Friday, August 28, 2015

Where Do the Defunct Literary Magazines Go?

I was cleaning up my links on my list of literary publications page on my website when I clicked on Stone Highway Review and ended up with a website for air compressors. That couldn't be right. Maybe I typed it incorrectly? Nope. Still air compressors. Through a search in which I added "Duotrope" after the name, I found it was listed with a warning banner: "Do not submit here! This project is believed to be defunct."

If that magazine was gone, what happened to my story "Revolver Is," published in Issue 3.3, July 2014? What happened to everyone's stories and poems? And were they still published if the magazine is invisible?

Thanks to archive.org, the magazine remains. Our stories are still published, but it takes some searching to find them. When I typed "stone highway.com" into the Wayback Machine and poked around a little, I found the issue here. As I scanned the contents, I discovered I've published two of the contributors in *82 Review as well: Deonte Osayande (3.1) and Jess L. Bryant (2.2).


Yay, Brewster Kahle and his team! Kahle is the founder of Internet Archive, "a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more." Through the Archive, these otherwise ephemeral digital magazines and web pages are saved. Where do all the defunct literary  magazines go? Gone to Archive, every one.

This certainly raises questions about longevity and some things to continue thinking about:

  • How long do you want the work to last?
  • What is the best medium?
  • Why not paper?
  • If it is on paper do any libraries collect it/subscribe to it?
  • If you are putting in time and energy on a project, why not use archival materials?
If you can't find something on the web that was once there, it is very possible that Archive.org has captured it and it is still alive in some form, after all.


A side note: Brewster Kahle's wife Mary Austin is one of the founders of the San Francisco Center for the Book.

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