Ever since Google greatly diminished its archive of scanned newspapers, I’ve been a bit at loose ends in regard to my craving for old print materials.
The Google advanced book search helps a bit, though its magazine archive is dominated by Jet, New York Magazine and others I’m not terribly interested in. It has a decent selection of Life magazines (always a favorite), but I really miss that deeply libraryish feeling that comes from studying microfilm and poring over heavy volumes of bound magazines from decades past.
This kind of research is more of a hobby than a professional pursuit, though it has and does come in useful professionally. As a result, I feel this gripe probably isn’t terribly founded. I usually find what I’m looking for, usually through a very specific Internet search. However, I miss researching for research’s sake. I spent countless hours of my impoverished undergraduate existence sitting at a table on the ground floor of Wilson Library blissfully paging through volume after volume when I should have been studying for a test or writing a paper.