How to Find Time Magazine Archives

by Steven Melendez

Time magazine provides a number of ways to search their online archives for historic articles and cover images, but some content is only available to paying subscribers. You can also find print versions of back issues of Time for sale on a number of websites, and you can browse and borrow back issues from many libraries for free.

Searching Time's Online Archives

You can search all of Time magazine's archives, dating back to the magazine's launch in 1923, directly from the magazine's website.

To search the online archive, visit the archive site and enter search terms and keywords in the search box.

Use the date selectors to restrict your search

Use the date selectors to restrict your search to particular date ranges, or leave them as is to search the entire archive.

Click the

Click the Search button to run your search.

Tip

Exploring The Vault

Searching by Year

Click the

To explore The Vault by year, visit the website and click the Browse By Year button.

Click the button for the year you want to see.

Within the year menu, click the button for the year in which you're interested to see its magazine covers.

Click one of the buttons for the issue you're interested in.

Mouse over the range of covers for the year you've selected. Click the Browse Issue button to access interactive images of the magazine — this feature is only available only to subscribers. Click Buy Cover to order a printed copy of the magazine cover. Click Web Version to see a list of articles from that issue of the magazine.

Click an article title to read the article.

On the Web Version page, click the title of a particular article from the issue to read the article.

Tip

  • Not all articles listed in the Web Version editions are available to unsubscribed users. Many full-text articles from the more recent issues of the magazine are available at no charge — for articles from older issues, Time will display the intro to the article along with a prompt for subscribers to log in to see the full content.

Tip

  • Selecting Web Version for more recent issues of Time — from 2009 onward — will also bring up Time's online Web Exclusives for that issue.

Searching by Subject

Click

Click the Browse By Subject button to browse by subject.

Click on a subtopic

Within the subject menu, mouse over a subject and click on a subtopic in which you're interested to see Time covers dealing with that topic.

Click a button on the cover of your choice.

Within the topic page, mouse over a cover of your choice. Click the Browse Issue button to access interactive images of the magazine, available only to paying subscribers. Click Buy Cover to order a printed copy of the magazine cover. Click Web Version to see a list of articles from that issue of the magazine.

Going to Print

Checking Out the Library

Many public libraries and libraries at colleges and universities also have back issues of the magazine, both in print and on microfiche or microfilm. You can use WorldCat, an online tool for searching library collections, to check if libraries near you have issues you're interested in or just give your local library a call or visit.

Some issues are also available through EBSCOhost, an online, subscriber-only database that some institutions like schools and libraries pay to allow their users to access.

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About the Author

Steven Melendez is an independent journalist with a background in technology. He has written for a variety of publications and was awarded the Knight Foundation scholarship to Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.