You know what else we have in the archives? Magazines. Yes, we had our very own magazine published. The first issue came in 1891, the St. Mark’s Magazine. In the opening editorial it says: ‘To start a college magazine is comparatively easy; the difficulty is to make its life continuous.’ (G.W.G). And they succeeded too, the magazine ran for over 100 yearsThe first magazines to come out were thin and blue, made of paper without any gloss of their future counterparts. However people cared about them very much. Their recipients
bound them in hard covers and that’s why we have beautiful, book-like collection of those old publications.
The first thing one might notice after passing the front cover is that there is no illustrations, none at all. I can imagine no photographs, as the photojournalism was still in its infancy, but there isn’t any illustration even. I think it speaks a lot of the transition of the society from one focused mainly on the written word to one that is multi-media oriented. The text itself is thick and hard to read for our eyes, used to fast-reading techniques.
The magazine contains many different things: College news, update on people, sports news, various articles and stories. It was also meant for student authors to have a place where they could publish their work, that’s why there are poems, fiction, biographical stories, journals of travels and other articles.
There are also so called ‘varia’, which are little thoughts or fact or just titbits of college life. Some of them funny, some thoughtful or curious. Those are the bits that didn’t make it into full articles.
Those are a fascinating lecture, especially when you can see how they hanged over the years; not only in form, but in content and attitudes. I wish we still had one. In our days of the decline of the printed word, we could at least have it in an electronic form.