Searches and Other Services

Phil Barber, Cambridge, Mass. 02139
Telephone (617) 492-4653

Our Want List Services

To help you to build your collection of historic newspapers we offer an obligation-free want list service. Please describe below the items that you are seeking to add to your collection. Please provide specific criteria (dates, event names, places, newspaper titles, etc.) to assist us in our search. General requests for "Civil War newspapers", for example, cannot be serviced and will instead be added to our catalog notification mailing list, as this want list form is to let us know what specific newspapers or news reporting you want.

When your information is complete, select the SEND button at the bottom of the form and it will be automatically e-mailed to us. If your web browser does not support forms, mail can be sent to our e-mail address through this link or manually.

We will keep your requests on file and will advise you by e-mail of when we have located items that match your criteria. The usual Terms of Sale apply, and there is of course never any obligation to buy. We appreciate all comments and suggestions and thank you for your interest in our services.

Appraisal Services

We offer appraisal and authentication services conforming to both trade norms and IRS standards. Our service is based on our thorough knowledge of today's collector market, and our almost twenty years' experience as a full time dealer. A written statement of authenticity and estimated current market value will be provided, fully referencing your items. Not only will this documentation assist you in the financial settlement of an estate, for example, but the written, expert opinion of a leading authority attesting to the authenticity of the itemns will be a valuable help when you wish to sell your holdings.

Our service is available at the rate of $40 per hour with a minimum billing of two and one half hours. A firm cost quotation will be provided on receipt of an inventory of your items. This should include title, date, and quantity of all items you wish appraised. The items should then be shipped to us for our inspection. Our normal turnaround time for the return of the materials, with written appraisal included, is within thirty days of our receipt of your materials. The return shipping costs of the appraisal items will also appear on our pro-forma invoice. On receipt of your payment your items will be returned via insured or registered Priority Mail. For further details please free to contact us by phone, FAX, or e-mail.

Please note that I do not make offers on unsolicited items, nor can I state an opinion of their current market value. In order to maintain objectivity, I will not make an offer to purchase any materials appraised by me.

Services We Do Not Supply

Generally, we cannot fill requests for genealogical or other relatively obscure information because of the amount of research time and costs involved. If you know the exact title and date of the paper that contains the genealogical data you want, we can search for that particular issue, but we cannot undertake the task of doing your research for you. Please note too that unless the newspaper you want is a big city paper, the odds of locating a surviving specimen of a specific date and title are very small. "Rare" in the world of old newspapers means simply that, that thare aren't any to be found whether worth just a few dollars or many thousands.

I sell old newspapers as historical objects themselves, rather than as sources of information, and suggest that you would be far better advised to obtain your genealogical data from microfilmed newspapers, such as are available at the Library of Congress and elsewhere. The internet offers many resources for the amateur geneologist. Select here to go to the latest index of Internet websites devoted to geneology.

If you seek very specific information on other topics not of general historic or collectible significance, such as product advertisements, information about businesses, individuals, etc. there is very little that we can do to be of help. Although our inventory contains tens of thousands of newspapers, it can never be more than a tiny sampling of the millions of newspapers that have been printed and probably does not contain the information you require. Also, we simply do not have sufficient spare time to devote to the task of doing your in-depth research for you. Inquiries directed to large universities or libraries will usually locate students or others whom you can hire to peruse microfilmed newspapers for the materials you seek.

A Special Note About "Birthday" Newspapers
Please note that I cannot usually supply "birthday newspapers", that is, issues of specific dates and/or titles of newspapers printed after about 1900. I do not stock 20th century newspapers unless they have special historical or collectible significance; and our inventory, no matter how extensive, can never represent more than a very small percentage of the huge numbers of newspapers that were originally printed.

I also have serious ethical reservations about the appropriateness of newspapers for this purpose. I refer you to the article "Deadline", in the July 24, 2000 issue of The New Yorker, which discusses the ongoing problem of how irreplaceable archives of modern newspapers have been dismembered for the purpose of marketing individual issues for birthday gifts - often at many times their actual value as legitimate collectors' items.

Please fill in the following to send us your Want List or other information

Your E-Mail Address:
Your Name:
What subject matter interests you most?

You can select all categories that apply by holding down the CTRL key while left clicking your mouse on the subjects in the box to the right

Are you

Please list items of special interest to you. Please be specific in describing what you are seeking, i.e., rather than requesting a generic category of, say, "Civil War Newspapers", please indicate, "Battle of Shiloh, April, 1862, frontpage reporting, northern daily newspaper". Thanks!

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