The library recently added two foundational business magazine archives to our collection: Forbes and Fortune.
Our coverage of Fortune, founded by Henry Luce, begins with the first issue published during the Great Depression in 1930. Fortune was recognized for departing from dry and statistic heavy business reporting by using images and words to communicate “the dignity and beauty, and smartness and excitement of modern industry” (Miller, 2003).
Steve Forbes, the current editor in chief and great grandson of founder Bertie Charles Forbes, remarked that since 1917 Forbes has “always focus[ed] on the people” and the other constant is Forbes unwavering commitment to “provid[ing] the tools for people who want to get ahead, who want to do business, who want to invest”(Talking Biz, 2017).
These collections can be used as primary sources for American studies, journalism and business history in general including company histories, wealth studies, as well as for chronicling economic and management trends. Forbes lists (Billions, Highest Paid, Best Employers and Fortune rankings (Most Admired, Greatest Leaders & 500) are often used as jumping off points by scholars, but the content of Fortune and Forbes magazines are also the subject of numerous scholarly studies in different disciplines including the following:
- Augspurger, M. (2004). An economy of abundant beauty: Fortune magazine and Depression America. Ithaca: Cornell University Press
- Gremore, R.B. (1982). “Fortune” Magazine and the symbolism of government regulation of business in the 1970s. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.
- Hannah, D. R. (2008). An Examination of Leader Portrayals in the U.S. Business Press following the Landmark Scandals of the Early 21st Century. Journal of Business Ethics, 79(4), pp. 361-377. doi:10.1007/s10551-007-9406-4
- Hong, C. (2015). Illustrating the Postwar Peace: Miné Okubo, the “Citizen-Subject” of Japan, and Fortune Magazine. American Quarterly, 67(1), pp. 105-140. doi:10.1353/aq.2015.0003
- Marcellus, J. (2005). Moderns or Moms?: Body Typing and Employed Women Between the World Wars. Women’s Studies, 34(7), pp. 551-573. doi:10.1080/00497870500359183
- Miller, J. S. (2003). White-Collar Excavations: Fortune Magazine and the Invention of the Industrial Folk. American Periodicals: A Journal of History & Criticism, 13(1), pp. 84-104. doi:10.1353/amp.2004.0006
- Reilly, K. S. (1999). Dilettantes at the gate: Fortune magazine and the cultural politics of business journalism in the 1930s. Business and Economic History, 28(2), p. 213.
The full text of both magazines is searchable. Fortune offers some additional nice search features, such as limiting to advertisements, illustrations, and cover stories. Forbes supports searching by some features, such as quotations or poems or images.
Access to these databases is from the Journal Finder or a Books and more search. Dedicated links are also posted on the Business Subject page.
Linda Hauck is the Business Librarian at Falvey Library.
- Miller, J. (2003). White-Collar Excavations: “Fortune Magazine” and the Invention of the Industrial Folk. American Periodicals, 13, 84-104. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20771157
- Talking biz news: Steve forbes on how forbes magazine has survived and thrived(2017). . Chatham: Newstex. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1931285478?accountid=14853
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