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    

Rolling Stone Magazine June 25,1970 Charles Manson No ReserveScarce 1976 Premier Issue The Dragon D&d Ad&d Dungeons & Dragon Vol I No IRolling Stone Magazine November 23,1968 John Lennon Yoko Ono With Two InsertsMarilyn Monroe Foreign French Tv Cine' Actualite' 1959! Rare!Weird Tales March 1938 Reh Lovecraft Brundage Cover Cgc Playboy Original: 7.5 ("very Fine-") November,1954 (v1#12) White Pages!Rolling Stone Magazine February 1,1969 Jimi Hendrix No ReserveNintendo Power Vintage Lot - 40 Magazines Thrasher Magazine Skateboard Vintage 1986 June, Danzig On The CoverRolling Stone Magazine Sept 28,1968 Pete Townshend No ReserveRare *1952* Marilyn Monroe Vintage Life Magazines 50s/60sMarilyn Monroe Screen Fan June 1953!Terror Tales Nov 1934Vintage 1950's Marilyn Monroe Photoplay And Movie Life Magazines - Vintage AdsTrapped Detective Story Magazine 1957 Harlan Ellison Robert Silverberg Wm VanceMarilyn Monroe Pageant June 1946! Rare! Htf!Apartamento Issue 2 Autumn/winter 2008-09Detective Short Stories February 1938Bettie Page Outdoors #1 1950's Girlie Pinup RareVintage Playboy Magazine January 1955 Vol. 2 Num. 2 Bettie Page Centerfold3 Antique Victorian Issues Godey's Lady's Book 1860 1874 & 1875 Fashion MagazineVintage Lot Of Nine Hustler Men's Adult Magazines1967 16 Magazine..full Year..complete W/pinups..beatles..monkees..sonny & Cher!!Circus Magazine May, 1969 Janis Joplin On Cover No ReserveSlam Kicks Special Collector's Shoe Magazine Jordans Vol. 1 Aj's I-vi Rare AirMarilyn Monroe Screen Fan December 1952!Nintendo Power Issue #1 (1988) Rare! 1st Issue!Marilyn Monroe Movie World Interstate Publishing Corp June 1953!May 1930 "ghost Stories" Pulp Magazine Good Story Magazine Co.Super Stock Drag Racing Assorted Titles Vintage Magazines 1965-1970 13 IssuesMarilyn Monroe Movie Time February 1954!Very Rare Collectable Big Brother Magazine Issue #1, Shiloh Greathouse,Vintage American Swimwear Magazine - June 1990 - Bikini Swimsuits - Cinema Retro Magazine #10 Out Of Print - Elke Sommer Ray Harryhausen U.n.c.l.e. Muscleboy V1, #5, 1964- Vintage Beefcake Magazine- Gay InterestVintage April 1957 Dig Magazine - James Dean - Vintage AdvertisingMarilyn Monroe Filmland Red Circle Magazines January 1953!Huge Lot Of 16 1942-1953 Saturday Evening Post Magazines~John Wayne The Official Collector's Edition Magazine Volume 3 America's CowboyHuge Lot Of 20 1953-1954 Saturday Evening Post Magazines~Vintage Flirt Magazine April 1952 Mid Century Peter Driben Pin Up GirlVery Rare Collectable Big Brother Magazine Issue #3, Daewon Song CoverPrecision Shooting Magazine Collection From 1961-1967 Complete Wow!Playboy First Issue Dec. 1953 Marilyn Monroe Nude 1st Issue Limited EditionShenmue Cover Tv Guide "we've Got Game!" December 9-15 2000 Baltimore EditionPlanet Stories Pulp Magazine July 1952 Vintage Science Fiction / Sci-fiNational Geographic Magazine, Original, Volume X, October 1899 #10Lot 24 Mens Magazines Hustler Barely Legal, Live Young Girls, Tight, LollypopsGinger Stories 2/32 - "peppery And Pleasing" - Risque Pulp!! Ginger Stories February 1930 Risque Pulp Robert Leslie Bellem Vg- Marilyn Monroe Dell Modern Screen October 1953!May 1931 "ghost Stories" Pulp Magazine Good Story Magazine Co.Vintage Titter America's Merriest Magazine Mid Century Peter Driben Pin Up GirlOriginal Macworld Magazine Premier Issue 1984 Steve JobsCollection Of 45 Zoobooks Zootles Childrens Kids Non-fiction Magazines BooksThe Wide World Magazine Sept 1956 Bigfoot SasquatchVtg.1950's Movie Stars - Tv Movie Fan - Hollywood Screen Parade Elvis MagazinesAstounding Sf ~ Lot Of 3 1936 IssuesMuscleboy V2, #5, 1965- Vintage Beefcake Magazine- Gay InterestVintage Wink Magazine April 1950 Mid Century Peter Driben Pin Up Girl