Last week, we hosted an AP reporter who flew in from New York to spend two days combing through the Writer’s Digest archives. He’s writing a feature on the history of the publishing industry and found plenty of fodder for his piece here—in fact 88 years of writing and publishing advice.
Last year WD Books published a book featuring some great pieces from our archives, you can read an article about that here.
As you can imagine, there’s amazing stuff in our archives—interviews and first-hand essays and advice pieces written by just about any literary luminary you can think of from the past century.
And as we were shuffling those crumbling, leather-bound magazines around—we’re talking actual bound copies of the original magazines going back to 1920—I realized that wow, we really need to get our archives digitized. And soon, before all that history crumbles away with the low-grade paper it was printed on.
I’ve known this for awhile, of course. But as often happens, preserving the past takes a backseat to the pressing needs of the present. Like hitting deadlines for the next issue, and building a better website and blogging and hitting circ numbers to keep our publisher happy, etc., etc. etc…
So, I’ve got this awesome task ahead of me. It’s something I’ve charged myself with, and something that I know in my gut I have to do.
But the sheer size of this project is overwhelming—we’re talking months and months of scanning hundreds of thousands of pages of historical content. It’s a big, big job. And I’m now in the process of convincing my bosses that not only does this need to be done, but that people might actually pay for CDs of our archives.
You could really help me build my case to get this done by saying sure, I’d buy that. So if you’re into this pet project of mine, please leave me a comment here. I’m assembling reader feedback for my proposal now, and I’d sure appreciate hearing from you all.