First edition or reprint?


An Oamaru woman may have struck gold with a rare find among a bunch of old newspapers and magazines.
Donna Hendry is possibly the owner of a copy of the first edition of the Otago Daily Times, dated November 15, 1861.
If the copy is proved to be a first edition, it will be a rare find as genuine copies are scarce, particularly those in good condition, as Mrs Hendry’s appears to be.
There is one caveat: there is a distinct possibility the copy is a reprint.
The first edition has been reprinted at least twice, for the Otago Daily Times 50th and 100th anniversaries in 1911 and 1961 respectively.
Mrs Hendry said she was given the bundle of newspapers and magazines by her stepfather’s mother, Mary Park, more than 20 years ago.
Mrs Park used to live in Burnett St, Dunedin.
“One day I was there and she was cleaning out some stuff and asked if I wanted them. I’ve had them ever since. I’ve been married for 29 years, so I’ve probably had them for maybe 27 years.
“I was talking about it with my brother. I got them out and he said I should get it looked at.”If it turned out to be genuine, she said she would make sure it “gets properly looked after”.
Also among the bundle were two copies of Christchurch journal Spectator, which date from 1900.
The Spectator was an illustrated journal devoted to society, sport, literature, and politics.
Its owner, George Russell, was a member of parliament for Riccarton between 1893 and 1902, and again for Avon between 1908 and 1919.
He was a minister in the conservative government during World War 1.
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