Obtaining the Value of a Newspaper or Collection…

May 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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 info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

Old Newspapers… New Value…

September 10, 2015 by · 6 Comments 

Blog-9-10-2015-New-Orleans-PicayuneWe just became aware of a post featured on The Atlantic in regards to a large collection of newspapers from New Orleans that is quite interesting. Please enjoy:

Old Newspapers, New Value – How 30,000 antique New Orleans newspapers listed on Craigslist found a new home.

Do Old and Antique Newspapers Have Any Collectible Value?

October 25, 2013 by · 766 Comments 

It is not often I travel to Yahoo for answers to some of the more meaningful questions of life: Where did we come from? What is the purpose of Life? Do old newspapers have value? However, I recently came upon a post on Yahoo Voices which did a decent job of handling this last question.  It begins:

You’ve Happened Upon a Stack of Old Newspapers…Some Have Historic Headlines! Are They Worth Anything?

Let face it, old newspapers don’t get much respect. In today’s world, they’re generally seen as material for the recycler. And years ago, many libraries simply tossed them out after converting them to micro or digital files. But do old or antique newspapers have any collectible value? The answer is a definite…maybe!

Newspapers have been around almost as long as the Gutenberg Press. And in general they’ve been seen as expendable–meant to be read a time or two and then thrown away, or used for fish wrap or some other convenient purpose. But newspapers also have tremendous historic value… (read more)

 (Unfortunately, the Yahoo article has since expired. If anyone has discovered great articles regarding the value of newspapers, please let us know and we’ll consider adding it. In the meantime, feel free to use the www.RareNewspapers.com website for comparables.)

Values for first section only newspapers…

May 20, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Fellow collector Morris Brill asks a question which may be on many collectors’ minds:

“If a collector has only the first section of a newspaper containing the reporting of the entire historic event how much is the monetary and collector value depreciated because the entire paper is not available? Is it worthwhile to collect a ‘first section’ only newspaper?”

In my opinion, there is not much decrease in value for not having the entire newspaper if the complete report of the “event” is contained within the first section. Some newspapers–particularly Sunday editions–can be extremely bulky with nothing but superfluous material, so it is not surprising that, in many cases, only first sections were saved.

Some purists might disagree, but rarely do we get requests from collectors wanting only complete newspapers. Many “first section only” issues of 20th century events will be found on our website, and I tend to price such at 80% to 90% of the value of a complete newspaper.

In some cases it can be difficult to tell if the complete issue is present. Some newspapers note the number of pages in the dateline, and others might mention the number of sections. Where neither exist I look for a table of content to see if there are reports on pages beyond what are present. If I have no way of determining, and I am unsure of the issue is complete, I tend to note within the description something like “…presumed complete in 24 pages…” just in case it could be proven to me otherwise.

The value of a newspaper… impacted by content…

April 12, 2010 by · 7 Comments 

One of the common questions received at Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers is “What elements are involved in determining the collectible value of a newspaper?”   Several posts on this subject may be viewed at:  “Determining the Value of an Historic Newspaper“.   Two of the elements which drive the collectible value of a paper are content and age.  For example, the $0.50-$1.00 newsstand price of a Washington Post, USA Today, or Chicago Tribune with the 1st report on the election of President Obama quickly rose to $35 a month (and higher) after the event (content), and will likely be valued at many times this amount in 20+ years (age).

In contrast, we recently came across a newspaper whose value increased by more than 700% (due to content – a photo) before the end of the day of its initial printing.  Our find… the May 1, 1945 Mediterranean edition of Stars and Stripes.  The front cover printed the famous photo of Benito Mussolini shown after his execution.  In an effort to show a little discretion, the photo is not shown within this post, but may be viewed at:  http://www.rarenewspapers.com/view/568477?acl=779383924

Although there have been times when the collectible value of a newspaper increased by the following day, we’d love to know of other pre-2000 events which resulted in an increase in the value of the newspaper on the same day the issue hit the newsstands.  If you know of any, feel free to share with the collectible community.

Setting values for collectible newspapers…

September 19, 2008 by · 518 Comments 

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 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.

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, 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.

The April (2020) Newsletter from Rare & Early Newspapers…

April 17, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Monthly Newsletter ~ Rare & Early Newspapers
Welcome to the April 2020 edition of our monthly newsletter. Our hope and prayer is for everyone’s health and general well-being.
This month we’d like to direct your attention to newly discounted items on our website, two historical items of Jewish interest, brand new items (just released), a continued opportunity to “tell your story”, and a bonus discount for items posted on eBay. Please enjoy.
*Discounted Newspapers – 50% off – We are offering well over 200 items (over 100 new items) at a 50% discount through May 14, 2020. The prices shown already reflect the discount.
New Titles, New Topics, New Listings – We’ve added over 25 new items to our website since the April catalog was released. The set includes a few titles which we’ve never offered and a variety of new topics: New Offerings
Two Great Jewish-Themed Items – We’ve just listed two new items on eBay which have rare, historic, Judaic reports – one being listed as the 2nd most significant report in Jewish-American history:
Speaking of eBay – From now through Sunday at midnight we are offering our Buy It Now (fixed price) eBay items at 20% off for cart totals which eclipse $200 (excluding storage options and certificates): eBay Discount
Catalog 293 – Enjoy the remaining items from our latest catalog of historic newspapers. The most collectible items may be viewed at: Key Catalog 293 Issues
Tell Your Story – Dozens of collectors have already responded to our offer to tell their newspaper collecting story. We’ll be posting them at random on the History’s Newsstand Blog over the next few months. What’s been posted thus far may be viewed at:
My Collecting Story
In case you missed it, please know it is not too late to participate. The offer, as it was written a few weeks ago stated:
Are you climbing the walls? Are you looking for something to do that will enable you to stay indoors yet won’t cost you a penny? After all, one can only spend so many hours binge-streaming movies, documentaries, and TV shows before boredom sets in. Additionally, since many of our collecting friends have little to no income stream at the moment (not to mention the hit our retirement portfolios have taken), we’d like to offer everyone an opportunity to do something a little different.
As most of you know, we at Rare & Early Newspapers maintain the History’s Newsstand Blog – which is an effort to spread the love of the hobby. While most of us have experienced the joy of preserving history, reading news from the day it was first reported, and finding hidden gems buried within newspapers we’ve collected, the average person has no idea the collectible even exists. Yet, growing the hobby helps us all as the more people who discover the pleasures spawned by collecting original newspapers, the more issues are preserved (not discarded due to the belief they have no value), and the more their value increases over time. It’s a win-win-win (we win, they win, and the preservation of history through available original reporting wins). So,what am I suggesting?
Would you consider guest-writing a post for the History’s Newsstand Blog?
I would like to offer three topics to consider:
  • Which issue 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? Tell us your story.
If you decide to contribute please send your “post” to me at guy@rarenewspapers.com – or simply reply to this email. I will gather them together and begin to post them over the next few months. I will only include your initials and state – no personal contact information will be shown. As an added bonus, all who contribute will receive a discount code for 10% off a future website order. Since income for many is currently limited, and others who have more to spare are using it to help family, friends and others who are in need (by far the greater priority), the coupon will not expire until the end of the year so as to allow things to settle and then rebound economically. Note: the coupon may be used for any-size order, but may only be used once.
Please know this “discount” is in no way intended to increase our sales. Although we are all currently stressed economically, I know Who holds my future – so all is well when viewed through the lens of eternity. However, I do want to say “thank you” to those who are willing to share their thoughts with the collecting community. Let’s just have some fun in the midst of a difficult situation! 🙂

Thanks for collecting with us.Sincerely,

Guy Heilenman & The Rare & Early Newspapers Team
RareNewspapers.com
570-326-1045

Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers . . .
           . . . History’s Newsstand
“…desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.” Hebrews 13:18b
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The magic of old newspapers, in 1844…

May 24, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

An 1844 issue of the “Adams Sentinel” (Oct. 14th) from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, has an interesting front page item concerning the fascination of reading old newspapers, noting in part: “…few preserve them…brings up the very age, with all its bustle…marks its genius & its spirit more than the most labored description of the historical…” with more (see). An interesting perspective on the value of collecting old newspapers, written 174 years ago.

Lincoln Assassination Newspapers Atlas…

January 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Rick Brown been collecting Lincoln assassination newspapers for over 50 years. He has also been a historic newspaper dealer and bought, sold, or brokered in excess of one million historic newspapers. Currently he has in about 200 original Lincoln assassination newspapers – Both Union and confederate. In that same time he been setting aside reprints of the April 15, 1865 New York Herald as he came across Blog-2-18-2016-NY-Herald-Reprintsthem. In 1992 he self-published “An Atlas of Known April 15, 1865 New York Herald Reprints.” In that work, all pages of 17 different reprint versions were shown. With concentrated efforts in 2015 he contacted a few major institutions and has now discovered 48 different/variants of this edition. His online version of the current atlas that shows all pages of 45  different variants. Also included in this online atlas is background information about the reprints – who published, when, how many pages, etc. The URL for his online Atlas is: http://www.historyreference.org/newspapers/assassination/

An average of three April 15, 1865 New York Herald’s are listed on eBay EVERY WEEK – that’s over 150 per year. Almost all of these listings claim there’s is an “authentic,” “original,” or “genuine” edition.  In the past 15 years he has been conducting weekly searches for “April 15, 1865 New York Herald” on eBay. There have been approximately 2,250 listings for this edition on eBay and ONLY TWICE the listings were actually original editions! Also, since he has been going to estate sales and auctions for over 20 years, he has seen a few hundred of these editions offered – NOT ONE OF THEM were an original!! Over 95% of these reprints were produced over 100 years ago so they LOOK OLD, Looking old does not necessarily mean it is an original. Buyer beware – Collector value for these reprint editions is $10-$20 depending on condition.

If you have a Lincoln-related Web site or know someone that does, please have them add a link to my online atlas.

Rick Brown
http://www.historyreference.org
A Nonprofit Organization

Prices of newspapers… How have the changed?

February 20, 2015 by · 10 Comments 

One of the questions we often receive at Rare Newspapers relates to the Blog_Guy_11_2012collectible investment value of newspapers over time. Most indicate they do not collect for investment reasons; rather, they do so for the love of “History in your hands.” The embrace our motto: “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” Newspapers provide glimpses of history in the context of both the exciting and mundane of the era in which it was reported. Still, the question remains. How has the value of Rare & Early Newspapers progressed over time? We posed this question to our founder, Tim Hughes, and the following was his response:

We have to keep in mind that this hobby is a very small one, and when I began 39+ years ago there essentially was no established market, nor any sort of price guide which offered a baseline of values based on content, condition, etc.

I came from the coin collecting hobby and knew from it that the more rare the item, the more values increased through the years. Common date pennies were selling in the 1970’s for about the same prices as from a decade earlier, while the rare dates/coins had increased substantially. I took this information with me when I opted for a hobby which had yet to be exploited by an established collecting industry such as coins, stamps, books, etc. Although I purchased veraciously during my earlier years, always fearful the supply of 150+ year old newspapers would dry up, I have found that the common, generic material was always plentiful—and still is today. What has not been plentiful are newspapers with historic reports, and newspapers which are themselves very rare. The “less plentiful” issues have appreciated considerably over the last 39 years, while generic issue values are really not much different today than they were 39 years ago. Example: I always offered a 10-issue wholesale lot ever since my first catalog, then priced at $19.50. The same lot today is $24.95, and I suspect some of that increase is more to help offset increased shipping costs. And I think we have a virtually unending supply.

How much have values of historic & rare issues increased? It can be difficult to say as we have never made a point to keep comparative records as it seemed a bit meaningless for our purposes. But in general I would say they have increased 5-fold to 10-fold in the post 30 years. I’m not going to consider my first 9 years in the business as any sort of gauge as I was still feeling my way thru the hobby; raising & lowering prices as my customers would react (or not react). An anecdotal story: early on in my enterprise I purchased a bound volume of a Santa Fe, NM newspaper from 1881. Amongst the 150 or so issues was a run of, perhaps, 40 issues each having a little reward ad for the capture of Billy the Kid. Figuring a novice such as myself coming across the volume, and the fact that there were so many issues with the ad, I logically presume it was not very rare. I think I sold those issues for $35 or so each. If I would have those issues today I think we could get $700 each. That Tim_2010doesn’t mean the value has increased by 2000%. It speaks more to my ignorance of what they should have sold for 35 years ago. Unfortunately that incident wasn’t my last such learning experience.

Perhaps one of the more “common” of the very historic issues would be the Gentleman’s Mag. with the Declaration of Independence. We sold it for under $2000 ten years ago, and now we sell them for $4000. So this document in this title has doubled in 10 years, and I could never say that it is “rare” as we encounter this issue perhaps twice a year. It is extremely historic, but not truly rare. Truly rare items would have increased much more dramatically. In fact truly rare items don’t come on the market any more. I have few qualms offering a truly rare event/newspaper for 4 or 5 times our last price if we only had it twice in 39 years.

As is always the case–and as it truly should be in a free market economy–the collectors ultimately determine the prices of our material. There have always been high-income collectors who have kept the rare items rising in value at a consistent rate, while more common items have languished in value because collectors are not taking them off our shelves.

I cannot say that there has been any period over the last 39 years when the hobby was either “hot” or “cold”. I think whether values have rising nominally or dramatically, they have done so in a rather consistent curve, unaffected by the economy or stock market ups & downs.

I still believe the hobby is very much in its infancy. The vast majority of people have no idea that our hobby exists, and I have always felt the time will come when that will change. I don’t have to tell you that in a comparative sense with other collectables, our hobby seem dramatically undervalued.

Tim

People collect rare newspapers for various reasons – investment purposes being one of them. Finding hidden historical gems, preserving history, immersing oneself in an era and/or event, as a companion collectible to another collectible interest, etc. What a great hobby!

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