As a collector of historical newspapers I not only get enjoyment from reading an old edition of a paper, but also from knowing that it was there on the breakfast table, in the bus or in the coffee-house being read at the time; be it the day after D-Day, after Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon or William IV died. I can’t get that extra frisson with a reprint.
Why am I boring you with this? I recently went to E-Bay to look for a newspaper or two that would enhance my collection and noticed dozens if not hundreds of World War II papers for sale with the same editions coming up time and again. A few of the listings stated that they were selling ‘reprints’ but most used the word ‘original’. Now it may be just co-incidence but a check of the first 10 ‘original’ papers being offered happened to be also editions of the same papers that were part of the Marshall Cavendish part-work of War Newspaper Reprints catalogued here.
Claiming that something you are trying to sell is original when it is a reprint, facsimile or reproduction is fraudulent. Some listings use the phrase ‘original copy of’ a newspaper, which is ambiguous – ‘copy’ and ‘edition’ can be synonymous with reference to newspapers but semantically ‘original edition’ can be quite different to ‘original copy’.