“History moved down this river,” Pierre Berton wrote. “Before these tugboats churned downstream the romantic sternwheelers plied these waters. Before the sternwheelers came the flat-bottomed York boats, gross with furs. And before the York boats were the explorers’ canoes.” That’s vintage Berton, transforming the way Canada saw the north—and the world saw Canada—in a 1954 Maclean’s story titled “The mysterious north.”
Berton is just one of a celebrated cast of contributors whose complete writings for Maclean’s are now available in our fully digitized archive.
Archive subscribers can access every issue of Maclean’s ever published. That’s more than 100,000 stories from about 3,400 issues going back to 1905. (In fact, we pushed the launch up to coincide with Canada Day, so some issues are still being added, but rest assured—they’ll be up soon.)
Access for the first month is free and after that it’s only $3.99 a month. You can sign up for a free trial here. You can also sample it from inside select stories of our Canada’s Stories project, which collects a story for every year of Maclean’s long history.
The archive collection is a trove of Canadiana: there are the historic covers, including some by Group of Seven members A.J. Casson, Arthur Lismer and J.E.H. MacDonald, and a celebrated cast of contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Farley Mowat, Joseph Boyden, Mordecai Richler, and even Lucy Maud Montgomery. It’s a Canadian who’s who of journalists who graced our pages, including Ralph Allen, Peter C. Newman, Christina McCall, Barbara Moon, Peter Gzowski, Trent Frayne, and June Callwood, to name just a few.
This is the first archive of its kind in Canada. It chronicles our coverage of every major issue in the past century: war, political upheaval, massive social change. “You won’t find a better way to explore your country’s past,” says current Maclean’s editor-in-chief Mark Stevenson, “and better understand its present.”
The Maclean’s Historical Digitization Project, made possible with support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation, came to life thanks to work by Bondi, a digital publishing company that created a searchable database of all our past issues. You can explore it by year, author, or subject. The archive is easy to navigate, whether you want to explore our extensive coverage of the Great War (a phrase that first appeared in Maclean’s), or you’re looking for a specific story, such as Margaret Atwood’s 1974 profile of Margaret Laurence.
Every week, we’ll curate a new collection of timely recommendations. Happy reading. Happy Canada Day.