Owning or Admiring a Piece of History

Clemens Manuscript at Shapell Manuscript Foundation
Clemens Manuscript at Shapell Manuscript Foundation

Certainly, many people today enjoy collecting autographs, documents and other items from the rich and famous. Some people enjoy trying to get autographs from living celebrities, while others enjoy a piece of history.

There are different ways to obtain these pieces of history and to enjoy such a prize. Here are a few ways to do so.

  1. Fan club mail: If you write to a celebrity, they will often send you a headshot with a signature. Now, the signature won’t be a handwritten one, but will usually be a computer generated copy.
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  3. Find someone who knows someone: One way to get the signature you want is to actually meet the person. This is obviously not easily done, but if you find connections, you might be able to either meet them yourself and get their signature, or have someone else do so.
  4. Auctions and collectors: Historic documents and memorabilia do come up for sale at times. You can look for antique sales and can see what auction houses have to offer. A reputable manuscript foundation like Shapell Manuscript Foundation has fascinating documents and items from famous people throughout history. A few of their recent examples include one of the last documents ever signed by William McKinley before he was killed and a mock-up by Samuel Clemens of his title page and dedication of “More Tramps Abroad.”

With a bit of ingenuity and perseverance, you should be able to own (or at least admire) pieces of history from the rich and famous.


James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]sunstoneonline.com.

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