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Guide to the Time Inc. Time Research Center Files
1923-2015
 MS 3009-RG 13

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Collection processed by Holly Deakyne, Samantha Brown, Melanie Rinehart

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 17, 2019
Description is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Historical Note

The files from the Time Research Center originally belonged to a Time Inc. library known throughout the years as The Morgue, The Bureau of Editorial Reference, and The Editorial Reference Library. It seems like the library existed longest as The Editorial Reference Library, and most staff referred to it as "Edit Ref". The library maintained research materials that reporters and researchers from all magazines used when writing articles. Editorial Services managed the library along with the Picture Collection (later called the  Life Picture Collection), Archives (beginning in the mid-1990s), the Index Department (closed in 1994 or 1995), and the Photo Lab.

The files were built over the years from the various magazines' Carbon Files. A Carbon File was created by a reporter for every article that ran in a Time Inc. magazine, comprising all the collected research, and retained by that magazine for around 14 months before being turned over to the Editorial Reference Library. There the contents were distributed into the Bio, Subject or Company Files. Library staff also added additional clippings to the files. The bulk of the Company Files were sent to an offsite storage facility and lost in a series of storage facility arsons in the mid-1990s.

Time Warner closed The Editorial Reference Library in 2001 after the AOL merger failure. At this time, staff culled the files and sent some to the smaller libraries funded by individual magazines. Business and finance subjects went to the Business Information Research Center, a library used by Money and  Fortune, and  Fortune still maintains these files. Entertainment industry subjects went to the  People Research Center, and these files later were acquired by the LAC Group. Files not culled or sent to another library became property of the newly created  Time Research Center housed in offsite storage.

Citations:

Bill Hooper, email message to Holly Deakyne, 6 July 2016.

Bill Hooper, email message to Holly Deakyne, 25 August 2016. Bill Hooper, email message to Holly Deakyne, 15 May 2017.