Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before it was History, it was News


November 29, 2012

Program Locations:


Todd Andrlik has compiled one of the most significant collections of colonial papers published between 1763 and 1783 and is among the nation’s leading authorities on 18th-century newspapers. For the first time, readers can experience the American Revolution as it happens in Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News (ISBN: 9781402269677; NOVEMBER 2012; $39.99 U.S.; Hardcover; History).

Todd Andrlik will present:

OVERVIEW of 18th century media and the role it played in shaping our nation.
BUILDING THE COLLECTION - How Andrlik came to discover historic newspapers and build such a significant collection so quickly and his paper preservation/conservation.
HISTORY OF PRINTED NEWS - Overview of printed news from the 15th century to the American Revolution.
REVOLUTION PRINTING BUSINESS - Overview of the printing trade in the 18th century.
REVOLUTION NEWSPAPER HIGHLIGHTS/DISCOVERIES - Highlights of the most exciting newspaper accounts, newspapers, and unique history discoveries.        
Todd Andrlik is among the nation’s leading authorities on 18th century newspapers. He has built one of the most significant collections of American Revolution era newspapers – containing the earliest printed reports of practically every major event and battle from 1763 to 1783.
Andrlik estimates that 15% of his 18th century collection is made up of newspapers with less than five originals known to exist. He views his collection, which he has compiled in just the last five years, as a temporary clearinghouse that will eventually be sourced to institutions and private collectors. About 100 newspapers, dating as far back as the 17th century, from his larger collection are currently housed in the Library of Congress.
Andrlik built his collection by scouring the country for these precious historical resources. He conducts diligent online research in his quest to uncover or locate these missing pieces of history. Through a combination of eBay, traditional auction houses, book dealers and other collectors, Andrlik has assembled a collection that provides one of the most comprehensive perspectives of the Revolutionary War from the ascension of King George III through the death of George Washington.
Andrlik also gets calls from family members who are clearing out old homes and find newspapers hidden behind picture frames or in attics. Often these items turn out to be reproductions, but Andrlik has been able to acquire the real documents on several occasions.  
Andrlik is also the curator and publisher of, an online museum and educational archive of historically significant newspapers dating back to the 16th century. Collaborating with individuals and institutions, including the Library of Congress, he helps others build private and public collections of these treasured relics. 
Beyond the acquisition, research and digital preservation of early newspapers, Andrlik takes an active role in their physical conservation. Through a partnership with one of the top paper conservators in the world, he helps save damaged newspapers from loss and restores the artifacts as close as possible to their original condition. 
Andrlik serves on the advisory board of the Printing Office of Edes & Gill, the only colonial-era printing experience along Boston’s historic Freedom Trail. He frequently writes for Patriots of the American Revolution magazine, and is a member of the American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA), the American Revolution Association (ARA) and the Associates of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (OIEAHC).
His passion for newspaper history stems from a career in media and marketing. Andrlik heads the marketing and media operations for one of the nation’s largest construction, design-build and commercial real estate development firms.  He has authored or ghost-authored thousands of published articles and, as a social media pioneer, created the Advertising Age Power 150, a global ranking of the top marketing and media blogs.