Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Bomb Magazine records, 1978-2017

Summary Information


This collection contains the administrative records of the interview-based arts journal, BOMB Magazine.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1415
Bib ID 6256785 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Bomb Magazine
Title Bomb Magazine records, 1978-2017
Physical Description 129 linear feet (56 record cartons 116 document boxes 6 flat boxes)
Language(s) English .

The following boxes are located off-site: 1-123, 125-178. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged into 5 series.



The bulk of the collection is comprised of research and background material used by the Bomb staff to create the individual issues. These records include correspondence, interview transcripts, literary manuscripts and proofs, magazine layouts, photographs and slides of individual artists and artwork, research material, printed material, and audio and digital files. Administrative files, such as financial records, fundraising material, legal files, records concerning other Bomb publications and programs, and general business records are also held in the collection.

  • Series I: Administrative Records, 1981-2003

    Series I holds the administrative records of Bomb Magazine. This series is arranged in three subseries: Art Program, Development and Finances, and Website.

  • Series II: BOMB Publications, 1981-2011

    Series II: BOMB Publications comprise the bulk of the collection and holds records pertaining to the monthly magazine issues as well as the BOMB books entitled, Speak Art!, Speak Fiction and Poetry!, and Speak Theater and Film!, " which are compilations of interviews originally published in the magazine.

  • Series III: Research Material, 1978-2004

    This series is comprised of material that may have been used in the creation of the magazine or the BOMB books, but is not attached to any particular issue. Series III has been arranged by box number. Each box contains material that generally falls into the following categories: manuscripts and proofs of plays, novels, and essays, often with corrections and annotations; printed material, which consists primarily of other arts-based journals and magazines, exhibition catalogues, advertising pamphlets, and artist's catalogs; and photographs and slides of individual pieces of artwork, theatre productions, entire exhibitions, and artists. The documents contained in Series III show the variety of artists and artistic endeavors that BOMB editors considered when compiling potential magazine issues

  • Series IV: Addition, 1999-2017

    Accession number 2017.2018.M073

    This significant addition of 27 record cartons and 2 flat boxes containing working/production files for Issues 118 through 141.

    This addition also contains artwork donated by Betsy Sussler.

  • Series V: Archived Web Sites, 2012-present

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

The following boxes are located off-site: 1-123, 125-178. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Bomb Magazine records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2004-2005-M44: Source of acquisition--Bomb Magazine. Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--October 2005.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Lea Osborne April 2007.

Revision Description

2008-11-07 file created.

2009-01-15 xml document instange created by Patrick Lawlor

2009-04-30 Revision by Lea Osborne

2018-03-06 Links to web archives added by Kevin Schlottmann

2018-06-22 Dates in series II corrected by Kevin Schlottmann

2018-07-2 Box 183 processed by PTL.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

2020-06-09 Archival objects created for some previously digitized audio cassettes. kws

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Exhibition Catalogs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Layouts (printed matter) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manuscripts for publication Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Art -- Interviews Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Arts, Modern -- 20th century -- Periodicals Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Avant-garde (Aesthetics) -- History -- 20th century -- Periodicals Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Copley, Billy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Experimental drama, American Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Girouard, Tina Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Haring, Keith Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Intercultural communication in the performing arts Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lopate, Phillip, 1943- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Martinez, Daniel J. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Performing arts -- Interviews Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Performing arts and literature -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn (New York) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sussler, Betsy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theater -- Interviews Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wegman, William Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

BOMB Magazine was founded in 1981 as a medium through which artists could speak to one another freely and without boundaries about the creative process; what it meant to them as writers, actors, directors, artists and cultural commentators. The editors, being unsure of the success of this venture, named the magazine BOMB. However, the concept of providing a forum for artists to discuss art, literature, film, and fashion in print was indeed successful and the magazine has continued for over twenty-five years.

Located in Brooklyn, New York, BOMB Magazine is published quarterly by the small non-profit New Art Publications. The magazine has an editorial board consisting of some seventy members who are actively involved in the creative and performing arts. This organization exists financially through grants, given at the local and national level, and donations. BOMB's Art Program provides further income for the institution. Through this program, artists donate artwork to the magazine which then sells these pieces to art collectors, museums, and university galleries. Some individuals who have been involved with this program in the past are Keith Haring, William Wegman, and several artists who created publicity pieces for the popular Absolut Vodka marketing campaign.

Throughout the years, many notable members of the arts have conducted or been interviewed for BOMB Magazine. In addition to the interviews, BOMB staff members have reviewed literary pieces, have reproduced artwork, and have included articles on theater productions and film. Indeed, the variety of artists who have graced the pages is broad. Selected distinguished individuals include Jane Alexander, Laurie Anderson, Eric Bogosian, Jean Louis Borges, Chuck D, Willem Dafoe, Jill Eisenstadt, Spaulding Gray, Christopher Guest, Emmylou Harris, bell hooks, Jim Jarmusch, Jasper Johns, Wong Kar-Wai, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, Quentin Tarantino, and Wallace Shawn.

BOMB Magazine continues to provide an in-depth look at the ways in which art is appreciated, created and sustained by those most involved: the artists.