Word frequency in a run of periodicals, colorized by genre.

4.2: The Masses transcripts organized by genre

On these pages we’re making available a different configuration of the MJP’s Masses transcripts than appeared in section 4.1: instead of grouping the files by date of publication, we’re grouping them by the genre of items within the magazine. When the MJP catalogues a magazine and marks up its text transcripts, we assign one of the following ten genres to each item:

  • advertisements
  • articles (or non-fiction prose)
  • contents (or table of contents)
  • drama
  • fiction
  • images
  • letters
  • miscellaneous (includes the masthead and other texts about the magazine itself)
  • music
  • poetry

In what follows, we have extracted writing of the same genre from each of The Masses‘ 79 text transcripts and aggregated the output into a single txt file for each genre. This resulted in nine files, one for each of the genres listed above except for music (since no musical scores were published in The Masses).

Here is the word cloud that resulted when we uploaded all nine genre .txt files into Voyant (after excluding stop words and all instances of [pgbrk]), which can be accessed by clicking on any word in the word cloud itself or by following this link to the Voyant work page for the entire magazine::

The word cloud above is the most comprehensive view we’ve produced of The Masses transcripts, and it draws from the same words that would appear if we uploaded all 79 issues together. The difference is that the text here is grouped into nine genre sections, which are marked on the text transcript in Voyant by the nine different colors in the column that runs down the middle of the page. You can see text from each of the nine genres by clicking on one of these colored sections; by searching for different words, you can also see how often they appear in the nine types of writing in the magazine. Please note that the order of the text within each genre section corresponds to the order of publication over the course of the 79 issues (and 7 years) of The Masses‘ history, though issue demarcations do not appear within any of these files.

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