These are the best resources for learning more about the history of Astounding Science Fiction, and early SF pulp magazines in general.
You might also enjoy my short article about the first few issues of Astounding.
A Requiem for Astounding
A narrative survey of Astounding up until 1960, and illustrated throughout with covers and interior artwork from the magazine’s history.
Informative, affectionate, and nostalgic.
Notable for containing pieces by Harry Bates, F. Orlin Tremaine, and John W. Campbell, Jr., speaking about their respective tenures as editor
The Complete Index to Astounding / Analog
Mike Ashley & Terry Jeeves
A breathtakingly exhaustive book detailing just about every conceivable aspect of the magazine from January 1930 to December 1979.
Contains numerous cross-referenced indices by Author, Artist, Title, etc., as well as a wealth of other statistics and miscellaneous information.
The Time Machines
Ashley’s classic history of the early SF pulps, from their beginnings in 1926 up until 1950.
Followed by two sequels covering different time periods:
These were originally published as a series of anthologies with historical notes, entitled The History of the Science Fiction Magazine. They were revised and considerably expanded as this trio of books.
Science Fiction: The Gernsback Years
Everett F. Bleiler & Richard J. Bleiler
Its main feature is detailed plot summaries for all SF stories published between 1926 and 1936. Also includes lengthy sections about each magazine, as well as numerous indices.
Possibly the single greatest work of SF scholarship ever produced.
Preceded by another mammoth volume: Science Fiction: The Early Years.
Detailed content listings for Astounding (and numerous other magazines), along with cover scans.