Audio Archives

Aspen Magazine (via Ubuweb)

Person Describing Archive

Celyn Harding Jones (2010) ; Chelsea Obodoechina (2020)

Is this primarily a poetry audio site?

N (Contains text, sound and images.)

Sponsoring Person or Institution

Aspen Magazine, hosted by UbuWeb.

Site URL

Site Last Updated
Date Visited


General Description of Archive

Aspen is an archive of Aspen Magazine's publications from 1965 to 1971. The magazine (physically, a box) held booklets, phonograph recordings, posters, postcards, text, and a Super-8 movie film. This website is an archive of the issues produced, mirroring the interactivity and multimedia format of the work inside. It is divided into Issue No. and then contents are listed with text descriptions, images, recordings, videos (etc) as well as interactive online elements such as build-it-yourself art. UbuWeb has partnered with Aspen and they have linked their archives, UbuWeb hosting Aspen's site.

Description of archive history or URL

First published by Phyllis Johnson, in 1971 as the first three dimentional magazine, filled with recordings, text, and video. Each issue was guest edited by an avant guard writer or artist. The magazine was digitzed and created online by Adnrew Stafford. (Not much other information given about the url history).

Contact information; Andrew Stafford, Kenneth Goldsmith

Searchable options

No search, only author index and categories to browse by magazine issue number.

Relation from the audio to the text

No transcriptions of audio files, however any text accompanying the recordings are shown. Musical scores are shown when available. (Essentially, whatever was in the box was digitized in a very similar format).

Date/Time/Length/Context info about the audio items

When available, date, location and some context are given for when the recording was made.

Author bios and context within literary history

None. This is strictly a digitization of the magazine as it was in its original condition (aside from several notes about the best ways to listen to audio).

Audio file type: streaming, download, file format, audio file compression quality (WAV, MP3, bitrate)

Mp3, Alt Mp3 and real audio.

Multimedia integration (pictures, video, etc.)

There are simple illustrations or scanned versions of the contents of the box, to illustrate what the items look like. There are also Interactive 'exhibits' that are done in Flash or Quicktime.

Audio playback setup (opens in Flash player, on new blank screen, etc.)

The audio opens in a new pop up window.

Mobile access (i.e. accessible on smart phones, tablets, etc.)



Browsing is easy and fun to use, because items are organized by Box or Issue Number, and then listed with a short description. There is also an index sorted by media type and by author.

Discovery features (pre-made playlists; dynamic lists: lists of recent additions, featured items, related items, etc).
Interactivity and Web 2.0 features

Interactivity is higher on this site, but in different ways to most sites. Instead of allowing random people to comment, the viewer interacts with the magazine as if they were interacting with real pieces of paper (such as pressing a button to turn a page of a diary, or clicking on a layer of paper to bring one image on top of another, clicking to start a flipbook, or rotate images.) This kind of interactivity is perhaps more creative and interactive than "commenting" or "sharing" technologies.

Other notes

This site is visually very pleasing and very organic to use. Design was taken very seriously and aesthetics of this web are impressive.