New! The Library offers full issues of Time and Life magazine online, cover to cover with all pictures and ads intact. Click “Research” at the top of the Library homepage; look in the A–Z list of online resources to find the Time Magazine Archive or Life Magazine Archive; at the EBSCO search page type search terms. All results will be from that publication.
You’ll have access to Time and Life from the early 20th century through the year 2000, available in a variety of formats. Time has digital full text and archival quality PDF scans that you can download, as well as audio for the visually impaired. Image-rich Life has PDF scans, allowing you to read articles and view images as they appeared when magazines first hit newsstands—ads and photos will enliven and enrich research into pop culture and media studies.
These articles depict history in the making, when outcomes were far from certain. In Time, President Harry S. Truman rails against the tactics employed by opponents of his “Fair Deal”: “I am going to keep right on working for better houses, better schools … and I don’t intend to be scared away by anybody who calls that program socialism” (“The Hired Man.” Time, 22 May 1950). A decade after Truman ordered the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the military dismisses Atomic Energy Commission warnings of fallout’s deadly consequences as “based on the worst possible conditions, i.e., they assume that no one would take protective measures … old and simple steps are highly effective against the new and horrible peril …” (“The Fatal Fall-Out.” Time, 28 Feb.1955)
Images in Life capture police violence against marchers for civil rights in Selma, AL. When the U.S. Attorney General urges Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to cancel a second march, “he simply wouldn’t budge … ‘I had been agonizing and I made my choice,’ he said. ‘I decided it is better to die on the highway than to make a butchery of my conscience.'” (Douglas, Paul H. Life, 19 Mar. 1965, “Selma: Beatings start the Savage Season”)