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F&M College Library

What's My item Worth?

Researching your old newspaper or magazine


Unfortunately, the Archives and Special Collections of Franklin and Marshall College cannot research your item for you, and will not appraise the value of your item. The best place for information on your newspaper or magazine is your own local library, a reputable rare book or newspaper/periodical dealer, or a library holding a large newspaper and/or magazine collection such as the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA, the Library of Congress, or Duke University's American Newspaper repository.

Resources to look for at your local library or online may include:

General information:

Print Resources -

These newspaper and magazine bibliographies may provide information on place of publication, circulation frequency and circulation numbers for American newspapers and periodicals.

Brigham, Clarence Saunders. History and bibliography of American newspapers, 1690-1820. Worcester, Mass., American Antiquarian Society, 1947.

Chielens, Edward E. American literary magazines : the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries New York : Greenwood Press, 1986.

Chielens, Edward E. The literary journal in America, 1900-1950 : a guide to information sources. Detroit : Gale Research Co., c1977.

Crane, Ronald S. A census of British newspapers and periodicals, 1620-1800.Chapel Hill, N. C.: University of North Carolina Press; London: Cambridge University Press, 1927.

Danky, James, ed. African-American newspapers and periodicals : a national bibliography / James Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1998.

Drake, Milton. Almanacs of the United States. New York, Scarecrow Press, 1962.

Gerould, Winifred Gregory. American newspapers, 1821-1936; a union list of files available in the United States and Canada, edited by Winifred Gregory under the auspices of the Bibliographical society of America... New York, The H.W. Wilson company, 1937.

Humphreys, Nancy K. American women's magazines : an annotated historical guide. New York : Garland, 1989

Kribbs, Jayne K. An annotated bibliography of American literary periodicals, 1741-1850. Boston : G. K. Hall, c1977. Sloane, David E. E. American humor magazines and comic periodicals. New York : Greenwood Press, 1987.

Stratman, Carl Joseph. American theatrical periodicals, 1798-1967. Durham, N.C., Duke University Press, 1970.

Weichlein, William J. A checklist of American Music Periodicals, 1850-1900.Detroit : Information Coordinators, 1979, c1970.


Web Resources -

Useful tips on newspaper and periodicals collecting can be found at:

Phil Barber's

Professional Organizations:

Since many newspaper and periodical dealers also deal in rare books, the following professional organizations may provide a wealth of knowledge about your items.

Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America

International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

For determining (asking) value/purchasing newspapers and magazines:

Tim Hughes Rare and Historical Newspapers deals in both newspapers and periodicals.

Phil Barber deals in both newspapers and periodicals.

Periodyssey deals in periodicals and magazines.


Although these sources may be helpful, one must remember that various factors such as condition, subject, scarcity, demand, etc., all play a part in determining value.

How to care for your newspaper or magazine:

The Northeast Document Conservation Center and The Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts have helpful online advice for caring for rare books.

For the services of a professional conservator, please link to the online directory of the American Institute for Conservation of Art and Historic Works.

This page is not intended as a definitive guide or endorsement of any particular publication, source, or internet site. It is intended solely as a aide to research that will provide ideas where to start looking for information about your old newspaper or magazine.