About the project

The digitisation of New Masses was initiated by Sue Currell at the School of English, University of Sussex following a donation to the University’s Special Collections of issues stretching from 1926 to 1938. A monthly from 1926 to 1933, the magazine remained weekly until it ceased publication in 1948 following a period of intensified anti-communist sentiment in the U.S. Editors merged with the Marxist publication Mainstream to create a new monthly titled Masses and Mainstream which lasted until 1956.

This digital edition of New Masses aims to present the magazine as it was meant to be seen. The graphic art and design of the periodical is, in many cases, of very high standard and yields further insight into the intellectual and artistic ambition of the U.S. left at the time. Each issue is presented in two formats; as a virtual magazine in duplex format, and as searchable, embedded, high-resolution PDFs of the single pages. Please allow time for the pages to load if you are on a slower connection; the file sizes mean that load time is longer than you would normally expect.

We actively invite collaboration with related projects, and invite colleagues to contact Sue Currell to discuss the possibility of digitising and publishing the remaining issues of New Masses and make this a complete collection.

Many thanks to The Keep, where the physical artefacts that were donated to Sue Currell are archived, and who contributed valuably to the project by undertaking and overseeing the initial scanning.