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Signs of the Times Digital Archive Underway

Nearly 200 early issues available as the American Sign Museum and Public Library of Cincinnati spearhead the effort.




Signs of the Times, May 1906, front cover of our first issue.

Note: This post was updated Dec. 12, 2023.

The American Sign Museum (ASM, Cincinnati) announced that The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCHC, Cincinnati) has successfully digitized nearly the first 200 issues of Signs of the Times magazine, starting with the first issue from May 1906. You can view the archive here.

Long a goal and often seemingly a dream of ours due to the resources and potential cost necessary to accomplish a digitization of Signs of the Times’ archival issues, earlier this year representatives of the ASM — the current repository of the actual bound volume copies comprising the archive — on behalf of the board of directors for the PLCHC, officially requested and obtained permission from SmartWork Media (Montclair, NJ), parent company of Signs of the Times, to begin the digital archive.

I would like to extend our very great thanks to Tod Swormstedt, ASM founder; Cynthia Kerns, ASM director, and Casey Goldman-Davis, ASM curator of collections and programming — who all played vital roles in this effort. I thank the PLCHC, as well, for their interest, generosity and support of written historical material.

From time to time, readers and old friends of the magazine would ask if we had or were planning a digital archive, and we on the staff of Signs of the Times always hated to disappoint them. Well, no longer!As the archive builds, and it may take a while — after all, Signs of the Times has been a monthly publication since 1906 — we will keep you updated. In the meantime, enjoy the first decade-plus of issues!



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