So you collect old newspapers!

September 22, 2008 by  
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In social situations when asked “What do you do?” I 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?

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24 Responses to “So you collect old newspapers!”

  1. Charles Signer on September 25th, 2008 6:48 am

    I have been a customer of yours for about 12 years now and have been reading the blog since it stated up a few days ago. I really like your catalogs and website. Historical newspaper collecting is my favorite hobby now. I acquire about 250 newspapers each year.

    Like you, I am a former coin collector. I first saw your ad in Coin World in 1996. At first, collecting newspapers appeared to me to be something like collecting old beer cans. I was working in Arlington, Virginia, at that time. By good fortune, my office was located on the same block as the Newseum, which was in Arlington then. I met Steve Goldman there once and got an appreciation of what a good collection looks like.

    When I mention newspaper collecting to people I think they have some appreciation of it, since at least they know what a newspaper is, and they usually recognize key historical events that the papers record. I keep a few of my most recent acquisitions around to show as examples.

    I think newspapers are much more interesting than other collectibles. I rather hope the hobby doesn’t become too popular or developed, lest the great rarities become uncollectible to the average person as they are in other hobbies like coins and stamps.

  2. TimHughes on September 25th, 2008 9:06 am

    Charles– Yes, it’s always a bit of a double-edge sword when a hobby becomes so popular that prices get beyond the average collector. Although prices have certainly risen in the last 30+ years, I think much great material is still surprisingly low-valued when compared to like material in other collectible fields. In fact so much so that we often get inquires from novices asking if such items are genuine, thinking they must be reprints.

  3. carl cripps on March 30th, 2009 2:06 pm

    i think this blog section is absolutely wonderful. it gives me a chance to interact with other collectors. living in canada i am not sure how prevalent this hobby is here but would love to hear from other enthusiasts. i dont like the word hobby because it is much more than that. it is a love, a love of history, and who is to say that the one your reading about did’nt actually hold this particular paper now in yours. thank you carl.

  4. David Probert on June 25th, 2009 5:36 am

    This may not be strictly “collecting” but have any of the visitors to your website visited The Times (London) archive site? I have built up an excellent collection of articles from this website since it started last year. In the Times blog this month there are items on subjects as varied as D-Day, the Beatles Let It Be album, Darwin and The Origin of Species, the General Slocum disaster, Derby Day, the last execution by guillotine and Geronimo. I’m sure that there must be something of interest for all your visitors.

  5. Michel on September 7th, 2011 11:07 pm

    I have some newspaper cardboard negatives. They are from a Canadian newspaper. It’s from December 21, 1945. It talks about WW2 and gas an article about the death of Patton.

  6. anthoula on January 29th, 2016 8:35 pm

    i have a new york times news papper from 1925 what is it worth??

  7. GuyHeilenman on February 1st, 2016 8:05 am

    Hello Anthoula – What is the exact date?

  8. Victor lopez on February 8th, 2016 9:13 pm

    I have a richmond times dispatch,Sunday August 1, 1915 maxwell cardboard news paper or advertising showing a model 1916 maxwell for $655 convertible i was wondering if this worth something???

  9. GuyHeilenman on February 9th, 2016 7:12 am

    Hello Victor – If the issue also have content regarding Nikola Tesla, we’ve sold them for $30-$55, depending upon condition and presentation of content (displayability).

  10. shyrobi on February 19th, 2016 10:05 pm

    I have a sports newspaper San Diego dispatch eighth year no. 18 November , 1968 do u think its worth anything I also have other memorbilia an I don’t know where to get free good help

  11. Bridgette on February 25th, 2016 3:17 pm

    I have the honolulu star bulletin 1st EXTRA . The 8 pages_honolulu,Territory OF HAWAII USA SUNDAY,DECEMBER 7 1941 and lots more. What would u price it for all in mint condishion

  12. GuyHeilenman on March 2nd, 2016 11:16 am

    If you send the exact date and a photo or two, I’ll try to help. Send the info to

  13. GuyHeilenman on March 2nd, 2016 1:16 pm

    Hello Bridgette – Does it have an ink smudge between the “A” and the “R” in the word WAR?

  14. Alan Feldman on March 9th, 2016 4:44 am

    I sold newspapers for the 1904-5-7 auto shows in Detroit for $2,000. There were a number of pages. Selling a page for one car would be worth very little except if you
    might fine the right person. Still not much.

  15. Alan Feldman on March 9th, 2016 4:47 am

    I am sorry to laugh a little but I have 200,000 sports sections back to 1866. Your 68 paper unless there is a great football game is worth 1 cent

  16. GuyHeilenman on March 10th, 2016 9:37 am

    Good point Alan

  17. Howard Fox on April 28th, 2016 6:40 pm

    I have a Detroit New newspaper from May 7,1937. What do you think it is worth??

  18. GuyHeilenman on May 13th, 2016 7:06 am

    Please submit all queries regarding the value of a newspaper or a set of newspapers to The blog is not monitored for such purposes. Once received, we’ll do our best to respond within 24 business hours. Thanks for your understanding.

  19. Vinolia on September 28th, 2016 7:36 am

    I have 1913 and 1939 The Illustrated London News papers.just one each.i want to know if they worth anything.thanks

  20. GuyHeilenman on October 4th, 2016 7:12 am

    We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  21. James on August 12th, 2017 11:04 am

    This is a very interesting read. I have a April
    15, 1865 Cleveland Herold vol. 10; no. 126.
    It talked in depth about the assassination of the president and attempted assassination of Seward. It’s only 4, not the usual 8…is that a negative to any value price? Also, how much would a newspaper of that go for on today’s market?

  22. GuyHeilenman on August 18th, 2017 10:46 am

    Hello James: We do not monitor such requests from this location. Please send details to me at Thanks

  23. Jessica on February 28th, 2018 5:18 pm

    Hi I have The Boston Daily Globe from tues morning. April 16- 1912 ! What you think this is worth?

  24. GuyHeilenman on March 28th, 2018 8:06 am

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

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