NG Current Events Background Blog -- A Guide to Previously Published National Geographic Content Related to Current Events

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About This Blog

If a volcano erupts, war breaks out, or an oil spill occurs, we probably have an article, map, or book that will help fill in the background and provide some context to the story. As the Publications Index Manager and a Librarian at the National Geographic Society, I hope to bring you the most relevant content for any topic.  Whether you've saved decades of the National Geographic magazine, or recently purchased the "Complete National Geographic" DVD or hard drive, this blog will enable you to get the most out of resources you already own. I will provide links to online content whenever possible, and some postings will be just for fun. There are more ideas below for locating the content listed in the blog. I hope you enjoy!

Anne Marie Houppert, Blog Author -- National Geographic Libraries & Information Services

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How to Locate National Geographic Content

National Geographic Magazine Articles

If there is an online version of a story, a link will be included in the blog post; if there is no link, no full text is available from the blog post. If you have saved your back issues, you may already own the content. There is a digital version of all issues 1888-2008 on DVD or hard drive ("Complete National Geographic") available for purchase, or your local library may have a copy you can use. Many libraries carry some or all back issues of the magazine, or may provide access to online magazine databases with the full text of some National Geographic articles (but no photos); you can generally find these listings in the online catalog. Many libraries have an online catalog you can search from home, or ask your librarian for help if you can't find what you are looking for.

The National Geographic magazine includes feature articles, departments, and map supplements. Departments are in the front and back of the magazine, range in size from a paragraph to one or two pages in length, and sometimes have no page number(s). The departments are usually listed in the table of contents in the order in which they appear. The map supplements are inserted into the print issues, are included in the "Complete National Geographic" on DVD or hard drive, and in library bound volumes may be found in a pocket in the front or back of the volume.

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More National Geographic Magazines

In addition to the National Geographic magazine, we currently publish Traveler, Kids, and Little Kids by subscription or on newsstands, and three classroom magazines (Explorer, Young Explorer, and Extreme Explorer). Our Adventure magazine ceased publication in late 2009, but there may be a blog posting for previously published content, so a link to the Adventure section of the website is included.

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Collecting, Buying and Selling Magazines

Collectors Corner is a site with resources for those interested in collecting the National Geographic magazine, or buying and selling issues. There is a list of dealers, and a forum for discussion.


Many libraries carry some of our books, and if they don't have the one you are looking for, ask if they can borrow from another library (interlibrary loan), or if they would purchase. Most libraries have online catalogs that you can search from home. You can also purchase National Geographic books from one of the websites noted below.  Our books are also sold in major retail and online bookstores.

Educational Material


There are a variety of options for locating National Geographic maps.  There is the Map Machine (online Atlas where you can look at a world map and narrow down to other areas), print map supplements, and maps for teachers. There are also adventure, tourism, and topographical maps sold by the Society. If you are looking for the map supplements which were published in issues of the National Geographic magazine, you can find them in the original print issues, or in the "Complete National Geographic" on DVD or hard drive.


Online Content


Publications Index

The NG Publications Index is available for everyone to search, and is a guide to previously published print content in all of our magazines, as well as many books, maps, and more. There is no full text linked to any of the citations, although there are links to some feature articles for National Geographic magazine articles at There are a number of publications in the index, so if you want to specify one publication/product, don't miss the Search Tips link below the search box; this will explain how to narrow down your search.


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