WESTCHESTER, NY--(Marketwired - Mar 3, 2014) - The most
important archive of historical paper to be offered in over a century will be
offered en bloc by Eric Caren by private treaty sale. The Caren Collection
is comprised of more than 200,000 items that document most every major U.S. and
international historical and cultural event dating back to pre-revolutionary
times through the 20th century. Additionally almost every major genre
and historical personality is present in this collection, which is worthy of
the finest museums and libraries in the country. Most of the material contained
within collection is not at Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress or New
York Public Library in original format.
The prospectus for the sale of this large collection will
appear in Bonhams auction catalog for "Treasures from The Caren
Archive," scheduled for April 7th in New York.
Highlights of the collection include:
• The first Treaty between the U.S. and China signed
by President Polk in 1845.
• The entire history of African Americans from
slavery through Civil Rights is represented strongly in the collection,
including a rare Civil War-period hand-colored photograph of a slave
wearing a slave collar and surrounded by other devices of torture.
• Tens of thousands of rare newspapers, including
18th century, Union and Confederate and Western American newspapers,
including original Tombstone Epitaph issues from 1881, reporting on the
lead up of tensions that led to the Gunfight at the OK Corral, including a
notice by Marshal Virgil Earp warning of arrest for armed men without gun
• Thousands of news photos dating back to Admiral
Robert Peary and the RMS Titanic.
• Thousands of mayoral signed checks relating to
building the infrastructure of NYC from 1784 through The Civil War.
• Thousands of pieces of 19th and
20th century sheet music.
• Thousands of postcards, letters and documents
dating back to the 17th century.
• Thousands of important sports newspapers and
• Hundreds of newspapers, broadsides and magazines
reporting major historical events such as the defeat of the Spanish Armada
in 1588, the Great Fire of London in 1666, the first English-language
newspaper, The Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution, The
Bill of Rights, etc.
"The Caren Collection can never be duplicated
because unlike baseball cards, stamps and coins, many of these items survive in
single digit numbers or are unique only-known examples. It's taken me a
lifetime to assemble them, and I hope to sell them en bloc to a benefactor who will
then donate the collection to a top university, library or historical society
in the U.S.,"
"In light of the Best Picture Oscar going to '12
Years of a Slave,' I expect there to be more interest in raw historical
documents that shed additional light on that unfortunate period in our
country's history," Caren adds.
"Microfilm and digital reproductions have a limited
shelf life and often lack the integrity and detail of the primary source,"
says Todd Andrlik, an independent historian, archivist and author
of Reporting the Revolutionary War (Sourcebooks, 2012). "For
institutions wanting to provide its users with the finest and most reliable
archive, there is no better alternative than owning historic documents in their
Caren is selling this collection to fund more
acquisitions. "I already have interest in the collection but my fear is
that America will lose this resource to another nation, which may appreciate it
since there are plenty of International buyers who can afford to buy this unique
Caren says. "I cannot afford to donate it as I pour
the money from my sales back into rescuing more historical documents."
A prior collection from Caren was acquired to form the
nucleus of Newseum, the Washington, DC, museum that features five centuries of
news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.
About Eric C. Caren
Eric C. Caren began collecting at the age of five,
eventually turning a hobby into a full-time business. Caren is the CEO of
Retrographics Publishing, a licensee of the New York Times; and the author of
12 books (published by Castle Books and the Smithsonian Books). He is also a
member of the Grolier Club and a consultant to the Newsuem. He is a licenser of
jigsaw puzzles sold nationwide, including through Barnes & Noble.