Vintage magazines appeal to people who have a particular interest in old paper, to be sure, but they are also collected for the specific content on and between their covers. For example, those who have fond memories of JFK may seek out copies of the November 29, 1963, issue of “Life,” with its formal portrait of the recently assassinated 35th president on its somber cover. Serious Beatles fans almost certainly want a copy of the January 9, 1968, issue of “Look,” which included a quartet of full-page, psychedelic photos of John, Paul, George, and Ringo by Richard Avedon. And military historians may collect copies of “Colliers” printed during World War II for its articles by Martha Gellhorn, who famously stowed away on a hospital ship so she could report on the D-Day landing at Normandy.

Not all magazine collectors are so high-minded. Year in and year out, one of the most popular vintage-magazine titles has been “Playboy,” especially its undated first issue from December of 1953, which featured a Marilyn Monroe centerfold. For those who claim that they only read “Playboy” for the articles, there are numerous more literary issues to choose from, including the March, April, and May editions from 1954, in which Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” was serialized in its entirety.

For art lovers, there are old copies of “The Saturday Evening Post,” which were famous for its covers by Norman Rockwell, and “Harper’s Weekly,” which occasionally had covers by Maxfield Parrish. More recently, copies of “Oz,” a London music, fashion, and culture magazine from the late 1960s, have been in demand for the artwork created for it by Martin Sharp, who silkscreened posters of Bob Dylan on foil and made album covers for Cream.

Other magazines fall somewhere between comic books and science-fiction novels, such as issues of “Amazing Stories,” which, in the 1940s, reprinted a number of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ tales of earthman John Carter’s adventures on Mars, or, as it was named by Burroughs, Barsoom. “Argosy” was also an outlet for Burroughs, serializing his “Tarzan” adventures in the 1920s and ’30s.

Finally, there are magazines that are infamous for being spot-on parodies of other magazines. In 1972, the “Harvard Lampoon” produced its version of “Cosmopolitan,” which featured a nude centerfold of Henry Kissinger, which was as disgusting as you might imagine it would be. Not to be outdone, in 1980, “New West” produced a slim but brilliant five-page parody of “Sunset” which it called “Sunsect,” featuring a family picnicking in the shadow of a nuclear power plant on the cover and articles such as “Mule trips into East Los Angeles--a guide" and "Tulips so big they eat meat" inside.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

This incredible database of over 3700 magazine covers from 1850-1950 is both beautiful and informative. Start here … [read review or visit site]

Ephemera Blog

Ephemera Blog

Marty Weil's wide-ranging, in-depth blog on ephemera, including lots of great interviews with ephemera collectors. … [read review or visit site]

Ephemera Society of America

Ephemera Society of America

Great reference on ephemera... includes examples and descriptions of various ephemera categories, selected special … [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

January 1906 Antique Rare Collier's Magazine Maxfield Parrish Cover Complete NrFamous Monsters Of Filmland Magazine ~ April 1959, Volume 1, Number 3 ~ AckermanLot Of 30 Issues Of Nintendo Power Magazine, Magazines, 1989 - 1992Nintendo Power Magazine Lot 41 Issues From 1988-1993 All Posters Very Nice!Seventeen Magazine-july 1967-twiggy Cover & Pictorial-fashion-style-great AdsSpicy Adventure Stories Pulp January 1936 High Grade!First 72 Issues Of Playboy 1953 To 1959 With Near-mint Marilyn Monroe IssueSpicy Adventure Stories Pulp June 1935 High Grade!Five Novels Monthly:may 1935-l.ron Hubbard,john Murray Reynolds,l.p.holmesWorld Countdown Magazine 1967 Monterey Pop Festival Issue George Harrison Byrds1953 Photoplay Pinups No. 4 Hollywood Debbie Reynolds Marilyn Monroe +++++++Spicy Adventure Stories Pulp December 1936 Very High Grade!Lot Burlesque Vintage Girlie Magazine Wolf Bait Fever Flame Blush Rare 1950Lot Of 26 Issues Of Nintendo Power Magazine, Magazines, 1992 - 1994Black Mask Magazine 7/41 Adventure Crime Detective Pulp Life Magazines - April 7 1952 - August 17, 1962 - Marilyn Monroe - No LabelsGrantland Quarterly - Complete Collection Plus Two Extra EditionsVintage Rare January 1945 World War Ii Obscure War Bonds Poster Marines MagazineVintage Lot Of 10 Life Magazine Issues 1949Marilyn Monroe - Revue - Rare Magazine From Germany 1959 - Sexy CoverLook Magazine 1968 John Lennon By Avedon Signed By AvedonWrestling Revue Lot Of 18 Vintage Magazines 1960's Nice CollectionMadonna On Cover Mega Rare Like Promo German MagazineVeckorevyn 1985 Swedish Magazine W/ Madonna On The Cover! Very Rare!!Vintage Lot Of 12 Wwii Life Magazine Issues 1945Original June 1948 Hot Rod Magazine, Pistons, Ed Iskenderian, Speed Shop, More!High Times Vol 1 #1 (1974 Trans-high Corp) Premiere Issue Collectors Edition!Life Magazine - Bulk Lot 17 Issues 1941-1967Espn The Magazine Elena Delle Donne Body Issue Without Address Label Public Enemy #1 Pulp December 1935 High Grade!Dime Detective Magazine August 1932Famous Monsters Of Filmland- Lot Of 2 Issues- #55 And Japanese Monsters #114Black Mask Magazine 7/43 Adventure Crime Detective Pulp Mayfair Vol.7 No.2 Vintage Men's Magazine Galaxy Science Fiction Digest 1954 Year Lot, 12 Issues, Very Fine+ ShapeLife Magazine - March 11, 1966 With Batman - No LabelMadonna Mega Rare No Promo The Immaculate Collection Box Cassette Korea Sealed!Thrasher Magazine Lot Of 15 Skateboard Skate 1986 1987 1988Vintage Hot Rod Magazine Lot - Total Of 27 Magazines (1954-1963)Black Mask 2 Issue Lot 1938/39 One Nice, One Not So NiceHollywood Magazine - Dec 1932 - Barbara Stanwyck Cover - Greta GarboVanity Fair Magazine March 1922 Cover Design By BenitoLot Of 23 Issues Of Nintendo Power Magazine, Magazines, 2001 - 2003Playboy 1954 August In Good Condition - Arline Hunter - No Reserve!!!!Flyers V1 #1Vtg 50s Nude Artist Models Virginia Bell Diane Webber Busty Brown Girlie PinupsUnique Copy, Demi-gods April-may 1966, Male Nude Physique, Magazine Gay InterestInternational Observer #19 (1/37): Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Doc Smith ++++Complete Love Magazine #1 Pulp March 1938 Very High GradeVintage Easyriders Magazine Lot Of 20 Issues (david Mann Posters)Lot Of 19 Issues Of Nintendo Power Magazine, Magazines, 1997 - 2000Playstation Magazine 5 Issue Lot PsmMadonna On Cover Rare Like Promo Magazine Original July 1948 Hot Rod Magazine Engine Stroking, 1949 Ford, C.r.a. 500Spick No.261 August 1975 Stockings Suspenders, Raised SkirtsSeventeen Magazine-november 1967-pretty Power-fashion-style-great Ads & More Time Magazine September 7, 1953 Audrey Hepburn On Cover Nintendo Power 96-154Playboy 1955 May - Excellent Condition - Bettie Page & Bunny Yeager -no Reserve!Bulk Lot: Nine 1960s-1970s Teen Girl Magazines