The Vogue Archive
Series: Our favourite State Library eresources.
People often ask us what our most loved eresources are. Admittedly we all have a favourite, or two, or three. It’s hard to pick as there are so many wonderful State Library eresources available. In this series our Librarians and Library Technicians share with you their most favourite eresources and how they’ve been used to solve research queries.
Next in the series we look at The Vogue Archive, a big favourite of Librarian Fiona Dixon.
So why is The Vogue Archive, so fabulous?
The Vogue Archive contains all issues of the US edition of Vogue, from the first issue published in December 1892 (which cost just 10 cents), to the current issue of the iconic glossy magazine. All pages, advertisements and covers are reproduced in high-resolution colour, and indexing enables you to search for designers, brands, contributors and garment types. This amazing resource provides a valuable and fascinating insight into fashion, society, art and culture for more than a century.
Vogue started in 1892 as a weekly society paper for New York’s elite. It was bought by Condé Nast in 1909 and changed to a fortnightly publication focussed on fashion, increasing in size and quality, and evolving into the slick monthly magazine we see today.
How to use The Vogue Archive
You can easily choose any issue of the magazine, as they are listed in chronological order with dates and issue numbers. Once you select an issue to view, you can simply browse by turning the pages using the arrows.
If you’re looking for a particular article, or material on a certain topic, you can go straight to individual items such as articles, advertisements and images.
The contents have been thoroughly indexed, so you can search for brands, designers, contributors or garment types.
The images are also indexed, enabling searches using keywords for fashion items (such as miniskirt, ankle boot or sari), the person pictured, brand, or even materials used, such as silk or leather. You can also search by journal editor, photographer, stylist and illustrator.
Vogue’s legendary covers featured art by leading artists and illustrators of the day, and provided a public forum for modern art movements such as Art Deco and cubism in the 1920s.
In the 1930s and 1940s, innovative photography changed the face of Vogue’s covers, making the magazine an icon of photographic style as well as reflecting the changing fashion and culture through the decades.
Looking back through The Vogue Archive gives a superb overview of fashion’s history — from corseted gowns, the feminine styles of Dior and chic Parisian trends, to the simpler, more practical fashions of today. Vogue is also a rich source of documentation of social change, with articles by leading literary figures and thinkers, such as Evelyn Waugh and Winston Churchill, as well as feature articles about prominent women such as Jackie Kennedy and Michelle Obama, and popular figures, from Audrey Hepburn to Billie Eilish.
The Vogue Archive is an exceptional resource for students of fashion, popular culture, textiles, photography, design, and advertising. You can even create a My Research account to save documents and searches to return to later or set search alerts for future research. Of course, it’s also enjoyable to just sit back and browse through the beautiful images and interesting articles of the past 128 years.
Look out for the next blog in this series #FavouriteEresources
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