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Cantab (magazine)

Cantab was a magazine produced by students at the University of Cambridge between 1981 and 1990. It was unusual among British student magazines in being independent of student unions. Operations were self-financed, initially through copy sales and advertising, later through advertising alone.

The title's second claim to fame was its production via an extremely early form of desktop publishing, involving a typesetting program specially written for its BBC Micro computer and Juki daisy wheel printer by Martin Tod and introduced as early as the first months of 1984.

In 1985 the magazine launched a spin-off summer title, Cantab's What's On and Where to Go in Cambridge, which gained success in that year's Student Media Awards, run by The Guardian newspaper.[1] Other less successful spin-offs, including Business Matters and Cantab's version of Energy Matters, were produced occasionally as revenue generating vehicles to subsidise the main title.

In 1985/6 the magazine was relaunched, switching from a paid-for circulation to free distribution. Relying solely on advertising sales was an unusual and potentially risky move, but allowed for a massively increased print run, increased pagination and higher production quality. While maintaining a focus on arts coverage, the magazine took an increased interest in politics and current affairs, with a noticeably more left-wing stance.

The magazine was relaunched again in 1987/88.

Notable Cantab staff members include:[2]


  1. ^ The Guardian, 5 November 1984.
  2. ^ See mastheads, collection of Cantab issues at Cambridge University Library, classmark Cam.a.41.5
  3. ^, accessed 8 December 2008.
  4. ^ The Times, 1 December 2007.
  5. ^ The Guardian, 13 July 2003.
  6. ^ accessed 2 August 2015.
  7. ^ accessed 8 December 2008.
  8. ^
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  13. ^ Public Finance, 16 June 2014.
  14. ^
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