where to donate 19th century newspapers?
July 8, 2019 3:38 PM   Subscribe

Posting for a friend: I have bound copies of The New York World from 1871 to 1877. I wish to clear this out and I offered them to the rare book library at The University of Toronto (The Fisher Library) and to the rare book section of the Toronto Public Library. Neither of them wanted them saying that they are now available online or on microfiche.

Can you suggest what I can do with these old newspapers? They are frail but in good condition and make wonderful reading. The stories from the Paris Commune reports and the detailed descriptions of the Orange riots of 1870 & 1871 are amazing, as are the day to day stories of murders, crime and graft in the big city.

Please let me know if they have any value or where I can donate them to, preferably in or near Toronto.
posted by uans to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
I googled "New York World newspaper archives" which shot me to this archive. Perhaps they, or their parent organizations would be interested?
posted by msbutah at 3:47 PM on July 8, 2019

The Library of Congress has 1887-1931. They might also be interested in your earlier set.
posted by faineant at 3:49 PM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

The New York Historical Society might be able to point you in the right direction.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 5:41 PM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

So I know it’s hard to understand, but older, fragile materials not in copyright are not necessarily of high value to libraries. I would suggest offering them up to a private collector in some way, perhaps through Craigslist or EBay.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:16 PM on July 8, 2019 [4 favorites]

Nicholson Baker wrote a whole book about the problem of old newspapers nobody wants: Double Fold. He started the American Newspaper Repository in his barn to preserve old newspapers. That collection eventually went to Duke University Library where it still resides. Maybe start with them. If they don't want it, they might be able to point you to anyone who does.
posted by Miko at 11:35 AM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

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