The ‘Rolling Stone’ Archive | eReview

The Rolling Stone Archive is for lovers of popular music, personalities, and cultural newsmakers of the last 50 years. There's also something for researchers of non-music content that relates to history, politics, and social conditions. 

The Rolling Stone Archive; ProQuest

CONTENT Regarded as one of the seminal and most influential magazines of the past 50 years, Rolling Stone features edgy political reporting, pithy music criticism, memorable long feature stories, and insightful cultural exposés. The entire run of the publication, from its launch in 1967 to the present day, is now available from ProQuest, including articles, interviews, reviews, fiction pieces, political analysis, advertisements, illustrations, photographs, and iconic covers. All issues are in color except for the earliest years. The database totals approximately 150,000 pages.

USABILITY Content is easily accessible and discoverable via the highly functional and intuitive ProQuest database platform. The landing page offers a large box for basic searches and links for advanced searches, browsing, recent searches, and tips. The latest issue of Rolling Stone is also prominently displayed.

There are three primary ways to browse and discover items in the archive: keying in terms in the basic search box, employing the advanced option for customized inquiries, or selecting “Browse Issue” to locate specific topics. Results from basic searches can be sorted by either relevance or date and limited by date and document type. Advanced search has options for searching by author, document text or type, publication date, and ISSN, with additional alternatives for adding/removing rows and using Boolean connectors.

“Browse Issue” from the homepage is the most direct way to find a topic. Clicking on that link opens a page with opportunities for searching by year, month, and issue. When a subject is selected, the cover, advertisements, articles, and other content appear, allowing easy access to desired entries.

The interface is intuitive, with highly relevant and quickly loaded results. For example, if one searches for John Lennon and Yoko Ono and chooses the front page/cover story option under document type, Lennon and Ono’s iconic 1981 cover photograph is returned as the first result. An advanced search on Beyoncé and Jay-Z, narrowed to full-text articles published after January 1, 2018, returns 23 results and opens the short article “The Ballad of Beyoncé and Jay-Z.” When selecting “Browse Issue,” a search of the March 1, 2021, issue returns several articles about COVID vaccinations.

Text and images are pleasingly clean and clear. Toggling within the database is smooth and orderly, although some trial and error may be necessary to navigate between pages. Popular features such as citation, save, and export are just a click away.

PRICING Pricing for the resource will vary and is based on factors such as but not limited to the type of institution, geographic location, and the size of the specific location(s).

VERDICT This archive should greatly appeal to lovers of popular music, personalities, and cultural newsmakers of the last 50 years. At the same time, the nonmusic content will handily support research on the era’s history, politics, and social conditions. In content, ease of use, and digitization quality, the database is outstanding.

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