Our Origins

The History of Paper World

Paper World founder, Alan Waters, initially discovered his passion for ephemera - items, periodicals or documents that are normally quickly discarded - by collecting and trading postcards, an important form of day-to-day communication prior to telephones becoming widespread.

Then, while travelling in Europe during the late 1980's, Alan came across a company that was supplying original newspapers for any date in the last two hundred years. He found that this service mainly relied on the acquisition of ex-library stocks or volumes no longer needed due to the advent and development of microfilm and computer storage methods. On his return to Australia, Alan found that Australian libraries were not immune from the Information Technology revolution.

In the years following, Alan adopted unwanted volumes from libraries all over Australia and New Zealand, while also occasionally discovering private collectors who had systematically put away newspapers for years.

It wasn't long before Alan had accumulated a veritable mountain of newspapers, but he had yet to prove that selling them in Australia would be a sustainable business venture.

Finally, in 1995, Alan judged he had enough stock of Melbourne newspapers to commence trading. When he placed his first radio advertisement, he was as a one-man-band, displaying his newspapers from a small glass cabinet in Melbourne's Chapel Street Bazaar

After several more acquisitions and a rise in profile through radio and press advertising, Paper World's services became national in 1998.

Thanks to Alan's service, the public can now own newspapers that otherwise would a not have been available for purchase and may have been dispersed. Today, Paper World's collection of newspapers numbers approximately 600,000 and is spread across four Melbourne warehouses. His team of dedicated customer service and production staff is committed to continuing this unique Original Newspaper service.

Paper World aims to provide:

  • a high quality service to customers throughout Australia and New Zealand in the supply of Original Newspapers for specific dates which are complete, exceptionally well presented; and
  • a service whereby customers are satisfied that they have been able to present an attractive and unique gift of quality on the planned day.

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