Setting values for collectible newspapers…

September 19, 2008 by  
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We are often asked “What’s my newspaper worth?” in phone calls and email messages. As one might suspect, there are many factors which determine value and much like a jeweler cannot give a value of a diamond by an email or telephone inquiry, our ethics do not permit us to place values on newspapers without seeing the issues in hand.

Many factors determine value. The more important include condition, desirability among collectors, extent of coverage, completeness of the issue, proximity of the city of publication to where the event happened, time lag between the event date and the reporting date, dramatic appeal (more so with 20th century issues), and location of the report within the issue (front page? page 3?). Other factors come into play with more significant events but those noted are the prime determinants of value.

From a personal perspective setting values has been an interesting process, as no guide book of values existed 30+ years ago when I started the business. I priced an item in my catalog for $10 and if I had twenty orders for it I knew the price was too low.  If no one ordered it the price was too high. Through the years, and by data basing sold prices (on index cards prior to the computer!), I’ve honed my own “price guide” based on actual sales, and it is this now-sophisticated database which we use to set values for new inventory as it arrives.

Do values continue to rise? In general, yes, but we are careful to never recommend the purchase of early newspapers for investment purposes. As is true of most collectibles, rarity and desirability determine where prices will be for the future.

But providing an historical perspective from our own files, back in October of 1981 we sold in our catalog #26 the NEW YORK HERALD of March 5, 1865 reporting the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, very nice condition, for $70. Just four months ago we sold another issue of the NEW YORK HERALD of March 5, 1865, also in very nice condition, for $535.

This is the first in a series of posts where we will compare the past and present values of newspapers based on actual sales. Stay tuned for more.

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268 Responses to “Setting values for collectible newspapers…”

  1. GuyHeilenman on March 8th, 2016 2:22 pm

    Hello Diana – If in excellent condition and complete, they typically go for anywhere from $24-$48 – depending upon how dramatic they are in regards to the front page. We have many – and sell one about every two-three years.

  2. Alan Feldman on March 9th, 2016 4:56 am

    To make money you have to find the right person who collects that subject in the paper you have. I once advertised a paper I still have–Chicago Cubs winning 1908 World Series front page and sports section for $1000. A guy wrote
    me saying–I can get that anytime I want. I told him to contact me when he does-still waiting to hear from him lol.

  3. Alan Feldman on March 9th, 2016 4:59 am

    It is not spelled incorrectly. I have many papers with that spelling. Both spelling’s were used,

  4. Alan Feldman on March 9th, 2016 5:00 am


  5. Dennis on March 11th, 2016 8:41 am

    Have an original daily mirror dated September 4 1938 headline is Britain’s first day of war no 11.152

  6. ROCHAT ERIC on March 13th, 2016 8:52 am

    Hello Sir,
    I discovered a collection of THE SPHERE the Empire’s illustrated weekly from 1931 to 1939 in mostly good condition.
    20 from 1931 (1615 to 1662), 13 from 1932 (1671 to 1712); 2 from 1933 (1762-1763), 4 from 1936 1899-1927), 15 from 1937 (1928-1958), 1 in 1938 (1999) and 3 in 1939 (2060.2062.2076)..
    Could you be interested? Il live in Switzerland
    Eric Rochat

  7. GuyHeilenman on March 14th, 2016 1:08 pm

    Hello Dennis – Is it possible the issue date is September 4, 1939?

  8. GuyHeilenman on March 14th, 2016 1:14 pm

    Hello Eric – Please send your list on to Tim Hughes at

  9. Alan Feldman on March 15th, 2016 12:15 am

    Value of 1908 Chicago newspaper that says Cubs win second World Title. Cubs have never won another.

  10. Robery on March 16th, 2016 7:52 pm

    Oklahoma journal man walks on moon

  11. Scott on March 18th, 2016 3:59 pm

    I have 911 of world trade center planes flying into them. I have front page of osama when he was put to desth, virginia techpaper of tne shooting from roanoke times. I live in blacksburg va.

  12. Damaris on March 19th, 2016 12:03 pm

    I found an original New York Times october 5, 1938. It has a certificate of authenticity

  13. Drew Cyr on March 20th, 2016 4:46 pm

    I have found a collection of Apollo 12 moonlanding news papers in the drawer of a dresser I bought I need info on It they are all from the Dothan Eagle 1969 moon landing and launch

  14. Kristy on April 3rd, 2016 8:56 pm

    Found a bunch of old newspaper jfk assassination 1936,great flood clipping hurricane,all from around1936 first landed on the moon newspaper also

  15. David Smith on April 9th, 2016 9:55 am

    I have many SF newspapers from 1929, and many from minneapolis 1939, who can i contact to find what they are worth?

  16. Jennifer Gleicher-Saint Angel on April 12th, 2016 2:11 pm

    Hello, I recently acquired a bound hardcover of The New York Times April 1st -15th 1945. The book is in near mint condition, and included the advertisements intact, some with color and some still black and white. I’ve been trying to contact NYT about it but no one gets back to me. If you know what I’m speaking about, any idea on its worth? I can provide pictures. Thank you

  17. Vita veliz on April 18th, 2016 7:43 pm

    I have a san francisco chronicle ca. Sunday 1 of 1907 vol.xcl i need know how much some body help me thanks.

  18. Andrea Powell on April 28th, 2016 7:37 pm

    I have two newspapers in VERY good condition. Not a single tear, barely any fade. You can see all the words perfectly. No stains. The first is Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New York October 24, 1929: WALL ST. IN PANIC AS STOCKS CRASH. I imagine this is the big crash that sent the US into the Great Depression. I have another one that is The Milwaukee Journal, May 7th, 1945: WAR WITH GERMANY IS ENDED V-E PROCLIMATION IS DELAYED.

    If anyone can give me information on how much these are worth, please contact me at 6624194956. Text or call. I’m very anxious.

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