Digital Publishing

New Humanist archive shows how digital publishing can preserve cultural history

New Humanist, the 133-year-old periodical published by the Rationalist Association, whose past members include Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell and HG Wells, has made available its entire back catalogue as a digital archive for both individuals and institutions.

The complete archive spans multiple generations of writers and readers, offering academics the opportunity see how the atheist, humanist and rationalist movements have changed since the RA was founded in 1885. The archive contains a full set of periodicals, from Watts’s Literary Guide through to New Humanist, as well as journals such as the Agnostic Annual and Question.

Created as a series of state-of-the-art digital editions, the archive can be accessed on web, iOS and Android platforms. Developed in partnership with digital publishing experts Exact Editions, the digital archive includes a number of tools for subscribers, including offline browsing, bookmarks and an advanced search function allowing every article, page and issue to be searched, shared and cited.

Managing Director of Exact Editions, Daryl Rayner, says about the launch: “This project is truly representative of what Exact Editions aims to provide to the institutional market; rare and valuable magazine archives.

“Of particular interest to other publishers is how a digital archive like this can solve the problem of how to incorporate discontinued magazines that flow into the parent magazine.”

Daniel Trilling, editor of New Humanist, commented on the archive: “Everyone at the Rationalist Association is excited that for the first time we are able to show readers the full depth of the New Humanist archive. This is a great resource for researchers in fields ranging across philosophy and theology, social science and the humanities.”

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