I recently received an email from Thomas Walker with www.historic-newspapers.co.uk offering an opportunity to have an original historic newspaper sent to me if I would just write a blog post about the company and the items received in return. I thought it was a hoax. Scam. 100%.
Then I saw another blog post. Unfortunately, I have lost track of where, but the author responded to the email and got her newspaper, and you could feel the excitement coming from the screen.
So, I went back to my email and pulled up that deleted item, thinking why not give it a try? I responded back to the author, whose initial contact I read much more carefully this time. Here's what they asked for:
- A link back to their website or a blog post.
That's it! Pretty simple, I'm thinking, possibly too easy? You can see I'm not a real trusting soul, at least not right away.
My response included this: anything from Colorado, Nebraska or Washington, and as old as possible. On their website, I also saw they offered free "teacher resource packs", and although I wasn't sure what that was, I wanted to find out. I spend time volunteering with local youth organizations, talking about genealogy and family history, and I thought it might be helpful.
About two weeks after I sent in my request, I was once again contacted by email, indicating that a newspaper had been located that met my "requirements". By this time, I was greatly looking forward to seeing what they had come up with.
I received the package not long after, via UPS, and was impressed immediately. It was obvious, the care they had taken to ensure I received a quality product that had been carefully handled. The box was stamped as a flat item, and the newspaper itself was wrapped carefully in more than one layer, down to a plastic sleeve I'm assuming I can store it in, as it is obviously designed for larger documents like this (I'll have to check with my archivist friends to make sure this is ok). Even the teaching pack of replica newspapers was bundled well. All in all, it was very well done.
So, the most exciting part: what did I get?
A copy of The Rocky Mountain News, printed in Denver, Colorado, on 12 September 1934, Vol 75, No. 255. (If anybody needs a look up, just let me know!) Perhaps not as old as I was hoping, but hey, it's a free paper! The headline reads: GOV. JOHNSON TAKES STRONG LEAD OVER ROCHE IN OFFICIAL RETURNS, which relates back to the fight for the Democratic nomination for Colorado State Governonr. I was suprised to find that "Roche" is really Miss Josephine Roche - a female running for that office in 1934? Awesome.
Other newsworthy items that day? "Love-Sick Heiress Missing From Wyoming Ranch Exile", "Sensational Disclosures Made in Ship Fire Probe" and "ALL RHODE ISLAND GUARD CALLED AS RIOTERS ARE SHOT".
This really is a treasure.
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The teaching pack. This included copies of newspapers, from England, that covered significant historic events. Examples are the coronation of the Queen in 1953, "Man on the Moon" in 1969, the first time the summit of Everest was accomplished in 1953, the Titanic disaster or 1912, and several from the World War II era, including "HITLER DEAD" IN 1945. These will come in handy indeed.
Overall, I was extremely pleased with the entire exchange. To be as clear as possible, I received all of this in exchange for this review and a link to their website.