I have gone through about 1/6th of the magazines I have and entered the details (cover copy, cover image, issue publication details, notes on individual issues) into a spreadsheet. I have just finished oredering the rest into publication dates. One interesting problem is that Street Machine, the most popular of the magazines, continually evolved throughout the last 25 years or so. During the 1980s it was published every two months and then six weeks. Since then it has almost doubled in size and is published every month. It means that the stack of (every) Street Macine published in the 2000s (6.5 years) is bigger than the 1980s stack (8.2 years) which also includes every magazine. It is only in the 1990s that I do not have all the magazines (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997).
I started doing the spreadsheet simply so I would know which magazines I have and don’t have. It is a time consuming process, with each magazine taking 5-10 minutes to do properly. It is lucky that this is the ‘second sweep’ through the magazines (I read them when they arrive), so I have some idea of what has happened, when certain topics or issues have come up, and most importantly, what I am interested in writing about for my PhD.
Suffice to say I have a massive amount of stuff and it has all cost a small fortune. I am going to sell some (multiple copies) back on eBay to try and recoup some of my costs. At least I’ll be able to write a detailed description for the item!
I am going to write some more about ‘magazine methodology’ because it is somewhat tricky. The whys and the whatfors and all that jazz.