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Periodicals Archive Online (PAO): About

A guide to all aspects of Periodicals Archive Online (PAO) including content, searching, and viewing results on the ProQuest platform

Subject Coverage

  • Agriculture
  • Ancient Civilisations
  • Anthropology/Ethnology
  • Applied Arts
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Area Studies - Africa
  • Area Studies - Asia
  • Area Studies - Australasia
  • Area Studies - Europe
  • Area Studies - Middle East
  • Black Studies
  • Business/Management
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Fine Arts
  • Folklore
  • Geography
  • History (General)
  • History (The Americas)
  • Humanities (General)
  • Jewish Studies
  • Law
  • Library/Information Science
  • Linguistics/Philology
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Religion/Theology
  • Social Affairs
  • Social Sciences (General)
  • Sociology
  • Women's Studies

Publication Types

  • Scholarly Journals
  • Magazines
  • Trade Journals
  • Historical Periodicals

What is Periodicals Archive Online (PAO)?

Periodicals Archive Online is a major archive that makes the backfiles of scholarly periodicals in the humanities and social sciences available electronically, providing access to the full text of a growing number of journals that have been indexed in its sister database, Periodicals Index Online.

Periodicals Archive Online contains the full backfiles of over 700 journals, digitized from volume 1, issue 1. Coverage for most titles runs to the end of 2000 or the final issue (whichever is first); journals added more recently terminate at 2005.* In total PAO provides access to over 15 million article pages, representing more than 3 million articles. The program gives undergraduate and graduate students, university faculty and libraries access to a collection of the most historically respected journals.

Periodicals Archive Online spans the full range of the humanities and social sciences, with journals in 37 subject areas. It is international in scope with the inclusion of more than 100 foreign-language titles, of value both to customers in English-speaking countries and internationally.

Use Periodicals Archive Online to help you:

  • Consult research in the full range of social sciences and humanities disciplines.
  • Locate complete journal issues, digitized cover-to-cover, with page images, fully searchable text and on-screen hit-term highlighting.
  • Get access to hundreds of journals published from 1802 to 2005, across 37 different disciplines, from over 30 countries and in more than 25 languages.
  • Add new journals to a library’s collection whilst making existing ones easier to access.
  • Acquire previously un-held journals, rare or hard to find titles/issues, completing library holdings of journal backfiles or reducing strain on aging print materials – all without increasing storage and collection management costs (all of the content in PAO would require 1.7 miles of shelving to store physically).
  • Access major, prestigious journal backfiles exclusive to PAO, such as the Spectator (Collection 7) and New Statesman (Collection 8).

* Our policy is to include every issue of each publication in full, from the first. Due to the rarity of some of the original print volumes, there small gaps (issues or pages) for some publications.


Flexible purchase or subscription models are offered for acquiring Periodicals Archive Online content:

Purchase perpetual access to multidisciplinary collections of journals

  • Foundation Collection (215 titles)  [selection of titles from Collections 1-4]
  • Collection 1 (100 titles)
  • Collection 2 (100 titles)
  • Collection 3 (75 titles)
  • Collection 4 (75 titles
  • Collection 5 (75 titles)
  • Collection 6 (75 titles)
  • Collection 7 (61 titles)
  • Collection 8 (68 titles)
  • Collection 9 (75 titles) 
  • Collection 10 (65 titles)

Smaller subject-specific bundles also available for purchase (in Literature, History, Philosophy and Religion, and a Spanish collection).

Subscribe to the database for an annual fee

  • Main subscription package [journals from Collections 1-5 + three additional journals] (428 titles)
  • Subscription add-on packages 1-5 [contain the journals from Collections 6-10 respectively].

NOTE: The add-on subscription packages can only be taken when the customer has the main subscription.

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Publication Coverage

To view the latest title list and publication coverage, please visit: