The Canadian Modernist Magazines Project (CMMP) is dedicated to digitizing, sharing, and facilitating the study of modernist and proto-modernist literary magazines of historical and cultural significance that were published in Canada between approximately 1900 and 1950. Taking a broad view of modernism, it argues that small-scale periodicals or “little magazines” were crucially important both to the formation of the Canadian modernist canon and to the formation of previously unacknowledged movements in Canadian modernist literature.
The CMMP was created to address a central problem: for the most part, Canada’s most canonical and widely studied modernist magazines have not been digitized, and few of the institutions holding these materials have original or complete print runs. As Dean Irvine noted in his 2009 survey of modernist magazines in Canada,
“Access to Canadian ‘little magazines’ probably represents the major obstacle to the advancement of research in the field. Only a handful of magazines are available in facsimile editions, others on microfilm.”
In 2014, Graham Jensen, the project’s Principal Investigator, received a doctoral stipend from Editing Modernism in Canada and first began responding to this still-pressing issue by securing the permissions necessary to digitize Montreal-based periodicals Preview (1942–1945) and First Statement (1942–1945). From 2018-2020, while at the University of Victoria, Jensen continued work on the CMMP in partnership with librarians, archivists, digitization specialists, and scholars across Canada, and with the support of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship in English and a Digital Scholarship Fellowship from the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab. During this period, Preview and First Statement were digitized and processed and two other magazines, Neith (1903-1904) and Le Nigog (1918), were also added to the project’s digital repository.
While the CMMP’s initial launch took place in October of 2022, we are still in the process of adding new hand-corrected transcriptions of each magazine to this site. These plain-text transcription files will be made available for download alongside the existing PDFs and BookReaders. And while our current database of contributors and texts relies on minimally encoded TEI-XML versions of each magazine issue, we also plan to make more detailed TEI files available for download in the near future, with the hopes that these might serve as the basis for future digital editions, network analyses, and other digital humanities projects.
In the next phase of the project, we plan to secure additional funds to expand the website to include supplementary research and teaching materials. In the process, the CMMP hopes to encourage new forms of public engagement with twentieth-century Canadian literatures.
More specifically, during the project’s second phase, we intend to work with research partners and community members to develop:
Additional critical introductions
Digital editions of texts in the CMMP's repository
Computational analyses of the magazines and their metadata
1. For a detailed overview of the CMMP, see Graham Jensen, “Beyond ‘Mere Digitization’: Introducing the Canadian Modernist Magazines Project,” in Future Horizons: Digital Humanities in Canada (edited by Paul Barrett and Sarah Roger), forthcoming from University of Ottawa Press.
Please take a moment to learn more about the universities, libraries, labs, projects, and funding bodies that have supported this project during the course of its development.View project supporters
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