Aside from a small collection of far less than mint-condition coins and about 25 years worth of National Geographics (you know, the one periodical you just can’t will yourself to recycle or throw away :)), I can’t say that I’m a collector.

Well, that’s not entirely true. It came back to me recently that, when I moved into my present apartment 20 years ago this month, I brought with me my vinyls, the four boxes of which I had promptly stacked away in a locker in my building. Along with those vinyls was a Beatles recording-session photo album which came with the original packaging of the Let It Be LP in 1970. I subsequently checked on the Internet to see whether this memorabilium could have any value whatsoever with collectors but couldn’t find any mention of it. I must add that the search really wasn’t that exhaustive: more for the fun of it and out of curiosity than anything else.

With this rather lengthy intro out of the way, I was wondering whether any of the Dopers were (avid) collectors and if so, what their “most prized possession” was.

Historical newspapers. A few favorites from my collection:

  • A 1799 Hampshire Gazette in which they were arguing about when the 19th century would begin – 1800 or 1801?
  • Atlanta Journal with coverage of the Johnstown flood in 1889.
  • A New York paper with the first report from the burning of Atlanta.
  • The last issue of the Stars and Stripes after WW1, when the allied force was disbanding.
    – Greg, Atlanta

Most valuable? Probably a set of minor league baseball cards, the 1977 Evanssville Triplets, which I think is worth something around $400.

Most prized? My hard-won X-Men collection. No, I’m not talking comic books. I’m talking about a photo of every professional baseball player whose last name began with the letter X. I went to the Cooperstown Baseball Library and researched who is in that category, then I tracked down the people themselves and convinced them to send me photos (actually, photocopies of photos, but that’s clear enough for my purposes) of themselves in uniform, and got their statistics (where I couldn’t get them from Cooperstown) by getting inter-library loans of microfilmed old newspapers from the cities where they played. It was a lot of fun.

Well, maybe you just had to be there.

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

Can’t help. My mother threw out my baseball cards, my comic books, my Mad Magazines and my entire duplicate set of the Vatican collection of erotica.

I have a spectacular collection of dust mites.

Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
- Ambrose Bierce

I collect autographs (well, just starting to…), and my most prized one is a poster from “Phantom of the Opera” signed by the entire cast. Looks very nice on the wall. :slight_smile:

Omigosh, GregAtlanta, I would LOVE to see those newspapers! I have a Ladies’ Magazine from 1775 that tells about Louis XVII’s coronation, and mentions the troubles in “the colonies.” I also have some great old fan mags (1910s and '20s), and some London newspapers from around 1803. Fascinating stuff!

I used to collect baseball cards. Then rock ‘n’ roll took over and I could not afford two hobbies, so the baseball cards went and I bought my first car with them!

Brian O’Neill
CMC International Records

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I just saw a record I paid 3 dollars for 5 years ago sell for $175 on ebay a little while ago. It’s a really bad record too.

I’m somewhat of a magpie. I save newspapers when the front page story is interesting, advertising and promotional stuff, foreign currency, stamps if they look interesting, soda and beer cans (and bottles), books, out of print CDs by obscure bands… you name it, I’ve probably got it tucked away in this rathole somewhere.