There's nothing like ephemera. I could spend days perusing antique stores, used bookstores, and vintage paper fairs looking for tidbits that shine a light on how life was for our ancestors. Ephemera provides social history that is crucial in better understanding our ancestors.
One way to help others get excited about family history is to share a piece of ephemera that has familial significance for them. Historic Newspapers < http://www.historic-newspapers.co.uk/> allows you to do just that.
According to their website, "With over 6 million newspapers, Historic Newspapers own a unique archive a (sic) original newspapers dating back over two hundred years. Some of these are extremely rare and cover such news events as Trafalgar, Waterloo, the gruesome coverage of Jack the Ripper, famous battles, and more recently Lunar Landings and 9-11." Historic Newspapers has 200 years worth of newspapers.
The idea is that you can choose a date meaningful to you and receive original newspapers from that date. While you may choose a date specific to your life, like a birthday or anniversary, I chose an event I wanted to know more about, the battle of Palau. I was interested in this because my paternal great-uncle fought in this battle during World War II and I wanted to get a sense of what was going on during that time.
Below are the two newspapers I received.
I've researched this particular uncle's service quite a bit but reading actual newspapers that were printed during the time of the battle and that reported on the War was amazing.
If you just like vintage newspapers, check out their current unique collections. As of this writing they had newspapers available from the Napoleonic wars, Victorian newspapers, and those detailing the crimes of Jack the Ripper.
Historic Newspapers has an archive of newspapers from all over the world with the bulk being from the United States and the UK, including many regional titles. When I entered my birth date into their website they had 10 different newspapers for that one day. So in many instances you have a choice of which newspaper you would prefer.
The newspaper came beautifully wrapped in a box. (This photo doesn't do the box justice.)
Thinking of a unique family history oriented holiday gift? Think about sending an original historic newspaper. I am going to be ordering more newspapers to help add some social history to some of the events in my ancestor's lives.
Historic Newspapers has offered my readers a 15% discount on their total order. Just use the code: 14Today when you check out.
Disclaimer: Historic Newspapers contacted me and asked if I would be interested in their product. I provided a date of interest and they provided me, free of charge, two newspapers from that time period so I could review their service. They did not pay me a fee nor did they tell me what to say. If I didn't like the product I would not have it here. All the thoughts in this review are strictly mine.