In July 2000, Bill Contento joined the FictionMags mailing list and, discovering that members had occasionally been posting the contents of miscellaneous magazines, offered to create an online index of those contents listings and thus was born the FictionMags Index (originally called the Miscellaneous Magazine Index and covering just 938 magazine issues). From those modest origins the index grew in 13 years to become the de facto "go to" source for details of magazine contents and, by July 2013, indexed over 750,000 different items in over 75,000 different magazine issues. At that point agreement was reached with the authors of the key indexes to popular magazines currently available on CD to make the information freely available as part of the FictionMags Index – a move that will take some years to complete but which promises to double the size of the index by the end of the decade.
While there are obvious advantages in having all the information in one place, there are also drawbacks, particularly for those specifically interested in a single genre as the information they are looking for can easily become lost amid all the other "stuff". Furthermore, it is possible with the genre-specific indexes to attempt to cover every relevant title in the genre and, associated with that, to provide illustrated checklists portraying the covers of all those issues and a coherent list of which issues of which titles have not yet been indexed – neither of which is feasible for the FictionMags Index as a whole. As a result, the plan is for the genre-specific indexes to survive as standalone indexes side-by-side with the main index and, indeed, for further such indexes to be created for the remaining genres not yet formally indexed.
It must be emphasized that everything indexed in the standalone indexes is also indexed in the Fictionmags Index, but it is anticipated that the indexes will be used in different ways:
Currently nine specialist indexes are planned, together with three less formal groupings that also have illustrated checklists, as follows:
|Description||Index||Illustrated Checklists||List of Unindexed Issues|
|Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Weird Fiction Magazines||Science Fiction Index||Illustrated Checklists||Unindexed Issues|
|Crime, Mystery & Gangster Fiction Magazines||Crime Fiction Index||Illustrated Checklists||Unindexed Issues|
|Adventure, War, and Espionage Fiction Magazines||Adventure Fiction Index||Illustrated Checklists||Unindexed Issues|
|Western and Frontier Fiction Magazines||Western Fiction Index||Illustrated Checklists||Unindexed Issues|
|Sports Fiction Magazines||Indexed as part of the FictionMags Index||Illustrated Checklists||Unindexed Issues|
|Love and Romance Fiction Magazines||Indexed as part of the FictionMags Index||Illustrated Checklists||n/a|
|General Fiction Magazines||General Fiction Index||Illustrated Checklists||Unindexed Issues|
|British Popular Fiction Magazines||Indexed as part of the FictionMags Index||Illustrated Checklists||Unindexed Issues|
|British Juvenile Story Papers and Pocket Libraries||Story Paper Index||n/a||n/a|
|Men's Adventure Magazines||Indexed as part of the FictionMags Index||Illustrated Checklists||n/a|
|Saucy Magazines||Indexed as part of the FictionMags Index||Illustrated Checklists||n/a|
|Miscellaneous Magazines||Indexed as part of the FictionMags Index||Illustrated Checklists||n/a|
We would love to hear from anybody who can contribute to this project – either with details of magazine issues not yet indexed or cover scans to fill the gaps in the illustrated checklists – please contact if you can help with either of these, or just want to report an error you have found (there are many!). If you would like more information about the structure of the indexes, or are looking for some guidelines on contributing details of magazine issues, the associated user guide will hopefully tell you everything you need to know (and much that you don't).
There are also a small number of other excellent online indexes that you may be interested in:
It is also worth noting that many magazines, particularly "little magazines", maintain online indexes on their websites, which are listed in the main magazine database on this site. There are also still a number of very useful magazine indexes that aren't (yet) available online – some of the key ones are listed here.
If you know of any other, similar, indexes that you feel should be mentioned, please contact .