My collecting story… M.B. in Sedro-Woolley, WA…

April 9, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Below we continue our series in which we post the “stories” graciously submitted by our collecting friends during the pandemic of 2020.

I’ve been collecting newspapers of historic events for 50 years. In a purchase last year I was interested in a July 1960 New York Times front page story on the Democratic Party’s nomination of John Kennedy for president. As I perused the inside content I found the real treasure: the Books of The Times review of Harper Lee’s new novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” written by Herbert Mitgang. Many years ago, I worked with his son Lee Mitgang at the Associated Press in New York City.

As additional “stories” are posted they will be available at: MY COLLECTING STORY. We did this many years ago as well – and their posts are also included.

 

My collecting story… J.R. in Ipswich (UK)…

April 7, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Below we continue our series in which we post the “stories” graciously submitted by our collecting friends during the pandemic of 2020.

In 1945 at the end of the war I was eight and saw my father save the Daily Telegraph proclaiming VE (victory in Europe) Day. I was already an avid newspaper reader (no television then) and decided to add newspapers I found interesting – VJ Day, Nuremberg Trials, Princess Elizabeth wedding, Dakota plane lost in the Alps etc. Soon people gave me old newspapers they had – an aunt gave me Edward/ Mrs Simpson abdication papers and my grandparents two 18th century ones.

This slow rate of collecting continued until the mid 1980s when my income allowed me to spend on myself as well as a wife and the children. I found book shops in London, where we lived at the time, where I could fill the gaps in years which were blank and have reference to most historical events, particularly those relating to improvements in social well-being. By this time I had all years from 1661 and references to most riots, bread marches, demonstrations for improved parliamentary representation, and suffragettes.

The children having long departed and my wife having died I found I had more time (and money) and now am collecting titles as my main interest. This means I am acquiring and understanding how newspapers were able to develop and change their format and means of attracting customers.The growth of size, number of pages, type change, introduction of illustrations and then photographs. Also the relationships of one newspaper to another and the takeovers, combinations and title changes. Now of course I am monitoring their decline.

By collecting different titles I have been able to acquire many short lived extreme left and right wing newspapers and also Irish Republican ones.

After 75 years collecting I now have over 3600 newspapers going back to 1642 and 1900 different titles. What am I going to do with them? None of my family wants them although I am still working on one son-in-law, so they are being offered to my local museum in Ipswich- after many more years of my collecting!

As additional “stories” are posted they will be available at: MY COLLECTING STORY. We did this many years ago as well – and their posts are also included.

 

My collecting story… R.P. in Boise, Idaho…

March 31, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

As an attempt to make good use of the extra time many of us now have as a result of the current restrictions on mobility, about a week ago (from this post) we sent out an email asking collectors to submit their collecting stories. Three topics were suggested:

  • Which newspaper within your collection do you value the most and why?
  • Have you ever found something you consider special within an issue you’ve collected that you did not know was present prior to your decision to obtain it? If so, what did you find?
  • Why do you collect rare/historic newspapers? How did you get started?

The response to-date has been overwhelming (and new entries are welcome – just email them to me at guy@rarenewspapers.com). Over the next few months our plan is to post 1-2 per week. Today we begin with a contribution from R.P. in Boise, Idaho. Enjoy.

In response to your request for posts regarding your customer’s collections I would like to answer a bit of all three suggested topics. 

I have been a rare book collector for over 45 years.  I am a native Oregonian who lives in Idaho.  As a Northwesterner with an interest in history, early on I began to collect first editions of accounts of early expeditions and travels to the western United States.  Because Lewis and Clark reported the first overland expedition to the Pacific across mostly territory controlled by the United States, I needed to begin adding their expedition items to my collection.                                               

In my early collecting days, Lewis and Clark first editions were beyond my means.  However, accounts of their expedition exploits, and President Jefferson’s early messages to Congress, were available in newspapers and some magazines.  So I began collecting as many newspaper recordings about the expedition as I could find.  My collection isn’t huge, but it provides an immediacy which even first edition books don’t provide since all books (even Congressional Journals) were printed well after the activities being reported.  The close proximity of a newspaper account to the actual event occurrence is a primary reason why I collect newspapers and 18th Century American magazines.

Your second suggestion asks about surprises.  From your last catalog I purchased a newspaper from 1848 which contained a Congressional recording of three votes made by Abraham Lincoln while he was in the House of Representatives.  Although I am not a Lincoln collector, I thought this was interesting  and worth owning.  Also, the price was right.  When I perused the Newspaper, I saw two articles regarding the soon to be completed establishment of a new Oregon Territory.  The writers of both articles (one was a Georgia senator and the other was South Carolina’s John Calhoun) advocated that immigrants to Oregon be able to bring their slaves to the territory with the retention of their slave status.  Happily, Oregon did not become a slave territory nor a slave state.

These articles fit well with my reasonably large collection of books, maps and ephemera related to the Oregon Territory which encompassed the present states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and parts of Wyoming and Montana.

As additional “stories” are posted they will be available at: MY COLLECTING STORY. We did this many years ago as well – and their posts are also included.

My collecting story… Graham Dukes…

November 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I have been collecting newspapers longer than most fellow enthusiasts, beginning when I was at school in England in 1943. My father went into a small second-hand shop and noticed that the owner, who sold candlesticks, old dinner plates and suchlike, was wrapping up the items in copies of the London evening “Star” for 1818, that he was tearing out of a bound volume. There were about 150 papers left and my father, who was well aware of my budding historical interest, bought the whole volume for threepence (10c).
From there I continued myself, often picking up items from shopkeepers who had no idea what they were. Nearly 70 years later, with several thousand items in store, (particularly London national papers, but also items from many other countries) some of my prize items, going back to the earlier sixteenth century, are still those that I found in the English back streets during my time as a schoolboy and later as a university student!
Graham Dukes

My Collecting Story… Simon Marshall-Jones…

September 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

headtats_simon_marshall-jonBeing an artist and writer, I possess a fascination with the world and the universe that isn’t limited by borders. Ever since I was a young boy, living in a small Welsh town, I have always wanted to know about the wonders out there, and before I had reached the end of my first decade I had an avid interest in both archaeology and astronomy, as well as other sciences. I have carried that abiding sense of wonder into my adult life and it continues to inform my everyday existence.

Collecting is as much part of my genes and psyche as my diabetes is part of my genetic make-up and creativity is a part of my psychology. Over the last four decades or so, I have collected everything from pop cultural artefacts (obscure vinyl records from seriously underground outfits, for instance) to high-brow books on unusual subjects (eg, the sociology and politics of death, and the history of Freemasonry). However, the one collecting habit that has given me the greatest pleasure is the one that harks back to those childhood interests – working towards amassing a complete run of Scientific American, from its foundation in 1845 until the present day.

I fell into collecting the magazine quite by accident. In each and every current issue is a column that looks back at articles and items of news from previous issues in its long history – 50, 100 & 150 years ago. It occurred to me that they were only the highlights, mere gilded snippets of a broader tapestry, inevitably giving only a minute glimpse of the fuller picture. I felt that, rather than wonder what else there was in each of these vintage issues, I would chase them down and read them for myself. Not only is this venerable magazine an almost complete history of science, it is also a wonderful tracker of social history as well. The progress of scientific discovery was much slower the, or so it appears, but no less momentous for all that. Scientific American spans steam, automobiles, airplanes, the American Civil War, both World Wars, the discovery of penicillin, insulin, computers, man’s first exploratory ventures into space and into the depths of the oceans – and it’s all been reported in the pages of Scientific American over the past nigh-on 165 years. That in itself persuades me that collecting the magazine is an exceptionally worthwhile enterprise, and often sends a frisson of delight down my spine.

My Collecting Story… Robert (Bob) Cassidy…

September 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

robert_cassidyA few  years ago, I bought a newspaper. I had a collection that I had started saving as a youngster, as events happened, but ordering one [again, as an adult] opened up a whole new world.  Now I have the Hughes’ papers in cases, and earlier collection in storage. While I have never met Guy nor Doreen, I feel that they are friends, who have been with me during some pretty tough times. What is the most exciting thing  that has happened during the collection process? For a couple of generations my family had thought that my great great grandfather had been buried in a mass grave at the site of the Battle of Fairoaks in Virginia during the Civil War. Last year Doreen found a newspaper that indicated that he, William White,  had survived the battle and had been transported with other wounded to the D.C. area. What could be more exciting  than that?

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Thanks for sharing your story Dave. If you would like to share your story of how you became interested in collecting rare and/or historic newspapers, e-mail it to guy@rarenewspapers.com 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.

My Collecting Story… David Cunningham…

August 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

example_1666_london-gazetteI started collecting newspapers about 2-3 years ago. Originally I collected US coins and baseball cards but transitioned to picture postcards from the early 1900’s. I wanted to go back further in time so I started to collect letters/stampless letters from the 1800’s including a few neat letters from the Civil War. In my quest to find earlier documents I stumbled upon your rarenewspaper website. I was amazed that newspapers could be had from the 1600/1700’s. Too bad I didn’t find out sooner.

george_washington_script_siMy favorite era is newspapers from the Revolutionary War and the early formation of the United States government. Friends and relatives are amazed when I show them a newspaper with George Washington’s name in it. A few of the papers have names of officers who were engaged in the Revolutionary war. To me that makes it very historical since I know an active participant actually read that paper.

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Thanks for sharing your story Dave. If you would like to share your story of how you became interested in collecting rare and/or historic newspapers, e-mail it to guy@rarenewspapers.com 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.

My Collecting Story… Paul Sarna…

August 6, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

kentucky-derby1The first newspaper I believe I ever collected was for the 1968 Kentucky Derby followed later that month by the ’68 Indianapolis 500 (timely to write this since it’s the month of May [when Paul wrote this] and I’m going to the Indy 500 once again this year).  I was only 6 years old at the time, but proud years later, that I started collecting newsworthy newspapers at such an early age. 1968, needless to say, was quite a year and I’m glad to this day that I never sold any of the newspapers I collected when I first started (though I admit I did not keep them in the best shape I could have….I didn’t realize 41 years later that I’d still be collecting newspapers!!!). I think the first newspaper that I ever bought multiple copies of was for the first Ali-Frazier fight in 1971, but I am not sure.

Some of the best surprises I have had in collecting?….well 2 come to mind. One was purchasing, at a flea market in New York City, a Daily Morning Chronicle (Washington D.C.) of April 15, 1865 for about $20 in the late 80’s (I’m still kicking myself for even THINKING about selling that gem). Another purchase came at my table as a street vendor from a person I had never met, but came to my table to sell me this oversized box of newspapers.  I initially did not want to purchase them because I used a handcart to bring my table and inventory home and the box was big, but luckily I didn’t delay the purchase and bought them [for $35] by just glancing over the top half of the stack. When I got home I saw a New York Herald Titanic first report with some wear at the fold. The newspaper seemed to have multiple section so I initially let it go and continued looking through the stack. At some point it then dawn on me that these might not merely be sections of the same newspaper and when I looked again, neatly tucked in were Titanic first reports in the New York Times and the New York World in great condition!

The most rewarding part of my experience with newspapers was the street vending of old newspapers (and magazines) I did in New York City from 1988 until 2004. Even though I did not have many repeat customers (or not as many as I would have liked), it was rewarding. Not just for merely “making a living”, but for the people that had that certain look on their faces when they saw something that caught them by surprise or for when tourists from all over the country and world would take a photo of my stand as a memory of their visit.

Newspapers collecting is something I will ALWAYS do, and now is a good time to thank Tim, Guy, Doreen, Marc and everybody in the Rare Newspapers staff for helping me pursue my endless goal of collecting newspapers.

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Thanks for sharing your story Paul. If you would like to share your story of how you became interested in collecting rare and/or historic newspapers, e-mail it to guy@rarenewspapers.com 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.

My Collecting Story… Gregory Christiano…

July 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

gregory-christiano1Many people think of a newspaper as ephemera, something to be thrown away after you read it or to be used to wrap fish or make silly hats. I never looked at it that way. After college graduation in 1969 I began to get an interest in antiquarian books, maps, prints and other collectibles. It wasn’t until I saw an ad in the paper for historic and antique newspapers. I sent away for the catalogue and notice a reference to a baseball game with line and box scores in a New York paper from 1865. I was curious and spent $2.00 to purchase it. Well, that got me hooked. Being an avid baseball fan, I lost all control and purchased dozens of those early papers with accounts of baseball games. In those early days (1970’s) it was relatively inexpensive to buy 19th century newspapers. There were only a few dealers and I became a regular customer. Timothy Hughes was one of my very first suppliers. I was never disappointed with the condition and the authenticity of my purchases.

When I first started collecting these papers, I had to learn about their fragility the hard way. I try to keep my collection pre-1870’s because those newspapers were printed on rag cloth and can be preserved a very long time. The technology to print newspapers on pulp had been around since the mid-nineteenth century but really picked up by the later`part of the 1870’s. My collection includes late 19th-century and twentieth century issues. Most of them are crumbling to the touch because of the sawdust-composite nature of newsprint. My bound volume of the NY Herald from 1877 is turning to dust. I do have a unique bound volume of the New York Times from early 1940’s printed on silk for archive storage. I picked that up at an auction in the early 1980s. To this day it looks brand new! My 20th-century collection is becoming brittle with each day, even after taking precautions to preserve these cherished papers. They are discolored and disintegrating. That’s why libraries have placed all their collections on microfiche.

I just don’t have the discretionary cash to have a professional paper conservator preserve my entire collection. I use the standard acid-free buffered boxes and folders (careful to keep the newspaper unfolded), storing my collection in a dark environment with a stable temperature between 65 and 70 degrees.

Most of my collection consists of mostly 19-century New York City papers – Sunday Mercury, Herald, Tribune, World, Sun, Times, Daily Star, Daily Graphic, then into the twentieth-century with Herald-Tribune, World, Telegram and Sun, Journal American, Mirror, Daily News. Then I branched out to Colonial and Revolutionary period, with titles like Dunlap and Claypool American Daily Advertiser (1790s – I have about four issues), The Aurora (Benjamin Franklin Bache – 1790s), Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser from 1793 [the forerunner to Dunlap’s paper].

I also have some sporting magazines, Porter’s Spirit of the Times, Wilke’s Spirit of the Times, and of course, Harper’s Weekly and others. Today I concentrate on specific issues of interest for me, like early reporting on rapid transit in New York City [the New York Daily Graphic has some terrific illustrations of the early elevated lines, like the Gilbert Elevated RR, sporting events, Civil War accounts etc.

Some rare titles: Day’s New-York Bank Note List, Counterfeit Detector and Price Current. published 1826-1859 [I collect bank notes and coins also]… Demorest’s New York Illustrated News…a couple of 1864 copies. Greenleaf’s New-York Journal & Patriotic Register (late 1790s) – I have a couple of these. On and on and on. They are too numerous to list here. I’ve been collecting for over 30 years, and am still fascinated with every issue I have in my collection.

I am on mailing lists and receive constant updates on what is available. The prices have gone up, but still reasonable. What copies I can’t obtain, I can see at the New York Public Library where I go to access their microfilm department to read and photocopy some of the rarer issues. There is nothing like reading history as it happened, by eyewitnesses as the events unfolded. With the future of newspapers in question, collecting them is even more important. Yesterday’s newspapers are not dead, not irrelevant, but still alive:

This is what really happened, reported by a free press to a free people. It is the raw material of history; it is the story of our own times. -Henry Steel Commager, preface to a history of the New York Times, 1951

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Thanks for sharing your story Gregory.  If you would like to share your story of how you became interested in collecting rare and/or historic newspapers, e-mail it to guy@rarenewspapers.com 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.

My Collecting Story… Brendan Dwyer…

July 9, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Here is my antique newspaper collecting story. Not how I got started, but in the middle:

nantucketgif—–I moved to Nantucket [see 19th century image] in 1997 and fell in love with it’s rich history—-whaling, Quakers, isolation, American Revolution neutralism, etc.—Well–in 1795 a bank robbery occurred here where around $20,000 was taken in various international currency ( keep in mind the date and the world travels of the whaling industry). This robbery  shocked and shucked the town whereby feuds developed and lasted for generations. All very interesting. Well, I found out the court dates of the accused robbers and the newspapers which covered the proceedings. I had been buying antique  newspapers from [Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers] for a number of years, so I searched [the] site and found several of the newspapers which covered the court proceedings.

Keep in mind this was from 1795!!!!!  Just amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Thanks for sharing your story Brendan.  If you would like to share your story of how you became interested in collecting rare and/or historic newspapers, e-mail it to guy@rarenewspapers.com 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.

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