Heinz Wassermann – Historiker und Sammler
Heinz Wassermann is a lecturer at the Institute of Journalism and Public Relations. Photo: FH JOANNEUM

Heinz Wassermann – Historian and Print Media Collector

Celina Benda, Veronica Hall and Leila Hüller,

He is not only a lecturer at FH JOANNEUM, but also a collector of special magazine and newspaper issues and a passionate historian. Heinz Wassermann has around 200 magazines and newspapers which are collectors’ items, focusing mainly on politics and economics.

This unique passion for collecting print media stems from his student days: For his seminar work about media and history Heinz Wassermann immersed himself into the forgotten world of old newspapers. He got his hands on rare pieces such as the first issue of “Der Standard”. “That’s how it all started”, he explained “and to this day I have not stopped collecting”.

Thereafter, followed many first and last issues from a variety of media houses. The historian is now the proud owner of the first and the thousandth issue of “Der Standard”, the first issue of “News” and “TV Media” and many more. His most challenging mission was tracking down the first issue of “Die Furche”. On his quest to find it he asked multiple people, some of them mistaking the newspaper for a cigarette brand or an old gentlemen’s magazine.

Interesting relaunches

His collection mainly exists for the historical aspect. How have these newspapers and magazines changed over the course of time? “In many cases they hardly resemble the product they once were. They are often changed and then put back on the market. These relaunches are especially fascinating because one can analyse the new elements they include to make the product more alluring to a modern audience”, he says.

Heinz Wassermann told us that his collection is simply a hobby, and if someone is interested in seeing it, he would be happy to open his archive to interested historians and media junkies. The acquired pieces are not kept in a fancy vault, but are simply stored in ordinary folders.

Written by Celina Benda, Veronica Hall and Leila Hüller, students of the Bachelor’s programme “Journalism and Public Relations (PR)”.