Harvest Value: Reprinting North Dakota Quarterly

I spent a little time between cricket overs working on a little side project. Since last year, I’ve been on the editorial board of North Dakota Quarterly, a small literary magazine started in 1910/11 at the University of North Dakota. It was part of the so-called “little magazine” movement that exploded at the turn of the century and were almost certainly the predecessors of today’s blog driven literary publications.  

I’ve taken it on myself to work with the digital aspects of NDQ and, as part of that, I’ve been scouring back issues for content that is current and interesting. I posted a teaser last week with a mock up of a cover. It was a bit of a design exercise, but I think was pretty satisfactory.

Gilette Book Cover

As I played with this a bit more, I’ve come up with three things that I want to do:

1. Find Interesting Content. The great thing about the little magazine tradition is that it provided folks with a platform for sustained comment on events of their time. The sometimes motley group of faculty who had come to UND and the Red River Valley were not timid in expressing their views of the world and their institution. As a result, the comments offered in the early issues of NDQ have a tendency to be both sweeping in perspective and historically relevant 

2. Design. I am not a graphic designer. In fact, I’m not even very good at using Illustrator, InDesign, or Photoshop, but I recognize the value in today’s hyper-visual culture to making an attractive product. The original layout and design of the NDQ is staid and simple, so I tried to maintain the spirit of that practice. I reset the text in Doves Type to add some craft like flair to it. I also tried to make the cover more graphically inviting (and used official colors of the University of North Dakota on the NDQ logo to emphasize the immediate relevance of this issue to the University).    

3. Add Context. For the two offprints that I have prepared recently, I’ve added a short introduction exploring the context for a particular offprint. This not only allows the reader to understand some of the language and ideas that might seem out of date and impolitic, but also reinforce the relevance of a particular piece for our contemporary world.

So, here is my second reprint. It is an article from NDQ 7.4 (1917) by John Morris Gillette titled: “The University in the Service of Society.” 


I’ve also started working on a larger reprint project that will bring together ten articles on The Great War from the 1916,  1919, and 1920 volumes of NDQ. My romantic goal is to drop this content next November 11th (Veterans’ Day), but I get impatient! 

Here’s my tentative table of contents:

I. Introduction

1. One Hundred Years of Peace (NDQ 6)
O. G. Libby,
Professor of History
University of North Dakota

2. The Background of the Great War (NDQ 8)
O. G. Libby
Professor of History
University of North Dakota

3. The Universities and the War (NDQ 8)
George R. Davis
Assistant Professor of Sociology,
University of North Dakota

II. The University of North Dakota and the War

4. Medical Students and the Draft (NDQ 8)
H.E. French
Professor of Anatomy and Dean of the School of Medicine
University of North Dakota

5. War Experiences of a University Student as a Doughboy (NDQ 10)
Wesley R. Johnson

6. An Alumnus of the University Who Did Not Get Across (NDQ 10)
William H. Greenleaf
Secretary Alumni Association
University of North Dakota

7. Experiences of a University Woman “Over There” (NDQ 10)
Hazel B. Nielson

8. The Work of Institutions of Higher Education (NDQ 10)
Orin G. Libby
Professor of History
University of North Dakota

III. Afterward

9. The University and National Progress (NDQ 9)
Bartholomew John Spence
Professor of Physics
University of North Dakota

10. After the War – What? (NDQ 8)
Hugh E. Willis
Professor of Law
University of North Dakota

If you want to encounter the horror of The Great War first hand (actually, the horror of any war), read over the in memoriam for students and alumni of UND.  

One Comment

  1. Reading over the obits I’m struck by how many were killed by the epidemic and other disease. This is something I knew but seeing the stories in print is shaking. My own uncle tangled with one of the Kaiser’s machine guns and lost. He’s buried at Bony, in one of the US cemeteries in France.


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