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Ask the Librarians

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A Reader Writes: How Long Do New Yorker Stories Stay Online?

Filed under: Ask the Librarians

I've wondered about this, too. Luckily, we've got the answer from the ultimate source, New Yorker Head of Library Jon Michaud. Here's the reader's question:

I was trying to find that really, really long profile of Matthew Barney that ran a year or two ago, but I can't find it—I only come up with some Talk of the Town references and a review or two. And some of the Google hits lead to dead links anyway.

Any idea?

And here's Jon's answer:

It's a complicated answer, so here goes:

The New Yorker web site only publishes selections from each week's print issue. Those selections go up each Monday, except for the second Monday of a double issue.

At the end of a given week, the links to the stories on the web site are broken, but those stories remain on the web site (except, in some cases, when there are electronic rights restrictions) and are searchable through the search engine on the NewYorker.com site. That search engine will only find articles from February of '05 to the present. (This is not an arbitrary cutoff: The Complete New Yorker goes up to Feb. of '05.) Stories published on the web site prior to Feb. '05 are still up and can be found using Google.

As for the Matthew Barney, it did not run on our web site. It appeared in the magazine on January 27, 2003, by Calvin Tomkins. If your correspondent wants to read it, he has four options: get it from Lexis-Nexis or ProQuest, make a copy from a library, buy a back issue from 1-800-825-2510, or buy The Complete New Yorker.

Of course, I think the last option is the best. Who can tolerate Nexis for New Yorker stories (or anything else, really) now that you can read the original page, zooming in and out to your heart's content? Think of all the potential "Missing a Piece of Your Pattern?" viewing opportunities! Is anyone in the world as disturbed/enchanted by that haunting ad as I am, I wonder?

Desperately seeking Matthew Barney?

Anyway, thanks very much, Jon. This isn't the first quandary the modest New Yorker library enchilada has solved for us (he was last seen giving a flummoxed reader tips on printing from the DVD archive). And now I feel like reading that Barney profile—all I remember is the Bjork profile that mentioned their relationship. I liked that profile (by Alex Ross, August 23, 2004)—among other things, it was a cool portrait of the Icelandic landscape and Bjork's funnily low-key local life.


Amazon is filled with people complaining about the glitchy interface the DVDs have—have you had any problems? I was set to buy last Christmas, but didn’t when I read all the whining.

I’d buy it. I’ve found that the usefuless far outweighs the glitches—there are definitely kinks to be worked out, but it’s still an exhilarating experience and incredibly handy for research.

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