for deep dives and searches.
What does it cost again?
Maclean’s Archives stories published between 1905 and 2009 are free for all readers.
I noticed a mistake. There’s an Issue Page that doesn’t have the big three feature stories up top.
Thanks for catching that. Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org for things like that. In a project this size, there are bound to be some glitches. We’re counting on readers to alert us so we can make it better.
I noticed a story in the May 15, 1922, issue entitled “Shall We Bar the Yellow Race?” What the…?
Yes, well, you’re right. In building the archive we saw some things that would never be published or, thankfully, countenanced in any form today: racist, sexist, intolerant language and ideas. But we decided not to censor. It’s history, and we decided not to hide anything, even if it’s something we’d never do now.
The raw text version of some of the stories is messed up. There are typos, and the “continued on page XX” is in the body of the text.
We know. You’ll see that in headlines occasionally too. To be honest, the RAW TEXT versions are still a work in progress. The Archive was created by scanning every page of every issue of Maclean’s. (Well, actually, first we had to track down every issue and that was an epic task all its own.) Computers and scanners are good, but not perfect, and the Optical Character Recognition system sometimes does some funny things. (It sometimes converts the word “burn” to “bum,” for instance.) And it means things like page breaks, pull quotes and photo captions will find their way into odd places. Correcting all that is a manual process. It’s well under way, but it’s going to take a while. In the meantime, we had to decide whether we should give you everything now, imperfect as some of it is, or hold back until all the plain text versions were clean as a whistle. We decided on the former. Meanwhile, you can always flip through the replica pages and read that way (zooming in as you need to). That’s just as much fun as a reading experience (more fun, actually).
Hey, you said every issue ever. There are actually some missing.
We realized just recently that some were—mostly from 1927, 1928, 1950 and 1952, though there’s a handful of others, including a number from the 2010s. That will be rectified soon. We really wanted to get the archive out there for Canada Day, and decided to go ahead now, and fix that as we go along. When it’s complete, it will be Every Issue Ever.
I still can’t seem to get in. Any suggestions?
You may be logged out and asked to verify your account number. Be sure you have not typed the letter “O” instead of the number “0” (zero) or the letter “L” instead of the number “1” (one). If you are still unable to locate your account, you can email us for assistance. We will verify your account number for future reference.
Where can I get my account number?
Your account number will be displayed to you on your confirmation page once you’ve purchased the Archives. You will also receive a confirmation email that displays your account number and links directly into the Archive.
I have a question, or a suggestion for the Archives.
Great. We’d love to hear it. Contact us at email@example.com.