Anything from the election worth saving?

November 2, 2008 by  
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A question came to me thru email which is worthy of a thought or two. The writer asked “…what newspaper from the election would be worth saving?”.

There are a couple of thoughts as to what–if anything–is worth saving. Some believe a newspaper from the victor’s hometown would be best. Some think a Washington, D.C. issue because of it being the nation’s capital. Some might try for the winner’s town of birth, particularly if it’s a small, obscure town rather than a major city. I would offer a few thoughts:

1) I don’t believe any issue will be particularly scarce or rare as people are very collector savy today and tend to hang on to issues much more so than was the case 50 years ago. Particularly in this eBay era many even buy issues in large quantities hoping to make a killing in the on-line auctions several years later. So I don’t believe any issue will be particularly scarce, which will be a major factor in future value.

2) As collectors I believe we should collect what strikes our interest or fits our collection rather than focusing on potential value years later. If one has a collection of election issues from Washington, D.C. then certainly a Washington Post would fit nicely into such a set. If one has a collection of newspapers from the winners’ home towns, or issues with the largest headlines, then those would be best for such a collection.

3) I would argue that the unusual or bizarre issue will have greatest appeal in years to come and such issues might not be from any major city, D.C., or the victor’s home town. I’m reminded of the interesting issue from the towns of Rock Island and Sterling, Illinois, which jointly published a newspaper which had a screaming headline: “WAR!” in red letters taking most of the front page, issued at the beginning of the Iraq war in 1991. It was a non-discript newspaper from two somewhat small towns but the headline beat anything I’ve seen from any of the major cities.

And then there are the clever headlines such as the pair of issues from Florida during the controversial election of 2000 with headlines proclaiming “BUSH ELECTED” on Nov. 8 and then “BUSH ELECTED II” on Dec. 14. They are an unusual pair from an unusual election, and published in Florida which was at the center of the controversy.

This is the fun of collecting–finding those obscure, fascinating newspapers which have an interesting or clever visual appeal; issues not commonly found within collecting circles.

What’s your thought on collecting newspapers from the election?

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One Response to “Anything from the election worth saving?”

  1. Paul Sarna on November 3rd, 2008 1:50 am

    Well since I live in Washington D.C., I’m especially prone to believe that the the Washington Post and Washington Times are probably the best to have on the election (for obvious reasons).

    One time in particular (non-election related) that I bought a hugh batch of the Washington Post was when Watergate’s “Deep Throat” was made known a few years ago. Sometimes I worry that the younger crowd does not appreciate and care about history the way they should….maybe that’s just me.

    Tim, the NY Post and NY Newsday also had a hugh “WAR!” headline in 1991 (though not in red like the one you cited)

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