Sunday, January 1, 2006

Researching the Phoenix

We are interested in learning more about John Bellairs’s contributions to the Phoenix, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based weekly newspaper. It’s a long shot, we know, being almost 40 years after the fact, but that hasn’t stopped us before. Here is what we know:

  • We have a copy of Bellairs’s article “Graffiti” that appeared in the debut issue on October 9, 1969.
  • He was only associated with the paper for a few weeks; therefore we believe his remaining articles would be found in the October 16 and 23 issues.
  • We have confirmed he had no column in the October 30 edition; however it is tempting to determine if there is anything on November 6 (we doubt it).
After this it's a bit murky. We’ve contacted the usual archival sources in the Boston/Cambridge area (libraries and colleges), as well as other universities that specialize in alternative newspapers from the 1960s (yes, such collections exist), to no avail. Some collections do not feature the Phoenix; those that do usually have only issues from 1970 forward. For those curious, there is a connection, albeit a small one, between this version of the Phoenix and the modern, better-known Boston Phoenix – but that association hasn’t helped much.

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