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About the Journal

Founded under the editorship of the antiquary W J Thoms, the primary intention of Notes and Queries was, and still remains, the asking and answering of readers' questions. It is devoted principally to English language and literature, lexicography, history, and scholarly antiquarianism.

Each issue focuses on the works of a particular period, with an emphasis on the factual rather than the speculative. The journal comprises notes, book reviews, readers' queries and replies.

A note on the journal's history

Notes and Queries, founded in London in 1849 as "a medium of intercommunication for literary men, artists, antiquaries, genealogists, etc.", carried brief reports on the research its readers and contributors had conducted across a range of humanities subjects, primarily in history and literature.

The magazine, which appeared weekly, published this research in the form of short ‘Notes’ or ‘Queries’ on points of interest or uncertainty and, less frequently, the published ‘Replies’ in subsequent issues where a reader may have a comment or supporting information on the original matter raised.

All entries in Notes and Queries are short, some no longer than a substantial paragraph. The first article published explains why this format was favoured:

Can any man in his wildest dream of imagination, conceive of anything that may not be –nay, that has not been – treated of in a note? Thousands of things there are, no doubt, which cannot be sublimed into poetry, or elevated into history, or treated of with dignity, in a stilted text of any kind, and which are, as it is called “thrown” into notes; but, after all, they are much like children sent out of the stiff drawing-room into the nursery, snubbed to be sure by the act, but joyful in the freedom of banishment….
Where do you so well test an author’s learning and knowledge of his subject? – where do you find the most elaborate pith of his researches?...

As a closing remark in this first article and as the magazine’s own motto - “When found, make a NOTE of it;” seems to sum up well the interest in capturing the esoteric facts and details that makes Notes and Queries so unique.

Abstracting and Indexing Services

Notes and Queries is covered by the following abstracting/indexing services:

ABELL: Annual Bibliography, English Language & Literature
ABES (Annotated Bib. For English Studies)
Academic Search
America: History and Life
Arts and Humanities Citation Index®
British Humanities Index
Current Contents® /Arts & Humanities
Expanded academic ASAP
Historical Abstracts
Humanities Index/Abstracts/Full Text
Infotrac
MLA International Bibliography
International Bibliography of Book Reviews (IBR)
International Bibliography of Periodical Literature (IBZ)
Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts
Literature Online (LION)
Periodicals Index Online (PIO)
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