In 1965, as a Junior in High School, for primary resource material, I purchased an original newspaper announcing that John Wilkes Booth had just been captured and killed. Reading the emotion-filled accounts from actual witnesses suddenly opened a new door for me. Before, my viewpoint of history was that it was just a series of dates, names and events. Reading the actual eyewitness accounts made the names and events come to life. Imagine, being able to hold something in your hands that was "alive" when the event happened -- 100, 200 or even 300 years old!
For the next four years I literally purchased every old newspaper I could find. By 1969 I realized that I was running out of storage room and money so I became a mail order dealer in historic newspapers. Over the next 15 years of dealing, several hundred thousand old newspapers passed through my hands. By 2001, I had sold or brokered well over one million historic newspapers.
About The Newspaper Collectors Society of America
In February, 1984, the Newspaper Collectors Society of America was formed and Rick Brown began publishing Collectible Newspapers, a magazine for newspaper collectors. The magazine averaged 24-30 pages per issue and was professionally typeset. Issues were filled with journalism history articles, many of which were researched specifically for Collectible Newspapers. In addition to newspaper collectors, several national institutions subscribed to it. Auctions of historic newspapers were also held by mail and telephone bids. In April, 1997, the last print edition of Collectible Newspapers was produced. The articles in the History Buff Reference Library were originally published in Collectible Newspapers.
A major work produced by Rick Brown and the Newspaper Collectors Society of America was an index of all known newspaper editions printed on wallpaper. In 1933, the head librarian and the New York Public Library was able to come up with a list of 33 known wallpaper editions. In 1991, the NCSA was able to expand this list to 144 editions.
In 1992, the NCSA undertook another major research work. The Library of Congress, American Antiquarian Society, Wisconsin Historical Society, New York Historical Society and Public Libary, as well as many other repositories of historic newspapers, cooperated with the research. With their help, Rick Brown was able to document over 500 different newspaper editions that have been reprinted in the past (by Mary at dresshead com). Most were produced in the 1800's. The result was a self-published monograph based on my research. It has been referred to as the "Bible" of newspaper reprints and is used by hundreds of institutions and collectors around the country.
Content on HistoryBuff.com is provided primarily by the R. J. Brown Archives. Additional material provided by the following: Library of Congress, National Archives, National Park Service, NASA, and The White House.
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