My Collecting Story… Richard Sloan…

May 28, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

lincoln_assassination_ny_heI’ve been interested in the Lincoln assassination ever since I was thirteen years old.   The 19th century images really grabbed me, and continue to give me a sense of what took place.  As a New Yorker, my interest expanded to Lincoln’s N.Y.C. funeral, Lincoln’s prior trips to NY, Mrs. Lincoln’s NYC shopping sprees, and John Wilkes Booth’s activities in the city.  In the course of all of this, I also became interested in 19th century NY photographers, theaters, hotels, and department stores.  It has become obvious to me that period photographs convey and impart just so much.  The old newspapers turned out to be the missing ingredient.  There is nothing like holding an old NYC newspaper in my hand (or a weekly like Harper’s, Leslie’s, Gleason’s, etc;).  Turning old pages that someone had turned in 1865 doesn’t just provide research information; it takes me back in time and shows me what life was like.  It’s a wonderful experience to re-capture the sense of immediacy and news-gathering that someone had experienced back then when he or she turned those very same pages — whether it’s reading the details of Lincoln’s 1861 arrival in the city, reading the details of such events as his assassination, his funeral, finding out what parades took place in town the previous day, or what shows are currently playing in town.  Old newspapers are time machines!

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Thanks for sharing your story Richard. If you would like to share your story of how you became interested in collecting rare and/or historic newspapers, e-mail it to and place “My Story” in the subject field. Although not necessary, feel free to include an image. Please do not include your e-mail address or a personal website as part of the text of your story. We will post collector stories every few weeks and will send you a notice when your story appears. Thank you for your contribution to the community.