Brexit threatens Spare Rib archive


The British Library has digitised all the issues of feminist monthly Spare Rib

Back in April, the British Library warned that the digital archive of the iconic 1970s feminist magazine Spare Rib might have to close down. Nothing has changed, because the problem is Brexit. If there’s no deal on Halloween, the site has to come down – and might never come back up again.

I’m sure Boris is working on it with his new cabinet as we speak, but as with everything to do with Brexit, on-one knows anything for sure. Two other possibilities are:

  • The Spare Rib Jisc resource would stay until the end of any transition period. But it is not clear whether or when it would be possible to make the resource available again after that.
  • In the case of the UK remaining in the EU or reaching some form of agreement with Brussels to align the copyright regimes, the archive will remain available.

The complete run of the feminist spearhead in print was digitised by the British Library and is hosted at Jisc Journal Archives.

For now, Spare Rib is freely available, but if you’re interested in it, I’d get in quick. The Jisc archive also has hundreds of academic journals, but you can only download articles if you’re at a college or university that has a subscription.


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