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]

Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site

Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site

Doug Gilford's great Mad Magazine reference site features cover scans and reference information on every issue of t… [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    

Dime Mystery Magazine - Weird Menace Pulp -april 1939 - Vg+Famous Monsters Of Filmland #4, 1959, Zacherley, Christopher LeeAmazing Stories August 1928-1st Buck Rogers- H.g. Wells - Very GoodJanuary 1929 College Humor Magazine Rolf Armstrong Ravishing Red Lipped FlapperStrange Detective Mysteries - Weird Detective Fiction - November 1937 VgCollege Humor Magazine August 1928 Rolf Armstrong Pin Up Jazz Age Flapper RareFamous Monsters Of FilmlandThe Mysterious Wu Fang - Oriental Menace Pulp Magazine - Very Rare G+ Cond.Bruce Lee Bob Wall Way Of The Dragon Picture - Signed!Ol' Skool Rodz #62 Magazine Hot Rod Rat Custom Pin Up Gasser Bobber RockabillyCbs Watch Magazine Ncis Collector's Edition Mark Harmon Gibbs' Rules NmOriginal, 1953 Playboy, Vol. 1 Number 1, RareVintage Lot Girlie Pin-up Magazines 1937-1967 Screen Fun Whirl Glamor CabaretDime Mystery Magazine - Weird Menace Pulp - December 1936 - Vg-Famous Monsters Of FilmlandTera Patrick Signed March 2002 Playboy Magazine Psa/dna Coa Autograph Porn StarsVogue Magazine March 30, 1929 Featuring Paris Opening FashionsFeb 1934-pulp- Dime Mystery Magazine Devils In The Dark And Whispering DeathSassy Magazine Back Issue April1992 Kurt Cobain Courtney LoveBruce Lee Hong Kong MagazinePlayboy, February 1954, Vol 1 #3, Complete And Intact. Rare Nintendo Power Lot, Premiere Volume 1 1988-1989Aspen - The Magazine In A Box - Volume 1 Number 2 - 1966 CompleteElectrical Experimenter - July 1920 - Hugo Gernsback - G/vg ConditionNest Magazine: Complete Set In Good ConditionMarilyn Monroe Life Magazine April 7 1952Teenset Magazine 1967 Rolling Stones Brian Wilson Buffalo Springfield Monkees Vintage Lot Of 5 Thrilling Wonder Stories Pulp Science Fiction 1940's Afv Modeller, Volumes 45-66, Complete & Excellent ConditionVintage Lot Of 7 Startling Stories Pulp Science Fiction 1940's Playboy First Issue Dec. 1953 Marilyn Monroe Nude 1st Issue Limited EditionPlayboy, December 2007 Kim Kardashian Signed Autograph!! Near Mint! Rare! Kanye!Vintage Lot Of 6 Pulp Science Fiction Stories 1940's & 50's Captain Future Etc.Science And Invention Magazines Lot Of 10 From The 1920's And 30'sVintage Playboy Magazine March 1954, Playmate Delores Delmonte, No Reserve VgVol 1 Issue 2 Far East Adventure Stories Pulp Fiction Magazine Oct 192?Transvestia Adonis Lot 1960s Chevalier Female Mimic Transvestite Vintage DigestsSpacemen Magazine LotTen Pulps 1934-1950s - Fantastic Adventures, Wonder Stories, Science FictionCharlie's Angels Jaclyn Smith 1983 Glossy Japanese Magazine Ultra Rare Vintage June 1961 Man's Story Magazine Erotic Stories Sexy Risque PhotosFamous Monsters Of Filmland Lot Of 6 Issues #34 47 48 49 70 (2011) And 80Mixed Lot Of 6 1960's Model Car Science & Others 65 66 67 Slot CarsVtg Harper's Bazaar Bound Lot Jan-june 1956 W Lucille Ball Linerie Ad / MarilynFamous Monsters Of FilmlandEy! Electric Youth Magazine Gay 70 Hot Boys Bruce Weber RareWomen In Crime Magazine - December 1946Vintage Lot Of 6 Amazing Stories Pulp Science Fiction 1939 - 1948Muscle Builder Bodybuilding Magazine Featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger May 19778 Choppers, Street, & Custom Choppers Magazines: 1970-69 Vintage Biker AdviceVintage Lot Of 4 Hunter Trader Trapper Magazines 1917 1920 1934 1937 Outdoors1967 Satana Magazine Vol #1 Vegas Showgirls Sex Sin & The Cinema Pin Ups Issue Amazing Stories April 1930 - Classic Science Fiction Cover - Jack WilliamsonVintage Playboy Magazine July 1954, Playmate Neva Gilbert, No Reserve Vg+18 Vintage Life Magazine Lot 1941 - 1944 Wwii Wartime Ad's & Coke Ad's (c-2)Natalie Portman Autographed Playbill Magazine March 1998 / Diary Of Anne FrankThrottle Magazine Book Ford Flathead V8 Scta Rodders Journal Hot Rod Rat RodBruce Lee Chinese Gung-fu Poster Circa 1963Derek Jeter The New Yorker Magazine New York YankeesBruce Lee Wing Chun Illustrated Magazine