Ebony and Jet magazines have finally made the leap — to digital. The mags’ parent company, Johnson Publishing Co., recently unveiled a partnership with Google to digitize their archives.
According to the Chicago Tribune, prior to this deal, the magazine’s have kept their past issues in bound volumes and on microfilm, so if anyone needed to look up an old article, librarians would have to search through the company’s archives.
However, with a new deal in place, both Ebony and Jet will be made searchable on the technology giant’s growing database of publications.
Johnson Publishing’s partnership with Google gives readers access to more than nine magazine titles and 20 million photographs documenting 63 years, reports the paper.
But, issues prior to 1960, they’re having a problem with because of the issues’ fragility or limited availability. So, the company is asking for help from their readers “to pull stuff from the basement” to aid with the archiving.
The online version of the mags, EbonyJet.com, is experimenting with other digital tools, to help their site be more interactive. One example on the site is an interactive Google map where users can highlight landmarks in their cities.
“How do we take what’s unique to the community and apply normal, everyday tools?” Easter said. “The context of them changes their importance. A Google map is a Google map. But we’re trying to map out black culture and let users participate in finding the points that are not necessarily historical but relevant to you and your neighborhood.”