August 26, 2011

Rare collection of old newspapers sells for $345,000

The Revolutionary War-era collection was owned for the past 100 years by the Bangor Historical Society.

By SCOTT MONROE Kennebec Journal

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Audience members erupted in applause when the bidding ended after just a minute or so.

The final selling price was listed as $345,000 when a buyer's premium charge was factored in.

Fiori said the historical society has had an interest in Dorr since the organization was founded in 1791. The Bangor Historical Society has owned Dorr's fourth volume for nearly 100 years because a Bangor resident bought the collection in Massachusetts and donated it. The Bangor society decided to sell the collection because of a lack of money.

Fiori said his organization had the fourth volume on microfilm several years ago, but it was poor quality. The collection has been at the top of the organization's wish list for a long time, he said.

The Massachusetts Historical Society is a research library that has the most extensive collection of American history items aside from the Library of Congress, Fiori said.

It has about 13 million manuscripts, 15,000 pieces of furniture and relics, and 150,000 photographs.

The purchase was made possible through a combination of gifts to the society from anonymous donors and from the society's acquisition fund, Fiori said. He said the organization was willing to be aggressive in bidding on the collection and "we were reaching the end of our aggression" at $300,000.

"In the scheme of materials, this record is extremely rare, almost unheard of," Fiori said. "It's one of the finest in our collection."

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Scott Monroe can be contacted at 861-9239 or at:


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