From the Vault – So you collect old newspapers!

May 15, 2023 by  
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In social situations when asked “What do you do?” I (Tim Hughes) have to be careful how I respond. I’ve learned through experience that stating: “I’m a dealer in rare newspapers” is usually responded to with a pause, then “What?”, followed by a ten minute discussion on just what I do.

Being quick to get the questioner beyond the thought that I’m in the recycling business or that I clip interesting articles upon request, my more detailed response invariably intrigues and fascinates and seldom ends up being a short conversation. There is often a hint of pity in their voice & expression, thinking I have yet to find meaningful employment. But when I mention there are five full-time and several part-time employees, interest in the occupation piques.

If I don’t have the time or interest in a lengthy conversation, I’ve at times answered with “I’m an antiques dealer”, which although truthful is also a bit evasive, however it’s also an answer others can understand with limited interrogation.

You, being a collector of rare newspapers, might have had similar experiences when speaking to others about your hobby. Do you have any interesting stories?

Note: The History’s Newsstand Blog went live for the first time in 2008. Since then our goal has been to provide informative of interest to both novice and well-oiled collectors of Rare & Early Newspapers. The focus of the “From the Vault” series is to introduce the current generation of collectors to posts from the past (with occasional updates as appropriate). The original post shown above can be viewed at:

So you collect old newspapers!

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One Response to “From the Vault – So you collect old newspapers!”

  1. Steve Goldman on May 16th, 2023 5:29 pm

    I had to laugh at this blog by Tim as I have had very similar reactions when I tell someone I have just met that I sell old newspapers; I do get the same 15-30 second silent pause after which most people respond with “do you make a living doing that ???” Then the same 10 minute explanation takes place just as Tim said.

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