Gramophone.net has launched a free full-text archive of the Gramophone magazine going right back to its launch in 1923. Gramophone’s a UK-based classical music publication best known (in my opinion) for its recording reviews: helpful for researching the reception of performances at the time they were made, as well as on a practical level for music librarians who purchase recordings for their libraries!
The new archive isn’t particularly flashy but does the job: anyone can search and read the full text of articles (captured using OCR so there’s occasional glitches), and if you register (free) you can also download PDFs of pages. Weirdly each PDF is a two-page spread rather than a specific article, so that’s a little inflexible, but it’s still really useful for seeing the layout of pages, ads, etc. Another benefit of registration is that you can save a list of interesting articles with a feature called ‘My Archive’, which I haven’t tried out yet. Interestingly registered users can also comment on any article – I look forward to seeing how much this feature is used and whether it leads to discussions between users and possibly a sense of community on the site.
Incidentally, without a subscription I seem to be able to access all but the two most recent issues which is more than I expected; there’s a space on the registration form to enter a subscriber number so I assume subscribers can view the most recent issues too. I’m hoping to get my library set up with an account soon to try this out and enable our current staff and students to view all articles online.
I’m really impressed that Gramophone has done this, and it’d be great if other magazines/journals followed suit.