Opera Magazine Launches Digital Archive

Opera Magazine has launched its complete digital archive, going all the way back to the first issue of the magazine, in February 1950. Digital subscribers can now enjoy unlimited access to 66 years’ worth of articles, reviews and photographs: an unparalleled resource within the operatic world.


The archive is both historically fascinating and relevant to what’s happening now – those following Plácido Domingo’s latest performances, for instance, will be able to look back to his debut. All the content is fully searchable, and there are hundreds of in-depth profiles of favourite singers past and present to explore. Highlights also include articles by great composers and authors including Ralph Vaughan Williams and E.M. Forster, plus reviews of significant premieres around the world, including all the Britten operas from Billy Budd onwards.


Described as ‘the bible of the industry’ by the Daily Telegraph, Opera has been the world’s leading commentator on the lyric stage since its foundation. The magazine continues to provide unrivalled coverage of events through a mixture of features, analysis, news and reviews by a network of international correspondents, covering performances from every corner of the globe.

If you would like to access the complete Opera archive, by purchasing a digital subscription, please click here.



Open Access Books via Exact Editions

Exact Editions is now providing access to three fascinating books on Social Media from the new Open Access publisher University College of London Press.

The first three titles are available as free PDF files from the UCL Press web site, and they can also be accessed from Exact Editions via these links:




the whole collection from:


The books provide empirical, comparative, insights into our use of social media and they have an elegant and readable design:


Reading and searching the books through Exact Editions’ new web Reader is  straightforward. All this aids readability, and yet much the same functionality can be found with the original PDF files and an adequate PDF app. The distinctive and for books on social media, highly appropriate,  functionality that the Exact Editions platform adds is that the book becomes much more shareable and more efficiently citeable. For example, I can simply and directly share with you via email, message, Twitter or Facebook, individual pages. Here the page which gives us a map of the  city in which the Turkish study was centred:


That link will take anyone directly to the right page in the book. Having each page individually linkable and shareable is a great advantage for a book that is being studied by a group or used in scholarly references. And for open access books this is a special advantage because, of course, anyone can see the full page. It seems likely that the ability to cite and link directly to individual pages will be very necessary for students of social media. It is really quite inefficient to link to a full PDF file, much better if direct digital links to the precise page are available. And if a discussion is taking place over specific topics in the book, the discussion can proceed with every participant seeing and linking to the same individual pages.

The importance of sharing a specific view or interaction with a digital book is also illustrated by the way that search highlights are delivered when a search query is shared. Again this is a feature which has real potential for teaching and classroom discussions.


Or see a parallel search for ‘Orkut’ in Social Media in an English Village.


The Exact Editions platform uses the open PDF files that the UCL Press makes available for its open access books, and PDF files are a reliable and sensible choice for preserving books with print functionality, but if a book or a set of books is to be widely studied and the reading experience shared, there is much to be said for a platform which allows users and readers to share and cite individual pages.


Geographical Magazine Launches Complete Archive

Geographical magazine launched its impressive digital archive, dating back to 1935, when the magazine was first founded. The archive boasts over eighty years worth of issues, to which digital subscribers now have unlimited access.

Digital subscribers to Geographical can now journey through history, as well as geography, with access to 81 years of world travel experience. Readers can immerse themselves in 1930’s voyages of exploration, view the world through the lens of the second world war or, as civilisations become increasingly culturally diverse and socially integrated, contemplate the changing face of the globe.


Geographicalas the official magazine of the RoyalGeographical Society, is published to fund the advancement of exploration and research in geographical topics, such as travel and conservation. The Geographical magazine archive explores these topics in depth, through an ideal pairing of engaging articles and stunning photography.

As a digital subscriber to Geographical, you have unlimited access to the full archive. Explore today.


Geographical’s earliest issues

Yesterday Exact Editions released Geographical’s complete 80+ year archive. For some months we have been working with Syon publishing to collect and scan all the back issues then to prepare a complete database of the magazine and this is now fully available and will be a great resource for individual subscribers to the magazine and for the institutions and libraries that have site licenses.


It was also of direct interest to me because I knew that my father had contributed some articles to the magazine in the early years. So it was a moment of excitement when I searched the database for “Robin Hodgkin” and “R A Hodgkin“, sure enough four articles showed up, for three of them he was the author. For the first he was merely mentioned as a member of a small team of climbers that had made some pioneering climbs in the Caucasus a year earlier. The four young climbers managed a trip of about 5 weeks in the Caucasus for less than £70 a person (half of that going on third class train fares from London to Benezinki and back), they had partly covered their costs by writing articles for the Times and then newly founded Geographical magazine.

Robin’s next trip as a mountaineer was something of a disaster as he went very high on Masherbrum, a little known but remote and high peak in the Karakorum, where he and his climbing partner were avalanched and escaped after a desperate retreat in which they were badly frost bitten. This account has some glorious grainy shots of Ladakh and the high mountains,  and these 12 pages are currently part of the free open sample.

A large magazine archive is a valuable historical resource — eg for attitudes towards exploration and travel in the 1930’s, more generally for social mores and expectations, but there is perhaps as much potential value in the advertisements and announcements as in the journalism that is now so fascinating. This Sanatogen advert reminds us how much more constrained and regulated pharmaceutical advertising is now. It is clear there was no Ben Goldacre in the 1930s