How do you properly store collectable magazines?

I have been gathering quite a collection of old issues of Astounding Science Fiction, some of them more than 70 years old. Ultimately, for my Vacation in the Golden Age, I’ll have more than 120 issues of the magazine spanning from 1939 – 1950. I’m looking for advice on the best way to store these magazines. The way they are being stored right now is not pretty. In order to protect the sanity of real collectors who might be reading this, I have put the image of my current storage system behind the cut. Be warned, the image is not for the faint of heart:


(Click on the above image to view an enlarged version, if you dare.)

Now, I’m smart enough to know that this is not the best way to store these magazines and I apologize to anyone who might be cringing at the moment. But I am looking for advice from collectors and experts out there: my friends, colleagues and readers who collect old magazines or comic books. What is the standard? If I am going to do this, I might as well do it right. I imagine the individual issues should be stored in some kind of sleeve with some solid backing. But what is the proper way to store the issues on a shelf? Is a shelf even the appropriate way to store them? And where can I find the materials I might need for doing this the right way. I’m new to this.

Keep in mind, I’m not looking to preserve these issues in a way that will make them unreadable. I fully intend to read and handle them. But I’d like to store them properly when they are not being read. As it stands, I keep the issue that I am currently reading in a sealed freezer bag when it is not in my hands. (I have this fear of spilling something on it, or worse, my little boy spilling something on it.)

Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.



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