For those who may have missed the announcement, the NYPL is in the process of digitizing their trade periodicals. To date, perhaps their most valuable database is a complete run of BILLBOARD.
While never as film-centric as some other trades, it was certainly as big a player as VARIETY, especially where live performance is concerned (in the 1940s, BILLBOARD sponsored the Donaldson Awards, a sort of pre-cursor to the Tonys.)
Great as this news is, there are a few "buyer beware" warnings I should I note:
1) BB is already available online from other sources for the years 1896-1922 and 1942-present. It's that pesky 19 year hole in the run that's the service only available within the NYPL.
2) I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to print out the articles I wanted. I felt better when the librarian I sought out for assistance couldn't get it to print either. My previous experience with their Proquest databases - which also administers this media periodicals collection - have been fine. Perhaps there is some fine-tuning that need to happen to get this in-house database to work within the Proquest universe, or perhaps NYPL wants or needs to keep a tighter lid on this copyrighted material. In any event, I was able to print out the search results and will use them to run through the BB we have on microfilm in Atlanta.
Vintage documents, letters, newspaper ads, magazine articles and more -- a library at your fingertips!
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