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"Notes and Queries", An Early Newsgroup, Begins Publication


English writer, folklorist, and demographer William John Thoms edited the first issue of Notes and Queries: A Medium of Inter-Communication for Literary Men, Artists, Antiquaries, Genealogists, Etc. published on November 3, 1849. It's motto, quoting Captain Cupple from Dickens's Dombey and Son, which had been published between October 1846 and April 1848, was "When found, make a note of." 

The format of the periodical consisted of "Notes" or miscellaneous findings of correspondents that they and the editors considered of interest to the readership, and "Queries", and responses to queries, which formed the bulk of the publication. Because of its frequent publication, and the question and answer nature of the contents, the magazine may be considered a print analogy to a moderated Internet newsgroup, or an early form of social media.

In 2011 the magazine was published as an academic journal by Oxford University Press.

 "The articles are typically much longer than they were during the journal's early years, though they are still shorter than those of the typical academic journal. In addition, the 'Notes' now far outweigh the 'Queries', and book reviews have also been introduced. The focus is now almost entirely on literature" (Wikipedia article on Notes and Queries, accessed 06-05-2011).

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