Purple Parrot: Getting Started

Guide to the Purple Parrot, a Northwestern University student publication (1920s-1950s).

Selected Purple Parrot covers

May 1921

November 1921

January 1922

April 1922

May 1922

About the Purple Parrot

Digitized in 2011 as part of the Book Digitization Initiative offered by the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), the Purple Parrot was a humor magazine published by students at Northwestern from 1921 to 1950.  The Purple Parrot contains short stories, poetry, essays, jokes, and a variety of advertisements.  Many pieces found in the Parrot are particular to Northwestern, Evanston, or the greater Chicago area, and so are rooted in a deeper sense of regionalism.  The Parrot parodied all aspects of life at Northwestern: Greek life, notable faculty members, college romance, and even the Daily Northwestern, NU’s student newspaper (which was lampooned in the Purple Parrot as “The Dilly”).

The Parrot ended its run in May 1950, with subscriptions having declined.  “The old bird did not always live wisely,” said the farewell statement, “but it shall die with dignity.” The following Fall, the Parrot was absorbed by the Profile, a campus fiction magazine, which lasted until 1959.  The Purple Parrot was revived for a pair of issues in the mid-1970s, but it didn’t last.  These two later issues were not part of those digitized for the CARLI award. 

The issues are listed individually below, organized by year, and are hosted by the Internet Archive.  The original copies can be found in the Northwestern University Archives.

Special Libraries

Benn Joseph
Northwestern University

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