May 21, 2019

Vanity Fair has an amazing digital archive


Vanity Fair, founded in 1913, created an AMAZING online digital archive with all issues, all pages, and all the fun from the beginning of their time as a magazine until now. The archive is free for the rest of the month, and then will require a subscription. As a lover of all things archival, I’ve been spending most of my free time on this website. The stories told, the sketches and pictures, and even the advertisements, are fascinating.

An issue on Marilyn Monroe shares photos from her nude photoshoot on the set of the never finished movie Something’s Got to Give and intimate conversations between her and the photographer, which span over a few months up until the night before her death in 1962. In this article, readers learn that the night before her death, Monroe gave Playboy magazine permission to publish her photos, but Hugh Hefner waited to publish to photos because he did not want to exploit the circumstances of her death.

An issue from October 1916 includes instructions on how to properly hold a golf club and a feature on a one-armed golfer, coupled with an advertisement for golf balls that brags, “DISTANCE and CONFIDENCE.”

Golf advertisements from the October 1916 issue of Vanity Fair.

This same issue includes The Dog Mart, which is a two-page spread of dogs for sale by kennels that are endorsed by Vanity Fair. Each dog for sale comes with a sketch and a brief description of the breed.

Chow puppy advertisement in October 1916 issue of Vanity Fair.

If you’re overwhelmed with all that there is to read, Vanity Fair even created categories of fun finds such as, The Golden Age, Big Mouths and Brilliant Minds, International Affairs, Leading Ladies, and more. 

Just as a recap, you will love this digital archive if you like:

I think that covers the whole human population, right? See for yourself.



Christina Cerio is the Manager of Direct Sales & Special Projects at Melville House.