Before The Gentlemen’s Magazine came to solidify current definitions around the term ‘magazine’, it was used to describe a type of storing house, usually for munitions. ¶ Many of the built magazine structures that are in existence today exhibit a unique style of architecture that was required to protect surrounding areas from the potential detonation of the goods stored within. Jack’s Magazine on the banks of the Maribyrnong River, in Melbourne, is a prime example of this—the site consists of two pairs of elongated, fortified buildings with thick curved ceilings and shielded, obscured windows reminiscent of ‘arrowslits’. These horizontal buildings are then surrounded by smooth, artificially made hills sloped at an angle so any explosion emitted from inside the magazine, would be directed into the sky above to dissipate. ¶ This link to the heritage of the term ‘magazine’ is useful when thinking about the changes the digital realm has enacted on publishing terminologies. If a magazine can be seen as a metaphysical storing house then it’s form becomes infinitely malleable. Gone is an over reliance on paper and ink to define it—a magazine can also be a building, an archive, a storing house. ¶ This malleability has also allowed publishers to separate content from format. The ‘magazine’ becomes an overarching term for a place to store said content. This renewed definition also brings back into focus the function of the ‘magazine’ as a type of archive that—like the physical buildings—has kept the act of publishing secure and (relatively) intact despite being situated within an industry heavily buffeted by often volatile economic circumstance.
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