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Setting values for collectible newspapers…

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 [1] 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. [2]

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 [3], 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.

526 Comments (Open | Close)

526 Comments To "Setting values for collectible newspapers…"

#1 Comment By Brian Hunt On 07/08/2018 @ 10:54 am

I have a August 12, 1676 Boston Herald traveler really good shape what is this paper Laura

#2 Comment By Martin sisneros On 07/09/2018 @ 9:19 am

Ok I just wanna know the value of what I have or at least some insite of what it could be worth

#3 Comment By Tamara Larson On 07/19/2018 @ 10:27 pm

Does no one read the webpage?? They aren’t going to give you a value folks unless it’s able to be physically looked at… hence the same msg over and over from the administrator! Sometimes ppl are so silly! Lol! I have a question but I shall simply email you at the email address that you give over… and over… and over.

#4 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 07/31/2018 @ 9:48 am

Thank you Tamara. 🙂

#5 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 07/31/2018 @ 9:50 am

Send a list of titles and dates to me at [4].

#6 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 07/31/2018 @ 9:50 am

Hello Laura/Brian – Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding what you have to us at [5]. Thanks for your understanding.

#7 Comment By Keith Reynolds On 11/11/2018 @ 2:44 pm

Who, where and how do we contact someone about a New York Harald paper published April 1865 the day after Lincoln’s death in very good condition

#8 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 11/21/2018 @ 7:59 am

Send a few close-up images to me at: [4]

#9 Comment By Donald Joy On 01/17/2019 @ 5:01 pm

What is the New York Times paper value dated 1861?

#10 Comment By Michael hunt On 01/22/2019 @ 8:26 pm

I have a 1885 sum news paper and some more and want to see value if any

#11 Comment By William Davenport On 02/18/2019 @ 8:26 pm

I have a 1948 U.S. and world news magazine from 10/29/1948. It is in poor condition but was wondering if it was worth anything. All pages are intact but has wear

#12 Comment By David Alan On 03/27/2019 @ 5:39 pm

Where can I go to present my physical item in person?

#13 Comment By Ruthann Rice On 04/23/2019 @ 11:54 am

I found a newspaper article from 1903 December 18th page 12 flying machine Source 3 miles in teeth of high wind over Sandhills and waves at Kitty Hawk on Carolina coast is it worth anything bad condition or good condition not in the greatest condition

#14 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 04/25/2019 @ 9:51 am

Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding what you have to us at [5]. Thanks for your understanding.

#15 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 04/25/2019 @ 9:55 am

Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding exactly what you have (title and date) to us at [5]. Thanks for your understanding.

#16 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 04/25/2019 @ 9:58 am

Unfortunately we only deal with original newspapers, so I am not sure how to help. Sorry.

#17 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 04/25/2019 @ 10:00 am

Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding what you have to us at [5]. Thanks for your understanding.

#18 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 04/25/2019 @ 10:01 am

Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding what you have to us at [5]. Thanks for your understanding.

#19 Comment By John Tarquinio On 02/16/2020 @ 1:46 pm

Hi Guy, I have a Boston Herald Traveler newspaper dated March 4, 1861. “Lincoln Is Inaugurated” is the front page headline. How can I tell if it is original or a copy? I will send you pictures in another email.

#20 Comment By Terica conly On 04/05/2020 @ 2:06 pm

I have the front page for the opening day of the new York City library. It’s from the new York times.

#21 Comment By Ron On 06/08/2020 @ 7:07 am

Where does one go to get newspapers looked at?
I have three full newspapers from the President Kennedy assignation.
Also a Kennedy picture newspaper magazine.
Full meaning sports section, want ads even comics.
I also have photos of said newspapers headline sheet.

#22 Comment By Connie deignan On 06/15/2020 @ 12:31 pm

I have a 10×12 black and white what looks like a old newspaper movie and 0f the movie rebel without a cause. Dean is standing and turning as you see in most of his posters but in the bottom left hand corner he is with natalie wood. What on earth do I have.

#23 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 07/22/2020 @ 9:36 am

Hello Terica – Please forgive the delay in my response, but we do not monitor such questions from here. If you are still looking for an answer, feel free to send us information regarding what you have to [5]. Thanks for your understanding.

#24 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 07/22/2020 @ 9:40 am

Hello John – Please forgive the delay in my response, but we do not monitor such questions from here. If you are still looking for an answer, feel free to send us information regarding what you have to [5]. Thanks for your understanding.

#25 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 07/22/2020 @ 10:44 am

Hello Connie – I have no idea, but if you can send a few photos to me at [4], I’ll be happy to let you know what I think.

#26 Comment By GuyHeilenman On 07/22/2020 @ 10:46 am

Hello Ron – I do not have any information regarding the magazine, but feel free to send me the exact titles, dates, and a few photos of the newspapers to me at [4] – and I’ll let you know what I think.