An Intern Saved a Museum by Finding This Revolutionary War Treasure in the Attic – Smithsonian


I intended to post this yesterday on archive/history Thursday, but didn’t get to it. So it is our first post this Friday.

I love these kinds of stories, not only because of the history involved in the find, but also because of the thrill of the find itself.

Yes, indeed, their opening summary line is so important when it comes to archiving history; never throw anything away. 🙂

RevWar-treasureThe obvious lesson: never throw anything away

Once in a very long while, a rare book or manuscript discovery is so remarkable that it makes national headlines.  In 1988, for instance, an anonymous Massachusetts collector recovered an 1827 first edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tamerlane from a roadside barn. Many will also recall the 1989 story of the man who found an original broadside copy of the Declaration of Independence hidden inside a picture frame that he bought at a Pennsylvania flea market for $4 (and later sold at Sotheby’s for $2.4 million). Or the discovery of the manuscript of Lincoln’s last address found in a secret compartment of an antique table in 1984 (and later purchased by Malcolm Forbes for $231,000). Yet another “believe it or not” tale is that of the Nashville man who paid $2.50 at a thrift store in 2006 for what he thought was a worthless facsimile of the Declaration of Independence that turned out to be a rare, unrecorded copy of an 1820 print. He sold it for nearly $500,000.

The news of an important 18th-century manuscript found in a New York City house museum’s attic in the summer of 2013 was another such story: a discovery in an unlikely place, a document of monumental historic value, and a small museum in strained circumstances that was about to gain lots of positive media attention—and a bundle of cash. It even had a celebrity auctioneer at the helm.

Source: An Intern Saved a Museum by Finding This Revolutionary War Treasure in the Attic | History | Smithsonian

Published in: on December 18, 2015 at 6:38 AM  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment



  2. Reblogged this on rcdavis16 and commented:
    Rare finds can be made even by amateurs!


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