Magazines are social networks.

Contributor Networks at The Masses

In this section we’ve produced graphs, using gephi open-source software, that indicate the different volumes of The Masses that its authors and artists contibuted to. These graphs were built with a revised list of contributors in which name variants were reconciled whenever the same person could be positively identified behind different names; thus, “Art Young” and “Arthur Young” in the MJP catalogue records appear in these graphs simply as “Arthur Young,” while “M. E.” has been spelled out as “Max Eastman.” Over a hundred such reconciliations were made to better identify the contributor behind the moniker and show the true extent of an individual’s contribution to the magazine. Though every contributor appears just once in each graph, the extent of their contributions to a volume, measured by the number of items contributed, is expressed by the width of the edge that links them to that volume.

The first of the graphs below represents the entire network of contributors to all “ten” volumes of the magazine. This graph (like all the gephi graphs here) was created from just two data files—an edges table and a nodes table. The edges table records every time a contributor publishes an item in one of the Masses volumes, linking the contributor to that volume, while the nodes table uniquely identifies every contributor and every volume listed in the edges table. The edges table for this graph can be found here, and the nodes table here. (Note that these are .txt files, which will have to be imported into a spreadsheet as csv files and then cleaned up to eliminate quotation marks.)


Contributors in all volumes of The Masses


The next three graphs represent partial views of the above graph, pairing together two of the seven volumes. Hopefully they will make it easier to identify which and how many contributors published work in each pair of volumes. Together, these three graphs give us some sense of the movement of authorship across the seven years of the magazine.


Contributors in Volumes 1 and 4


Contributors in Volumes 4 and 9/10


Contributors in Volumes 1 and 9/10


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