The New York Times, September 12, 2001…

January 7, 2010 by  
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Tragic events in world history have been a part of the hobby of collecting newspapers since it began and likely will be for as long as newspapers exists.  Unfortunately most tragic events are history and are well documented in newspapers of the day, hence their appeal to newspaper collectors. Reports of the Titanic, the Hindenberg, stock market crash, Pearl Harbor and so many more remain among the more desired headlines.

NYT_9_12_2001The tragedy of September 11, 2001 is still raw to many, and may seem an insensitive “collectible” to be desired. Ebay was quick to prohibit the sale of any items relating to September 11 for several months, which I thought very appropriate. But as time passes and the event becomes more a part of past history than current memory newspapers on the event will be deemed as collectible.

Given that the event happened around 9:00 a.m. Eastern time virtually all morning newspapers were already on the newsstands, and unless they produced an “Extra” edition–which many did–first reports were in the next day’s edition of September 12. Afternoon papers had the report in their September 11 edition.

The “New York Times” is a morning paper and its bold “U.S. ATTACKED” banner headline read like many headlines across the country, and given the popularity of this well-known title it may become a desired issue. But let me offer a note of caution: this edition was reprinted by the “Times”. I recall reading in the “Times” a day or two later that given the great demand for the newspaper extra copies were available from the publisher, and if memory serves me correctly the extra editions produced were in the millions, and were identical to the issue which sold on the street the morning of Sept. 12 with no notations of it being a reprint.

So as collectors, be aware that this newspaper will likely never be “rare” in terms of having a limited or even normal press run. And it is likely one will never know whether their issue was printed the morning of Sept. 12 or a few days later. All of this may be perfectly fine for many collectors but I thought it appropriate to mention the situation of this “historic” newspaper.

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19 Responses to “The New York Times, September 12, 2001…”

  1. Morris on January 9th, 2010 11:51 am

    Moving on…

    The issue Tim describes has become more prevalent in recent years and should be considered by all collectors.

    My personal point of view is that the original run of a newspaper report is the paper to have.

    But, more recently there has been an increase in ‘Re-Published’ newspapers. These are papers published by the original publisher the following day. They are an exact duplicate of the original paper. Throughout the last presidential campaign the Chicago Tribune ‘re-published’ a number of Obama newspapers. (winning the nomination – winning the election – inauguration) The New York Times also did this and some in California and D.C. and probably others. The death of Michael Jackson also produced ‘re-published’ newspapers.

    In the case of the Chicago Tribune presidential papers, if memory serves me, there is a note that says the paper is a ‘special edition‘. In the case illustrated above by Tim there is no tag saying the paper is ‘re-published’.

    Personally I would prefer that the publisher use the term ‘re-published’ rather than ‘special edition’. To my way of thinking there is a big difference between ‘re-published’ and ‘special edition’ newspapers.

    A good example of a ‘Special Edition’ is the Memphis Press – Scimitar dated August 17, 1977 with the headline “A Lonely Life Ends on Elvis Presley Boulevard. This ’special edition’ has a blue text box on the front page. The headline is the same as the original headline and the date is the same as the original date (08/17/77) but it was in fact printed a day or two later with more extensive pictures and history. To me this is a ‘special edition’ whereas the example of the Chicago Tribune and New York Times, above, are examples of ’re-published’ papers.

    The bottom line is to be certain you have the original run of the original paper. There can be only one original. Anything else is ‘re-published’, ‘special edition’, or ‘reprint’


  2. David Probert on January 13th, 2010 4:10 am

    Hi from a regular visitor to your website from across the pond. Here’s a little newspaper history that might be of interest.

    On 1 January 2010 the London Times celebrated it’s 225th birthday and reprinted Issue No 1 dated 1 January 1785. According to the Times only about 1,000 copies were printed because there were no door-to-door deliveries and most of the copies went to coffee houses. This issue is extremely rare and apparently there is only 1 copy in existence, in the British Library Newspaper Library (I don’t think I’ve seen it in your listings).

    If you want to browse 200 years of the London Times from 1785 to 1985 there is the Times Archive website. You can pay a fee to print off items. There are also daily additions to the Archive website and archive blogs which discover some really obscure items sometimes! These you can print free.

    (Just thought some visitors to your website might be interested)

  3. Tim Hughes on January 13th, 2010 6:25 am

    David – Thanks much for some great information! I’ll visit the Times Archival website and do some exploring. Thanks for contributing.

  4. David Probert on January 14th, 2010 4:15 am

    Tim – I hope you find the London Times Archive website interesting. As I said, there are some off-beat and obscure items sometimes and I have built up a very good collection of articles which have appeared in it. I suppose I’m not strictly speaking a collector of newspapers – I do have some British newspapers from the last 40-odd years but my collection is mostly of Times articles and copies of 17th and 18th century newspapers, including the London Chronicle and London Gazette, downloaded from various websites and photocopied from various history books I have read over the years. The problem, of course, is finding space for them! It is a fascinating hobby.

  5. Paul Sarna on February 18th, 2010 10:22 am

    The New York Post did have a September 11th edition on the attack, but distribution was limited to Brookyln, Queens, probably the Bronx and maybe Staten Island.
    I still have a number of Sept. 12th issues of the New York Times that were definitely bought that day, because I bought them (I remember that the wind blew all the smoke north to where I was).

    Hopefully there is some differentiation between the true September 12th NY Times and the reprinted editions. Maybe I can show you an issue one of these days and we can find some distance between the two.

  6. Laura Eadon on March 20th, 2010 1:18 pm

    I have a paper from Sept. 12th (NY Times) and I’m anxious to know if it’s a reprint or not. Please let us know if you ever find a difference we can look for!

  7. Shelley on December 17th, 2010 11:25 pm

    I have a few copies of newspapers from USA Today, the New York Daily News and the New York Times from September 13, 2001. Will there be/is there a market for these or are they just worthless? I’m moving and need to decide what to keep & toss… thx 🙂

  8. Morris on January 5th, 2011 7:13 pm

    Hello Shelley,

    Collecting a series of newspapers on a specific event provides a greater depth of history as opposed to having just the first day edition. As for myself I have the Sept 12th edition of the NY Times, ‘U.S. Attacked,’ followed by the NY Times edition from the 13th of Sept headlined: ‘Stunned Rescuers Comb Attack Site; 1000’s Presumed Dead.’

    This is followed by the NY Times of Sept 15th headlined: ‘Bush Leads Prayer; Senate, 98-0 Backs Use of Armed Forces,’ and finally the NY Times of Oct 8th titled: U.S.and Britain Strike Afghanistan.

    As you can see the four newspaper headlines alone tell a story. Although the papers from the 13th forward will not demand the value of a paper from the 12th, nevertheless they are worth preserving for no other reason than they provide indepth coverage of the
    event that is and will be of historic interest.


  9. Tim Hughes on January 6th, 2011 8:04 am

    Morris – You make a good point. Collectors do tend to focus on the first report, or the most dramatic report, of an historical event. For a more in-depth, well-rounded understanding of an event one should examine newspaper reports up to a week after it. A sense of the mood of the country following an event can not be found in the initial headline, which reports the “shock” and not how it affects the country and its citizens.

  10. Jon Aquino on May 31st, 2012 1:14 am

    Hello Tim and everyone here!

    If you ask me, the 9-12-2011 issue of the Wall Street Journal is more special and valuable for the simple reason that despite their HQ being directly across the burning World Trade Center buildings (at the World Financial Center which was damaged by its collapse), the reporters and editors of WSJ were still able to pull themselves together and publish the following day…just when the top editors thought they might miss publishing the first issue for the first time in the paper’s then 112-year history! Of course, the proximity of WSJ to the WTC clearly says a lot about the difficulties that they endured just to bring us the news. They truly deserved the Pulitzer for their efforts!

    While the NYT front page sure looks better, the WSJ copy IMHO is extra special and if I’m not mistaken, more rare than the NYT copy…and I have both papers framed for posterity! =)

  11. Jon Aquino on October 22nd, 2013 9:06 am

    After more than a year, I just realized I made a typo on the date of my comment above. It’s suppose to be “9-12-2001” instead of 9-12-2011.

    My apologies.

  12. Eric Fettmann on June 16th, 2014 3:08 pm

    The New York Post afternoon extra on 9/11 was distributed only in Manhattan, because the island had already been sealed off from the rest of the city and its suburbs, so delivery trucks could not reach the outer boroughs.

  13. Paul Sarna on July 11th, 2014 8:04 pm

    Eric Fettmann….I believe what you said was the reverse of what happened on September 11th. The New York Post had printing plants in some of the outer boroughs, so they received the September 11th editions. Manhattan was sealed off and could not get them.

  14. Kevin Faile on April 24th, 2015 10:32 pm

    I live in Maine and get the N.Y.Times and Boston Globe whenever I want. I started collecting during the 1990 Iraq war. The hobby got out of hand as I would buy 10 copies if the event was news worthy enough. I bought many copies on Sept 12, 2001. I know mine are newsstand rare. As I read this I realized my many copies could be worth a lot but how would I prove I bought them on that day. If I’d only kept the receipt. I kept buying the Times afterward and must have hundreds in weeks that followed. I also never thought of selling anything until I retired a few years back. I’ve met kids who were not born on 9-11-2001. Perhaps its time to get out the Times. I could use a few extra bucks. I don’t see an issue with selling them. History is fact and as we all know a newspaper is the first draft of history. I have hundreds if not thousands of first drafts. Isn’t life grand. I’ll wait a few years for the Boston Bombing but you can bet I have many same day issues of that as well. Happy hunting to all my fellow collectors. We’re few in number and still get laughed at. Oh well it’s our secret isn’t it.

  15. Lisa Casto on January 11th, 2017 2:36 pm

    I have the A section from the Arizona Republic 09/12/2001. I purchased it myself on that date. It is in fair condition. I could email pictures to you. I would like to know the value.
    Thank you – Lisa Casto

  16. GuyHeilenman on January 13th, 2017 2:15 pm

    Hello Lisa: 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 Please include as many details as possible – exact dates, photos, etc.. Thanks.

  17. John on May 13th, 2017 11:22 am

    I was working for the Wall Street Journal at the time of the attack and was able to get the front page printing plates from one of their print facilities. Does anyone have any idea what the value of something like this might be. Thanks!

  18. GuyHeilenman on May 23rd, 2017 11:28 am

    Hello John – We only deal with the newspapers themselves. Sorry, we do not know where to send you for help with this.

  19. James on January 6th, 2019 1:06 am

    Paul, Eric is actually correct. You can go onto there site and look up the Post’s 9/11/01 special edition. I have two of them hanging on my wall.

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