A recent inquiry by a concerned customer about the words “fifth series” printed in the dateline of his “Niles’ National Register” prompted me to share my comments with our blog readers should you have similar concerns of such notes atop this and other titles held in your collection.
Through the life of any newspaper which lasted beyond ten years it would not be uncommon for the title to change, either slightly or dramatically. This could happen for a number of reasons, such as the merging with another newspaper, the purchase of the paper by a new publisher, new city of publication, an altering in the size, theme, or format of the newspaper, etc. While some titles made no note of such changes in their volume and issue numbering, some chose to create a “new series” and start anew with the volume & issue numbering.
“The Weekly Register“, which began in Baltimore, chose the latter. The photos show five of the title or location changes in a 38 year time spread, not to mention size and type font changes as well. Note that its location moved from Baltimore to “Washington City” to Philadelphia.
Fortunately Niles chose to also retain the original volume numbering as well (right side of the dateline) as well as the “whole number”, or the number since the very first issue was published. Other titles did not choose to do so, making it more difficult to determine the newspaper’s age.