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HIST 203: Canada Since 1867

Research guide for HIST 203 (Winter 2024)

Finding Primary Sources: Contemporary Magazine Articles

Magazine articles are useful sources for historical events and situations.  They were often produced by writers who had access to eyewitness accounts not otherwise accessible today. 

While magazine articles may vary greatly in length, they are they rarely published individually or separately. Printed indexes created at the time allow you to find some of this material. Magazines have not always attempted the modern appearance of objectivity, hence comparing several accounts of the same occurrence in different magazines may be revealing.

In contrast to daily newspapers, magazines, which appear weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly, will often present a synthesis of an event, as it would have appeared to the contemporary onlooker.

Footnotes in modern secondary works, particularly in articles or sections of books dealing with contemporary social or political reactions to events, are also a useful source for finding references to contemporary magazine articles. 

The following indexes and databases will help you locate magazine articles:


Canadian Periodical Index


An Index to Saturday Night: the first fifty years


An Index to Maclean's Magazine


Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature


Other Magazine Archives

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