Sunday, November 19, 2017

NARA's Prologue To End Print Version

I have a glorious week off from Teaching for Thanksgiving, something to be thankful for, surely. It's a great time to catch up on some reading and writing of my own choosing. ;-)

Prologue is the quarterly journal of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). It has been in publication since the spring of 1969, highlighting programs and news about NARA. The articles are all based on the holdings of NARA in and around Washington, DC., the regional archives located around the United States, as well as the Presidential Libraries

I have been a subscriber to Prologue off and on for a little over ten years. Needless to say, I enjoy this publication very much. So I was very sad that my Fall issue came in the mail recently with a letter that stated that the next issue (Winter 2018) will be the last print issue. Of course, they will continue to put content on the NARA website, but no longer will I be able to hold a printed copy. 

So along with the letter, there is only a one-line statement on the journal's website that says, "The Winter 2018 issue will be the last printed edition." I did a quick Google search and did not find any news release, there is not even a statement in the NARA news on the website. Moreover, I haven't found any statements of shock, surprise, or disappointment. 

I won't go into a lament on the switch from print to online content. Business is business and I'm sure it's hard to keep a print publication like a history journal on a paying basis. Additionally, I am sure that NARA will come up with an engaging way to present the content that was once provided exclusively in the print medium. In fact, their notification letter asks for input on what that content should look like. I'm just sorry to see Prologue (for me anyway) get lost in the flood of online information that comes at me every day. I will miss the print version coming up in my reading stack. Which is where I go to escape that flood of electronic noise at the end of the day. I just thought someone should mark the passing.

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