Vanity Fair started life as Dress & Vanity Fair, a men’s style magazine, published by Condé Montrose Nast in 1913 – This week the magazine’s complete archive is online.
• Access details: ‘For the first month, access to our archive will be free – create an account here. After June 30, it will become a perk of membership in the V.F. community, with full access granted to subscribers.’
Vanity Fair Editor in Chief Radhika Jones says:
Don’t let anyone tell you that time machines don’t exist. We call ours by another name: the Vanity Fair Archive. In seconds it will whisk you to the Jazz Age, to the go-go 80s, to that time Mark Felt confessed that he was the guy they called Deep Throat. Once upon a time, archives required special dispensation and white gloves; they were hidden away in corners of libraries and the adjective most associated with them was “dusty.” Not so in the digital age. Our elves have been coding for more than a year and a half to bring you a state-of-the-art, searchable presentation of the entire history of Vanity Fair, from its beginnings in 1913 to its revival in 1983 through to the present. Here you’ll find vibrant color illustrations and evocative woodcuts, poems by A.A. Milne, humor from P.G. Wodehouse and Dorothy Parker, and court dispatches by Dominick Dunne. You’ll find jaw-dropping photographic portraiture by Annie Leibovitz, from a nude, pregnant Demi Moore to Whoopi Goldberg in a bathtub of milk. You’ll find essential investigations by Marie Brenner, Bryan Burrough, and Maureen Orth. It’s more than 700 issues’ worth of zeitgeist moments rolled into one.
When the editor-in-chief baton passed to me, I requested the loan of bound volumes of each chapter of V.F.’s existence, the better to absorb its history. Magazines evolve the way living things do, in concert with and response to the changing world around us—but they retain their core DNA, and the archive records its imprint. For the digital archive, we’ve curated pages focused on our signature topics and voices, from “Crime & Punishment” to Christopher Hitchens. You can bookmark stories to read later and create your own shareable collections. You can chart your own narrative arcs from the early 20th century to the early 21st—the shifting nature of influence and aspiration, from the lofty refinements of high culture to the delicious depths of low. You’ll see—as we so frequently do, when news breaks—that more often than not, the stories and scandals of the present have roots in the past, and more often than not, the players, heroes and villains alike, have appeared in the pages of V.F. See, for example: the current occupant of the White House.