The Liberty Magazine Historical Archive, 1924-1950 offers researchers and students of 20th century studies digital access to one of the most popular American illustrated weekly magazines of the 1920s-1950s. Its colourful range of art, stories, articles and advertisements attracted a readership in excess of 3 million, providing researchers of today with an unrivalled resource for understanding the everyday lives of working- and middle-class Americans in the mid-20th century. Containing over 17,000 fiction and non-fiction articles and storie the archive includes the complete 26-year run of the magazine - all scanned in full colour.

Now in Gale NewsVault, this collection is the perfect complement to Gale's other 20th century newspaper resources (Picture Post, Illustrated London News, The Listener, The Times, The Times Literary Supplement and The Sunday Times) adding to the multiple perspectives newspapers afford researchers when digging into the past.

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From its very first edition in 1924, the style of Liberty was influenced by the nascent film industry and the magazine delighted in reporting on the week's most sensational issues. At a time when illustrated magazines enjoyed a large circulation and readership Liberty captured the 'zeitgeist' of America's pre-and post WWII periods, reflecting the fortunes and aspirations of ordinary  Americans.

Liberty nurtured a stable of the most famous and best loved  talents (writers, artists, illustrators) of the 20th century including:
  • Walt Disney
  • Paul Gallico
  • Dashiell Hammett
  • P.G. Wodehouse
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Agatha Christie
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald

The magazine also profiled prominent celebrities and political figures including:
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Mahatma Ghandi
  • Winston Churchill
  • W.C. Fields
  • H.G. Wells
  • Albert Einstein
  • Greta Garbo
  • Leon Trotsky
  • Benito Mussolini

Such was its centrality in the popular imagination of Americans, as many as 120 of its stories were adapted for film or television including the iconic film  Double Indemnity and the children's favourite Mr. Ed the Talking Horse. The long running story written and illustrated by Leslie Thrasher, For the Love o’ Lil, featured weekly on the cover for 6 years, and is regarded as America’s first soap opera.

The title Liberty was originally chosen in a national competition that drew nearly 1.5 million entries. It now represents far more than the original ‘Weekly for Everybody” ; it opens up a unique perspective on American's daily life during a pivotal period in their history when the nation rose to cultural, economic and political dominance on the world stage. This primary source collection is an outstanding resource for American studies; Journalism; Literature; Political Studies; Social and Cultural Studies; Business History; and International Relations. 

Search features and functionality

Time-saving features such as multiple search paths, browse options and limiters allow users to pinpoint results quickly. Increasing the speed and the efficacy of teaching and research, users can store results and save notes in a named user account across sessions:

  • Basic Search
  • Advanced Search by index types – Entire Document, Article Title, Caption, Contributor Name, Keyword
  • Browse by Issue or Contributor 
  • Sophisticated Image Viewer – see results in full screen. Grab, pan, zoom, and crop images.
  • Marked List and Search History
  • Save, Print, Bookmark and Email results
  • Gale named user account to save searches, results and notes between sessions
  • All articles and image captions are fully text searchable with hit-term highlighting
  • Fuzzy Search – low, medium, high
  • Limit Searches by Publication Date, Article Type or Illustration Type
  • Search article genres including: Adventure; Biographies & Autobiographies; Human Interest; Humour; Love and Marriage; Mystery, Suspense, and Spy; Politics, Money and Industry; Sports; Stage, Screen and Radio; True Crime; Voices of the People; War; and Westerns

Liberty Magazine Historical Archive on Gale NewsVault - coming soon!

The Liberty Magazine Historical Archive is a part of the Gale NewsVault programme. Gale NewsVault delivers the definitive cross-searching experience for exploring Gale’s range of historical newspaper collections. Users can simultaneously search or browse across some of the best-known and well-respected newspaper collections available internationally to date, including The Economist Historical Archive and the Financial Times Historical Archive. Providing access to 15 million digitised facsimile pages, and more that 400 years of content, Gale NewsVault provides an unparalleled window to the past.

Gale NewsVault is available to all Gale historical newspaper collection customers now, free of charge, enabling users to cross-search all of the Gale historical newspaper collections that an institution holds.

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Please note: The Liberty Magazine Historical Archive is only available for institutions to trial and purchase. The archive is not available at this stage for individual subscriptions. For individuals seeking a copy of an issue/issues or a specific article within the Liberty Magazine Historical Archive, Gale, part of Cengage Learning does not have the rights to provide this service. If you wish to obtain a specific article or issue, please contact your public library and enquire about online access to our products. Otherwise, it may be worth visiting a library that holds the physical copies.