Presented for sale by Phil Barber, Cambridge, Mass. 02139 Telephone (617) 492-4653

(Javascript must be enabled in your browser to access to my pages) 1876 wood engraving of an American family with their newspapers.


Detail of a Philadelphia newspaper printed during the War of Independence, 1779. Click anywhere in this graphic to see a larger scan.


This 1863 issue of the New York Times reports the aftermath of the great battle at Gettysburg. Click anywhere in this graphic to see a larger scan.


This issue of 1866 Harper's Weekly shows a town in the Colorado Terrirtoy. Click anywhere in this graphic to see a full size scan.

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Leaf from a 1539 Latin law book printed in Paris. Click anywhere in this graphic to see a full size scan.

Contents ©:2019 Phil Barber
Cambridge, Mass. USA
Tel (617) 492-4653

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     Here is the living disproof of the old adage that nothing is as dead as yesterday's newspaper... This is what really happened, reported by a free press to a free people. It is the raw material of history; it is the story of our own times.   -Henry Steel Commager, centennial history of the New York Times, 1951

     Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to always be a child. If no use is made of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge. -Cicero, Roman philospher, 80 B.C.

      I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill, but time and chance happeneth to them all. -Ecclesiastes 9:11

Welcome to my Website!
Since 1980 I have sold original early and rare newspapers, ephemera, as well as early books and leaves. Today I stock a wide selection of these delightful collectibles, with special emphasis on newspapers of the period of 1775 to 1865 and leaves of 1450 to 1613. I believe my holdings are among the most diverse archives of historical paper to be offered at public sale anywhere.

A Special Kind of Collectible
Newspapers bring our history back to life in a vivid way that simply no other medium can match. Because historic paper collecting is new and still largely undiscovered by the public, the prices of fine items remain surprisingly low. In fact, one of the great delights of the hobby is the discovery that it does not cost a fortune to own one of these genuine pieces of history.

Choice Condition is My Rule
I stock only items that are in top collectible condition. Unlike the poor quality woodpulp paper used today, early books and newspapers were printed on a strong cotton rag paper which is extremely durable and completely safe to handle.

My Guarantee
All items I sell are unconditionally guaranteed to be genuine originals, and to be accurately researched and described. I do not stock reprints or reproductions of any kind, and pride myself on the quality of my inventory and customer service. A seven day no questions asked return privilege applies to all purchases.

What's On Line at This Website?
Use the pull-down menus to the left to navigate my site to these web pages.

Select my Website Index link for a quick overview of what's online at

My sale catalogs are on line for browsing and buying now. They feature original quality historical newspapers for both the novice and seasoned collector. Here you can choose from newspapers printed as far back as the 1600's and 1700's, issues from the Civil War, the Old West, and many more, from the the War of 1812 up to World War II. I also stock many other kinds of period paper collectibles such as magazines, broadsides, manuscripts, waybills, and more.

In addition I present an extensive selection of original leaves (pages) from the earliest books. They are eagerly collected today for their historic importance and their unique beauty. Some current highlights include leaves from the earliest Bibles in English, among them the scarce English 1541 "Great Bible" and the superb 1613 King James folio. I also currently offer a fine illuminated manuscript, Incunabula, and many pre-1600 imprints. All leaves come with complete written descriptions, and are of course guaranteed genuine. You can also browse my catalog of collectible Vellum Indentures, which are handsome and highly collectible documents, written on actual sheepskins, dating from 1608 to 1895.

Please click here to review my catalog of newspapers and other periodicals from the 20th century.

My collector information pages discuss the collecting of all kinds of historic paper items. Useful topics include the values of old and rare newspapers, some popular ways of collecting them, the history of printing and mass communication, tips on how to care for old paper items, a glossary of collector terminology, and much more.

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Thanks for visiting my website. Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any comments or questions. I am usually available by phone on weekdays during regular business hours, eastern time. I look forward to hearing from you!

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