Rare Newspapers’ monthly offering of collectible newspapers, Catalog 255, is now available. This latest collection of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items. Some of the noteworthy content includes: Rivington’s New York Gazetteer, the Oxford Gazette, Washington’s miracle escape from Long Island, “War Declared” in a Honolulu newspaper, the death of Marilyn Monroe in a Los Angeles newspaper, a great graphic issue on Abraham Lincoln, and more. Key items which include the remaining items from the above may be viewed at: Noteworthy Catalog 255
Whereas the entire catalog is shown at Catalog 255, the following links are intended to aid in quickly finding items from the catalog based on era:
To view items from both the current and the previous catalog, go to: Combined Catalog
Note: The links shown above will expire in approximately 30 days.
Rare Newspapers’ monthly offering of collectible newspapers, Catalog 253, is now available. This latest collection of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items. Some of the noteworthy content includes: Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, the Olive Branch Petition, the Battle of Bunker Hill, several nice Nast Santa Claus prints, the Battle of Gettysburg in a Confederate newspaper, a 1775 map of Boston, and more. Key items which include the remaining items from the above may be viewed at: Noteworthy Catalog 253
Whereas the entire catalog is shown at Catalog 253, the following links are intended to aid in quickly finding items from the catalog based on era:
To view items from both the current and the previous catalog, go to: Combined Catalogs
Collectible 1600s & 1700s Newspapers
“History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.”
It might not be your first thought, but newspapers from the 1600s and 1700s are very similar content-wise to modern newspapers. Early newspapers contained reports on wars, natural disasters, listed items for sale, and published death notices. Sound familiar? Newspaper content hasn’t changed drastically in 300-plus years. It is interesting to read accounts from this era and realize how similar we modern folk are to our ancestors. It seems that people at their core are mostly the same, and to this day, want to read news covering similar topics. That being said, some aspects of newspapers definitely have changed.
What has changed are the dimensions (smaller then, larger now), the number of pages (fewer then), paper quality (higher quality rag linen then), and the format. Newspapers of this period typically had an inflexible format, meaning that if page three was dedicated to foreign news, even if the most amazing foreign event occurred, it would appear on page three, not page one—period.
Due to the time it would take to typeset and print an issue, breaking news of major events would often be printed on a separate sheet called an “Extra” or an “Extraordinary” that was delivered with the daily issue or sometimes was not distributed until the following day.
Much more can be said regarding newspapers from the 1600’s and 1700’s, but for now, please enjoy the Rare Newspapers dedicated page dedicated to original and historic issues from this era:
Catalog 250 is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of nearly 350 new items. Some of the noteworthy content includes: a printing of the Constitution of the United States, an issue of The Royal Gazette from Charleston (1782), a 1659 newsbook we’ve never offered before, Winslow Homer’s famous “Snap The Ship”, an issue with the British response to the Declaration of Independence, coverage of Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, and more. Key items which include the remaining items from the above may be viewed at: Noteworthy Catalog 250
Whereas the entire catalog is shown at Catalog 250, the following links are intended to aid in quickly finding items from the catalog based on era:
To view items from both the current and the previous catalog, go to: Combined Catalogs
Today I traveled back to England by the way of The London Gazette dated February 4, 1666. The back page has “The Kings Most Excellent Majesty having been graciously pleased… to give Authority… for the erecting of a Light-House on St. Anns point in the County of Pembroke, to prevent such damages as ordinarily accrue to seafaring-men, through the want of such timely Prevision in that Case…” While this original lighthouse no longer stands, there have been two others built in it’s place, with the current lighthouse viewable at: St. Ann’s Lighthouse
“Newsbooks” from Europe, those small pamphlet-looking periodicals which were the predecessors of today’s newspapers, have always been difficult to find. But rarely have we had a more intriguing issue than one recently added to our inventory, and its the back story which makes it interesting.
Rather than one, we have secured two issues of the “Mecurius Aulicus“newsbook, both of the same date, “The five and thirtieth Weeke” of 1643, one the “regular” Oxford edition, the other the secretly-printed and exceedingly rare London edition.
This newsbook was created because of the English Civil War during the early 1640’s, as a means for the Royalist faction supporting King Charles I to promote their views in Parliament-held London. It was published in Oxford, the stronghold of Charles I at the time. Any person or any publication promoting the cause of Charles I would not have been welcomed in London. It was a short-lived publication which began to lose support from 1644 onward as the Royalist losses on the battlefield continued. This Oxford newsbook found it more & more difficult to obtain current news and issues became badly delayed. It finally ceased publication in 1645.
But an intriguing article in Wikipedia adds an interesting tidbit to the history of this publication: “…The Mercurius Aulicus was printed in Oxford, which was at this time the Royalist capital…then smuggled into London where it was sold by local women, often at heavily inflated prices. It was also reprinted on occasion–albeit not necessarily accurately–by local sympathizers in London…”.
So as we see, there was also a secretly-printed edition done in London, with print runs which had to be exceedingly low. On the rare occasion we have had the opportunity to offer an issue of the Mercurius Aulicus it has always been the Oxford edition. Never have we seen a London edition. Until now.
The photos show the complete text of not only the “regular” Oxford edition but the very rare London edition as well. Comparing the two gives evidence to some subtle differences between them (embellishment at top of front page is different; heading type sizes are different; embellished first letter of ftpg. is different; dated headings on inside pages are different, etc.) Although I am struck but the considerable similarity between the two issues given they were printed on different presses in different cities, put side-by-side several differences are very evident.
Not only is this London edition very rare, but we were fortunate enough to secure the Oxford edition of the same date as well. If ever a pair of same-date newsbooks deserve to be kept together, here it is. A fascinating pair from an intriguing period in British history—and in newspaper history as well.
As our last discussion point on the most historic event to have in an early American newspaper collection we’ll consider the pre-Revolutionary War era.
What a period of time, from the mid-1600’s thru 1775. Keep in mind that the only newspapers to be had with American content thru 1704 would be British, most likely limited to the Oxford/London Gazette. The “Boston News-Letter” as America’s first successful newspaper began in 1704 but it can be exceedingly difficult to find any American newspaper prior to 1730. In any case let’s consider the event & not the rarity of the newspaper itself. Remember, we’re dreaming here anyway.
Dig out your history books and give thought to what single historic event in American history from this period you would like to have in your newspaper collection.
Much of the late 17th century was dealing with settling the “New World” and territorial issues not just with the Native Americans but the various European countries, all trying to establish a foothold, and increasing it at that. The early 18th century saw the creation of colonial governments and continuing territorial problems, leading to the French & Indian War, which in itself created financial problems in England which led to greater taxation in America to pay for related expenses. Of course the colonists were not keen on tightening controls and increased taxation levied by a government 3000 miles away and before long there was a revolution.
My choice would be the “Pennsylvania Journal & Weekly Advertiser” issue of Oct. 31, 1765. Known as the “tombstone edition” because of the great graphics, it signaled the beginning of the Stamp Act in America, the most hated of the taxes up to that point, only to be following by more from Great Britain. The Stamp Act was the catalyst for a disintegrating relationship with the mother country. This newspaper (see photo) is both visually dramatic and historically significant in presaging the biggest event in 18th century America history.
What’s your thought?
*The Fall of 2013 marked the 5th anniversary of the History’s Newsstand Blog by Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers. We are grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to the newspaper collecting community, and appreciate those who have participated through guest posts, comments, and readership. This year (2014) we are revisiting the top 25 posts (measured by activity), with the number 1 post being re-posted during the first week of 2015. Please enjoy. If you would like to contribute a post for consideration of inclusion on the blog, please contact Guy Heilenman at firstname.lastname@example.org.