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Hefner & Timke, Circulating American Magazines: Lessons from the Audit Bureau of Circulations Data

Brooks E. Hefner
James Madison University

Edward Timke
Duke University

Finding reliable and objective circulation figures for magazines has been a challenge for periodical scholars for many years. This presentation describes the Circulating American Magazines project, which seeks to remedy this problem by making historical magazine circulation data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) publicly accessible. Using case studies ranging across magazine categories, this presentation demonstrates the scholarly possibilities that detailed ABC data offer and shows how these insights can upend long-standing ideas about American periodical history and radically refine our understanding of the history of American magazines and their readers.