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Guide to the Time Inc. Time Editorial Records
 MS 3009-RG 7

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

New-York Historical Society

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

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 28, 2021 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Historical Note

Time is the first magazine created by Time Inc. and was the impetus to form the publishing company.  Time launched its first issue on March 3, 1923. Time Inc. cofounders Henry R. Luce and Briton Hadden shared the masthead as Editors until Hadden's death in 1929. At this time, John S. Martin became the first Managing Editor of Time with Luce still over him as Editor.

According to Time Inc., Time pioneered the news magazine, at least the modern news magazine.  Time's format of short articles summarizing news events and other items of interest and importance became the standard for later news magazines. Magazine sections included national and international affairs, business, education, science, medicine, law, religion, sports, books, and the arts.

Time published several foreign-language editions, the first launched in 1941 delivered by air service to Latin America; special issues including the popular  Time Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year); and  Time for Kids, a children's magazine. For the majority of Time Inc.'s existence, the company maintained a strict separation of editorial from the publishing and business side of each magazine, colloquially called the separation of "church" (editorial) and "state" (publishing). Editorial includes the editors, researchers, and art department. The editorial side reported up to the editor-in-chief and the publishing/business side reported up to the corporate business executive which was the president prior to 1960 and the chief executive officer after. Henry Luce structured Time Inc. this way so that the business side could not (in theory) influence the editorial content of the publications. For example, the advertising sales people could not interfere with a magazine's decision to run an article on the dangers of cigarette smoking, even though it might mean losing millions of dollars in tobacco ads.


The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Time," Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 2018.

Elson, Robert T. 1968. Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise, 1923-1941. New York: Atheneum.

Hooper, Bill. Email to Holly Deakyne, 10 June 2016.