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The periodical press

The notion of “press” is large and concerns all sorts of periodical publications – not only from highly specialized to very general, but also from the first seventeenth-century newspapers to late-nineteenth-century illustrated weeklies. In order to find reactions regarding women’s literary contributions, a certain number of reviews and magazines have been perused. They had been selected on the basis of different criteria: authority, possible relevance for women’s questions, success etc. Note that periodicals explicitly addressing a female public constitute a separate category.

Given the enormous volume of this material, selections had to be made. Whereas some of the journals have been perused completely (in general: starting from indexes), in other cases they have been approached by the intermediary of recent secondary literature or modern cataloguing of their contents (books by Bel, Kuipers, Streng a.o.). Finally, we have also selected a number of years to be considered particularly relevant because of the publication, in that same year, of significant works by women or of female or feminist periodicals. For these thirteen years a certain number of supplementary periodicals have been perused: 1756, 1763, 1785, 1793, 1810, 1821, 1832, 1840, 1856, 1864, 1874, 1882, 1890. This will allow more thorough analysis of women’s reception in those specific years. However, it will continue to be necessary, when treating particular cases or questions, to add further data.

At the moment of entering data, for some of these journals we used paper copies, others were consulted in digital versions or online. It is clear that sooner or later more and more of these texts, and possibly all of them, will be available on the internet. We decided however not to wait till then: when internet versions did exist, we have had the benefit of it – establishing hyperlinks in the records of our database, for example –, but otherwise we provided references and informations about their presence in public libraries, in some exceptional cases even citations. (In order to dispose of the complete records of the database, a password is needed – see database WomenWriters).

It is well known that literary critique is the most currently consulted type of reception document. Often however, conclusions are drawn too easily: comparison to other reception types illustrates that – as we know very well for the modern situation – works praised in the periodical press are not always appreciated by the reading public. This “conflict” is of course relevant for research about non-canonized authors, in particular for those who enjoyed large success: many of whom were women.

The different periodicals considered up to now (i.e. September 2007) have delivered more than 3000 records. This number will continue to expand, but slower: the digitizing project concerning Dutch reception has been closed in September 2007.

Periodicals used here as sources are:

Literary press:

Spectators and similar:

Periodicals publishing original texts and translations:

General cultural press:

Influential critics:

Francophone periodicals:

  • Bibliothèque des Sciences et des Beaux-Arts (1754-1778)

Women's press


  • M. Mathijsen and E. Wiskerke, "Bibliografie literaire tijdschriften" 1-4, published in De negentiende eeuw, 1977-1983.
  • G.J. Johannes, De barometer van de smaak. Tijdschrijften in Nederland 1770-1830. The Hague, 1995.

SvD, September 2007

  • Note that when arriving in the database WomenWriters your status will be "not logged on", meaning that your access to the database is limited. For complete access (and participation in the project), contact Suzan van Dijk.

  • Sources > Dutch sources > Articles in the press

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