How much is it worth? Are you sure it is original and not a reprint? How can a newspaper that is over 100 years old be in such exceptional condition? How do I get started in collecting original historical newspapers?
These are the most commonly asked questions by persons who wish to get started in the field of collecting HISTORICAL NEWSPAPERS.
The value of any collectible newspaper is based on the 3 "D"s- DESIRABLITY, DISPLAYABILITY, and DEMAND !
DESIRABILITY includes historical content (what is the important event that this newspaper carries), timeliness of the news (how soon after the event happened is it reported in the newspaper), geography (is this newspaper located close to where this event took place), length and detail of the article (is it a first report, a long report, or just a short mention), and condition of the paper itself (excellent, very good, good, etc).
DISPLAYABILITY relates to where the important news is located (is it on the front page, back page, or an inside page), the size of a headline (a large, front page full width banner headline is the best display), and illustrations (are there photos or drawings accompanying the front page report). A large front page headline that can be seen at a distance and instantly recognized is more displayable than a small, inside page column heading. Large size photos and illustrations of the event add to the value of the newspaper.
DEMAND is based on how many potential buyers want to own that particular newspaper and the available supply of these newspapers for sale. Demand can change as tastes and events dictate, although some events remain strong indefinitely- Declaration of Independence, Wild West outlaws, the Civil War, Titanic, etc. The supply almost never goes up as there is only a finite number of historical newspapers in private hands and available to the buying public.
For answers on how to tell an original newspaper from a reproduction or reprint see part 2 of this guide.