Meet the Staff – Timothy J. Hughes – Founder

September 17, 2008 by  
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Much can be read and said about Tim Hughes, the collector:

  • He began collecting coins as a child and quickly became disgruntled with the exuberant prices, which led him to search for an unexploited but interesting collectible.  It was this search which helped launch his interest in and love for rare newspapers.

“I wanted to find a hobby that dealt with old things that hadn’t been exploited, that people really didn’t know much about. My thinking was that if it was a hobby that hadn’t been exploited, the prices would be fairly right.”

  • He began Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers in 1976, working part-time from his home. By 1989, the business had grown such that he left his job with Little League Baseball to devote his efforts full-time to the collecting and selling of historic newspapers.

“Whatever money I made selling newspapers, I bought more. It just started snowballing. Eventually I needed to find another location and was able to secure the site of my father’s former saw-sharpening business.  It brings me great pleasure to have built the business on the same spot which solicits fond memories of my childhood.  My father, who contributes to the business on a part-time basis, still has the opportunity to see the reward of his labor.”

  • During the next 20 years the business continued to grow – staff were added, warehouses were annexed to the existing facility, the private collection grew, and rare newspaper friends were made.  Eventually Tim decided to sell a majority interest in the company to a group of investors from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Guy Heilenman was brought in as a part-owner and president, and received 9 months of intensive training from Tim.  Although Tim’s intention was to retire, his love for the hobby proved to be too great.  As a result, Tim continues to retain part ownership and works as a full-time consultant and part-time contributor to the daily activities of the business.  His input is invaluable.

“I’ve always loved this.  It’s something that I started from scratch on my own and because I loved it, it’s just been fun. I’ve been very fortunate. I consider myself one of the few people who really loves their work.”

But what about Tim Hughes, the person? He is a family man who dearly loves his wife (Chris) and son (Ben).  He is a man of faith who pours himself regularly into the lives of the young people at his church.  He continually looks for ways to give back to the community as evidenced by his current and past board appointments to Little League Baseball and North Central Sight Services (a non-profit association helping to meet the needs of the visually impaired).  He is also a man of integrity and a loyal friend.  Although his knowledge of the hobby is recognized around the world, his humility and love for the collectible continues to fuel ways to enhance the rare newspaper community.

His expertise, sincerity, loyalty and love of the hobby will all be reflected in his blog post contributions.  We are both honored and privileged to have him.

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17 Responses to “Meet the Staff – Timothy J. Hughes – Founder”

  1. Eric Caren on September 18th, 2008 1:03 am

    Tim Hughes deserves credit as being one of the pioneer driving forces of the hobby. I submit Richard Spellman, Alton Ketchum,Walter Dougherty, Jim Lyons and Stephen Goldman as others who cared about rare newspapers when many rare book dealers and antqiues dealers were turning up their noses to the notion of preserving and collecting what to them was junk.

  2. Todd And on September 18th, 2008 7:44 am

    Hey Eric – Good point about the rare book dealers. A few months back I attended a rare book show in NYC and found most of the dealers neglected rare newspapers. Out of a few hundred exhibitors, about three had historic newspapers with them. When I asked dealers if they had any historic newspapers to sell or knew others who sold them, I found myself getting a lot of quick and somewhat cold no’s. I felt like the ugly step-child in the room.

  3. GuyHeilenman on September 18th, 2008 7:57 am

    Eric and Todd,

    Great insight. As far as “founders” are concerned, we would certainly want to add Phil Barber, Bob Mooers, Rick Brown, and David Godfrey to the list. I’m sure there are others as well.

  4. Eric Caren on September 18th, 2008 1:30 pm

    I agree Guy and I feel sorry that I dd not include them, especially David Godfrey as I have been friends with him for over 30 years- One last name came to mind thinking of David overseas-my good friend Louis Nierynck in The Netherlands- He has been at this for many decades!

  5. GuyHeilenman on September 18th, 2008 1:36 pm

    Thanks Eric, for mentioning Louis. He, along with others I’m sure we’ve missed, certainly belongs on the list. 🙂

  6. Tom DiGirolamo on September 23rd, 2008 3:40 pm

    For a number of years I’ve been preaching to my friends about an affordable hobby with Tim and Phil (Barber) at the helms of a fascinating concept — the news of the day as it was — ephemeral and detailed — in your very hands — the feeling I describe is that of peering into a time where I don’t belong, almost invading the privacy of people long gone. I thank Tim & Guy for the many items I’ve purchased and for the many hours of pleasure those items have precipitated. Keep up the great finds!

  7. GuyHeilenman on September 23rd, 2008 4:00 pm

    Tom – I appreciate your thoughts… and your kind words. I recall the first time I read an issue from the Civil War – wondering if the damp staining might have been the result of someone crying over a battle report associated with the death of a loved one. I knew it wasn’t very likely to be the case, but I was moved. Thanks again.

  8. David Chesanow on September 25th, 2008 8:02 pm

    I don’t know how extensive or organozed the hobby of newspaper collecting is, but Tim Hughes provides a service to collectors and researchers alike that is monumental. I have obtained serveral papers from Tim of the past several years and have been delighted with every purchase. What’s more, Tim is able to get rare and obscure papers that university libraries and other institutions don’t seem to have. Thank you for doing all the “legwork”!

  9. carl cripps on October 3rd, 2008 7:36 am

    hello everybody at tim hughes. it has been awhile since i last communicated. hope doreen is still with you as she looked after my needs wonderfully. still very interested in collecting to add to my collection. talk to you soon. carl.

  10. GuyHeilenman on October 6th, 2008 9:37 am

    Carl – It is great to hear from you… and yes, Doreen, our trusty office manager (and my right arm), is still with us. Thanks for your kind words.

  11. mark torres on October 13th, 2008 3:44 pm

    Is this the same Guy Heilenman who used to teach?

  12. GuyHeilenman on October 13th, 2008 3:52 pm

    Hello Mark. Yes – For 11 years outside of Philadelphia and another 11 near Lancaster. Please send me an e-mail at

  13. Bob Masters on October 15th, 2008 5:41 am

    I’ve been passionate about old things since 1969, when I was merely eight years old. I don’t quite remember where I read the advertisement, but it was Timothy Hughes’, and he was selling rare newspapers. This was back in 1976, and I bought my first newspapers from him then.

    Life has a way of providing many distractions, and along the way I have failed to build upon my newspaper collection. I do, however, still hold a deep passion for those incredibly fascinating historical documents, and hopefully I will be able to focus more effort towards building my collection further.

  14. GuyHeilenman on October 15th, 2008 3:34 pm

    Hello Bob – Tim remembers you well. Thanks for your comment.

  15. Resource for Teachers – Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers : Teach History on December 17th, 2009 9:39 pm

    […] on the staff at Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers is a true pleasure to work with. Founder Tim Hughes tells the story of how things started in the Rare Newspapers Blog. He collected things as a child […]

  16. paul dimouro on February 5th, 2021 7:42 pm

    Mr. Hughes,
    I collect vintage 1800’s/early 1900’s Boston Americans/Red Sox baseball items.
    Don’t know if you sell newspapers/photo’s, if so please let me know.

    Thanks you,
    Paul Dimouro

  17. GuyHeilenman on February 11th, 2021 10:25 am

    Hello Paul, We sell newspapers – including from this era, and likely have several which meet your interest. It is best to contact me by email at

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