A video look at Rare & Early Newspapers – revisted…

September 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Over the past 10 years we (RareNewspapers.com) have put together a series of videos designed to help educate novices about the hobby of collecting historic newspapers.  While some may be a smidge old (compared to today’s high-tech standards), the information within is still pertinent. Pick a topic of interest, turn up the volume, and enjoy our perspective on the collectible.

Collecting 20th Century Authentic Newspapers

Enhance Your Sports Collectible with Historic Ne…

Collecting Scientific American Issues w/ Historic Content

Collecting 19th Century Authentic Newspapers

Original Wild West Era Newspapers – Rare Newspapers

Meet the Staff of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers

Harper’s Weekly & The Civil War – Illustrated Collectibles!

The History of Rare & Historic Newspapers & The Hobby!

Collecting 18th Century (and earlier) Authentic Newspapers

The Rare Newspapers’ Private Collection – Collecting Ideas

Rare Newspapers as an Educational Tool

Alister & Paine Magazine visits Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers…

December 10, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

A few weeks ago the staff of Alister & Paine Magazine came to South Williamsport, PA to visit our historic newspapers archives and to interview Tim for the purpose of introducing their readership to the world of Rare & Early Newspapers.   It was fun getting to know such well-traveled individuals – introducing them to the hobby and hearing of their varied experiences. Sharing the love for collecting historic newspapers is always a pleasure… and based upon their reactions, “History continues to never be more fascinating than when read from the day it was first reported. The feature story may be viewed at:

Alister & Paine Magazine

Thanks Jenna, Brian, and Kaitlin

America history in British newspapers…

May 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

After 35 years in the hobby I can honestly say today as I said then: collecting early newspapers is an inexpensive hobby when compared to other collectibles of like vintage. And the reason is basic economics: supply and demand. Although the collecting fraternity has increased through the years, and the supply of early newspapers has dwindled some, prices still remain a relative bargain for material over 100—and over 200—years old.

Exceptions exist. American newspapers of the 18th century are few and far between today. When I began in the hobby in the mid-1970’s, finding the occasional 18th century bound volume of American newspapers was rather common. I even purchased a number of volumes of colonial and Revolutionary War newspapers printed in the colonies. Such purchases are very rare today, and consequently prices for American titles before the1790’s can be exorbitant for many collectors.

Which brings me to this topic. We are fortunate in this hobby to have a terrific alternative to American newspapers of the colonial era: British newspapers. Keeping in mind that the American colonies were British possessions at the time, considerable American reporting was not uncommon (and I can attest that American newspapers of the same period had considerable European reports!). In fact most British newspapers took their accounts directly from American newspapers so the reporting was identical. And the added bonus of British newspaper reports is commentary with a British bias, offering an interesting perspective to what we remember from history class.

Hobbyists of 25 – 50 years ago eschewed British titles because American titles were so common. But today the collecting market is much different. In many respects I see today’s availability & pricing of British titles much like the situation with American titles 50 years ago. We can find major American events of the colonial era at prices still under $1000 (higher for the “best of the best”) in the London Chronicle or like titles, and under $300 for second tier events.  We find there is typically a 5 fold price difference between reports in American versus British newspapers. We’ve sold the Boston Tea Party for $1150 in the London Chronicle. In an American newspaper a like account would exceed $6000.  We’ve sold the Boston Massacre in the London Chronicle for the same price. And it would easily exceed $6000 in an American title. One of the most significant documents of the Revolutionary War, “The Causes & Necessity For Taking Up Arms”, we sell as a $340 item in the Gentleman’s Magazine, yet we sold it for $5550 in the New England Chronicle. Same complete document, both from 1775, one within the budget of most collectors, the other not.

But prices are rising for British imprints as more collectors are becoming aware that if they want their collection to contain all the significant events of the 18th century, British newspapers and magazines are their only alternative.  The Declaration of Independence remains the most desired event for American collectors. An American newspaper printing is beyond the budgets of almost all collectors, if available at all. An auction price of $50,000 – $75,000 would be expected, while we recently sold the same document in the London Chronicle for $8775. But I will also note it was not long ago that we sold it for $4450. Our current price for a front page account of the Battle of Lexington & Concord in the London Chronicle is $985. Our previous sale of the identical dated issue was $440.

Where will the hobby be with such events in another 25 years? Will all 18th century newspapers–American and British–be considered museum pieces? Much will determine where prices go and I will not hazard a guess. But I am pleased that as the hobby enters a crossroad in availability versus pricing, we currently have a reasonable path to follow for the foreseeable future. These are interesting times for the collecting fraternity.

The first newspapers in North Carolina…

February 14, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

James Davis was North Carolina’s first printer, having come from Virginia to New Bern in 1749 to print government work. On Aug. 9, 1751 he established the “North Carolina Gazette“, the first newspaper in North Carolina, which would continue until 1778. He also created the colony’s second periodical, “North Carolina Magazine, or Universal Intelligencer” on June 8, 1764, it lasting until 1768.

Shortly thereafter on Oct. 17, 1764 Andrew Steuart began in Wilmington the “North Carolina Gazette & Weekly Post-Boy“, and yet another printer, Adam Boyd, began in Wilmington as well the “Cape Fear Mercury” on Oct. 13, 1769. It wasn’t until after the Revolutionary War that newspaper publishing in the colony began to flourish.

Entry point to the Rare Newspapers Collectible… 18th Century…

February 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Over the past month the History’s Newsstand Blog has explored the lower-end entry points into the hobby of collecting rare and early newspapers. This next installment takes us back to the 18th century.  The further we move back in time the higher (price-wise) is the entry point.  One of the common ways to keep your early (into the hobby) 18th century collecting budget under control is to start by collecting newspapers/magazines from England.  Typically, reports on American affairs found within British publications cost as little as 1/10 (and sometimes even less percentage-wise) than the corresponding reports in American issues.  With this in mind…

The following selection provides a glimpse of the wide variety of 18th century issues available valued at $25* and under.  Many more exist on the Rare Newspapers’ website, but others can be found throughout the collectible community as well. The item numbers for each are linked to corresponding images.

The oldest newspaper in the world…

120436 THE LONDON GAZETTE, England, dates ranging from 1726 to 1730  – This is the oldest continually published newspaper in the world, having begun in 1665 and is still being published today. Reporting is almost entirely concerned with Parliamentary items and European news with some advertisements near the back of the issue.  $18.00*

From Pre-Revolutionary War England…

121059 THE ST. JAMES CHRONICLE; OR, THE BRITISH EVENING POST, London, England, 1767. Nice engraving in the masthead makes this a displayable issue. Various news of the day and a wealth of ads, from not long before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. $18.00*

From Post-Revolutionary War England…

208968 THE GENERAL EVENING POST, London, 1792  A nice “typical” folio-size newspaper of 4 pages from the 18th century. There is a wealth of news of the day on the front page and inside pages with some ads scattered throughout as well.  $18.00*

By the town critic…

121100 THE CONNOISSEUR, London, 1755. See the photo below for an example of this title from our archives. An uncommon and early title “By Mr. Town, Critic & Censor General” as noted in the masthead. Done in editorial format.  $20.00*

From 18th century Scotland…

208447 THE EDINBURGH EVENING COURANT, Scotland, 1785.  A nice 18th century Scottish newspaper with the entire front page taken up with ads, with various news of the day on the inside pages. Some of the ads have illustrations as well. Complete in 4 pages, partial red-inked tax stamp on the front page, folio size, some light browning or dirtiness, but in generally nice condition.  $20.00*

Additional issues priced at $25* and under may be viewed at: Entry Level Newspapers

* All prices shown were valid as of the release date of this post.

View the following to explore the History’s Newsstand Blog’s featured posts on the upper end of the collectible: “Prices Realized” and “Most Collectible Issues“.

Entry point to the Rare Newspapers Collectible… 19th Century…

January 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

In the past the History’s Newsstand Blog has featured posts on the upper end of the collectible: “Prices Realized” and “Most Collectible Issues“.  We are now taking a look at the other end of the spectrum – (low cost) entry points into the hobby.  A few weeks ago we explored low cost issues from the 20th century.  This post moves back in time to the 19th century.

The following selection provides a glimpse of the wide variety of 19th century issues available valued at $15* and under.  Areas of interest include the War of 1812, religious-themed, youth-themed, snap-shots of 19th century city life, and more.  Many more exist on the Rare Newspapers’ website, but others can be found throughout the collectible community as well.  The item numbers for each are linked to corresponding images.

Introductory Issue from the 1800’s…

209016 An original issue from the 1800’s  to help jump start your collection.  This issue is guaranteed to be original, complete, and to be dated in the 1800’s.   We do not offer reproductions of any kind!  There is a limit of 10 issues per customer at this price.  See the images for examples of the condition and look of the issue you will receive.  The image shows several issues to give you a sense of the various titles/conditions you may receive, but please know this listing is for a single issue – at a great price. $3.00*

The War of 1812…

207496 COLUMBIAN CENTINEL, Boston, dated during the War of 1812.   The issue you will receive is similar to the issues shown in the image – slight wear, minor staining and foxing, etc..  The issue will be dated from during the War of 1812, and will have war related news and news of the day.  A great issue to own at an incredible price.  $7.00*

From France…

153338 GALIGNANI’S MESSENGER, Paris, 1837. An interesting newspaper from France but printed in English, and featuring a black-inked tax stamp on an inside page. Various news of advertisements. Four pages, nice condition. Note:  The policy/purpose of this title was to promote good feeling between England and France, and was highly regarded. $13.00*

19th century publication for youth…

152963 THE YOUTH’S LEDGER, New York, NY, 1887. “An interesting monthly for the Young” as is printed in the masthead. See the photo for an example of the “look” of this title from our archives. This is a nice issue to have from this location and period in history. Six pages approximately 16″x11″. $11.00*

Pittsburgh, PA… just before steel production…

153013 THE PITTSBURGH LEADER, Pittsburgh, PA, 1873. State, local and national news from this era.  Interesting to have news of the day from just before steel production hit in full force. See the photo for an example of this title from our archives. Note that the photo is “generic” and the issue you get will not have these specific photos or be of this specific date but will have the format as shown. 21″x17″. Four pages and in nice condition. $15.00*

Exploring the influence of war on domestic Life…

153036 ADVOCATE OF PEACE, (Hartford, Connecticut), 1834. An interesting magazine which has war as its theme, and the value of peace as opposed to war. Note that the photo is “generic” and the issue you get will not have this specific date but will have the format as shown. Forty-six pages, measuring 9″x6″, disbound without outer wrappers. $11.00*

Additional issues priced at $15* and under may be viewed at:  Entry Level Newspapers

* All prices shown were valid as of the release date of this post.

First newspaper in Nevada…

January 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

“Nevada” received its name from a Spanish word meaning “snow clad”.  Outside of the Native Americans one of the earliest settlements was by the Mormons at Genoa, in 1849, then part of California. It later would be attached to the Utah Territory, then became the Nevada Territory before being admitted as a state in 1864.

It was at the town of Genoa that the first newspaper in the state began in 1858, the “Territorial Enterprise“. Just a year later it moved to Carson City, and yet another year later to Virginia City where it continued until 1916. One of its claims to fame is having Samuel Clemens as a reporter and editor in the early 1860’s. Although issues from the 1870’s and 1880’s have been in our inventory for some years, issues from the 1860’s–particularly from the territorial period before statehood–are very difficult to find. (credit: “Printing In The Americas” by J. Oswald)

Entry point into the Rare Newspapers Collectible… 20th Century…

January 6, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

In the past the History’s Newsstand Blog has featured posts on the upper end of the collectible: “Prices Realized” and “Most Collectible Issues“.  To kick off the new year we thought it might be nice to look at the other end of the spectrum:  “Entry Points to the Rare Newspapers Collectible”.  Throughout this month we will target examples of the least expensive collectible newspapers available for each century.

Our journey begins with the 20th century…

The following selection provides a glimpse of the wide variety of issues available valued at $15* and under.  Areas of interest include shipping, finance, theater, historic events, and more.  Many more exist on the Rare Newspapers website, but others can be found throughout the collectible community as well.  The item numbers for each are linked to corresponding images.

A World War II newspaper from the Navy Yard…
575571 BEACON, Philadelphia Navy Yard, 1944  A military paper produced at the Navy Yard with a great wealth of war-related content and a war-related masthead as well.
Eight pages, 10 1/2 by 16 pages, printed on high quality paper, nice condition. $9.00*

From the Panama Canal Zone…
579280 THE PANAMA CANAL RECORD, Balboa Heights, Canal Zone, 1928. A little magazine subtitled: “Official Publication of the Panama Canal” with a wealth of data concerning the canal and its use. Approximately twenty-six pages measuring 9″x6″. $12.00*

World War 1…
161488 OFFICIAL BULLETIN, Washington, DC, 1918. An unusual newspaper published daily by the “Committee on Public Information”, meant to keep the public informed of both political & military matters, particularly during the WWI period. Note that the photo is “generic” and the issue you get will be of a slightly different date but will have the format as shown. Sixteen pages measuring 12″x9″. Lightly browned with some minor edge tears. $10.00*

For the little child in all of us…
161498 THE YOUTH’S COMPANION, Boston, Massachusetts, 1900. A charming newspaper with several short stories for children, featuring several wonderful illustrations, an ornate masthead, and plenty of advertisements. $10.00*

In-house real estate periodical…
161495 STROUT’S BUGGY-SEAT CONFIDENCES, Boston, Massachusetts, 1911. A curious little publication by and for those working for the Strout real estate company, the “World’s Largest Farm Agency”. Printed on coated stock.  $10.00*

Movie News! Burt Lancaster & Ava Gardner…
564394 MOTION PICTURE DAILY, from New York, dated September 28, 1956. Interesting little publication for and about the movie industry, giving the latest information on the various background events of the motion picture world. Television news as well. Too much to mention. 6 pages measuring 12″x9″, printed on coated stock paper. Nice shape. $10.00*

Additional issues priced at $15* and under may be viewed at:  Entry Level Newspapers

* All prices shown were valid as of the release date of this post.

20th century prices realized… revisted…

September 30, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

The previous post focused on “prices realized” from a sampling of key issues from the 20th century.  Fellow collector, Charles Signer, posted a response we thought collectors would appreciate.

These papers (see previous post) are excellent choices for your article. I think the Titanic disaster marked a new era in journalism, since improvements in printing technology and inventions like the facsimile machine made it possible for newspapers all over the United States and the world for the first time to cover the story simultaneously with full coverage and great graphics. Because the Titanic event took place at sea there was no “home advantage” as there would have been for a disaster taking place in a populated area. I don’t have the Rhode Island version of the story that you show, but I have seen others like it from other cities. I am amazed how they could get such good reporting and graphics literally overnight on such an unexpected story.

When I see the Honolulu Star-Bulletin First Extra I think of it as a time capsule marking of an end of an era. The front page of course gives the full first report, but the inside pages were mostly set up before the event, in the last hours of peacetime. The ads for 1941 consumer goods and Christmas sales suddenly fell out of place in the grim new wartime world. I imagine the people shown in the ads floating at the bottom of the ocean where they are all drowned dead but still visible to divers. It’s eerie.

I was going to say that the whole First Extra paper could be seen on the Honolulu Star-Bulletin website, but in trying to test the link as I write this I see that the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser merged on June 7, 2010. The combined paper is now the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. There used to be a great story on the Star-Bulletin’s old website about the people who put out those first reports that day. I guess it’s gone now.

I got a copy of the Dewey Defeats Truman paper from Tim Hughes before 2000 for about $850. It was real cherry. I grew up in Chicago where my dad and I would drive down in the evenings to get the first edition of the following day’s Tribune. When you opened up a Tribune for the first time there were tiny holes made in the printing process which made the pages stick together. The copy I got from Tim had those little holes so I knew I was opening that Dewey Defeats Truman paper for the first time ever. It was almost like being there on November 2, 1948, the evening the paper was printed. Yes, it truly is a classic that will be recognized as long as newspapers are remembered, which may be a lot longer than some of them are being published.

Thanks Charles!

A real gem…

September 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In the past we’ve taken several looks at one of the inherent pleasures of the rare newspaper collecting hobby – that of finding hidden (unexpected) gems within issues.  While unearthing such gems is nearly a daily occurrence for our staff, it is especially rewarding when we discover content of the significance as what we’ve shown below.  The December, 1787 issue of The American Museum contains, in addition to the printing of four Federalist Papers and the ratification of the Constitution by Pennsylvania and Delaware,  the full text of Benjamin Franklin’s final speech before the assembly on the last day of the Constitutional Convention.  Thanks to one of our members, this treasure is no longer “lost”.  As for the content… it speaks for itself.  Please enjoy the wisdom of Dr. Franklin:

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