The September 15, 1907, Sunday dinner at the Mitchell Hotel in Boise, Idaho. From the Idaho Statesman, September 15, 1907, pp 2 via Wikimedia Commons.

Academic journals are usually built around a main theme into which all their articles fit. Like historians, journals specialize.

A journal’s theme may be a time period (Victorian Studies), a geographical region (BMGN: Low Countries Historical Review), or a specific subject (Medical History: An International Journal for the History of Medicine and Related Sciences).

A journal may even combine more than one of those specifics, like region and subject (Asian Medicine), or time period and region (Twentieth Century British History). I have 900 journals in the database that I use to create my lists of article links, so you can imagine the combinations and levels of specificity.

Sometimes a journal will get even more specific and publish a special issue about a theme within the theme of the journal. Just to give you an idea, here’s a list of just a few of the special thematic issues that were included in the last four of my weekly subscription lists.

Centaurus: An International Journal of the History of Science and its
Cultural Aspects 61:1-2 (2019) Fun and Fear: The banalization of nuclear technologies through display
Information & Culture: A Journal of History 55:1 (2020) A History of Women in British Telecommunications
Early Science and Medicine 24:5-6 (2019) Pseudo-Paracelsus: Forgery and Early Modern Alchemy, Medicine and Natural Philosophy
Food and History 16:2 (2018) Food and Art in the Nineteenth Century
Al-Masaq: Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean 32:1 (2020) Cities and Citizenship after Rome
Atlantic Studies: Global Currents 17:1 (2020) African-heritage partner dances: Creolizing connection, transnational movement

What would your dream thematic journal issue be about?

Digital Research Resource

One of the things that gives life to a story, whether it is fiction or non-fiction, is detail about where and when and what people eat. For those of you writing about the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, the New York Public Library has the digitized collection you need.

Right at your fingertips are menus from restaurants and special events. Learn about food, drink, prices, politics, advertising, and design. Careful, though, as you might not be able to tear yourself away for hours.

If you don’t want to dive straight in, here are links to a couple of articles that explain the collection and include samples of the digital menus.

“The New York Public Library’s digital menu collection is filled with classic foods like stuffed pigeon and calf brain soup” by Caitlin Harper.

“The New York Public Library Menu Collection” by Rebecca Federman.

New Specialty Lists

I’ve recently posted five new specialty lists for Februar in my Shop. Each list is a compilation of links to 15 academic journal articles related to the specialty topic, available for only $2.99.

Use the titles and articles to find inspiration and maybe that historical tidbit that brings your story to life.