With an incredible 1,444 items in his personal collection, Sergio Bodini (Italy) has the world's largest collection of newspapers - different titles.
At the time of confirmation, Sergio’s collection was made up of newspapers from 115 different countries – just under two thirds of all the countries in the world.
Sergio started his collection when he was a 10-year-old boy in 1980. Initially he kept them in his bedroom but as he’s gathered more and more, they’re kept in plastic boxes which are stored in a temperature-controlled cellar.
His record has earned him a place in Guinness World Records 2020, and we spoke to him about his collection and his plans to grow it even further.
What made you start collecting newspapers?
When I was in school we had a class project about newspapers and I fell in love with journalism. My dream was to become a sport journalist… but I eventually ended up being a chemist.
I still never lost my curiosity and passion towards newspapers though. I simply love them! When I’m arranging my collection and renewing the inventory I feel really good. I love the idea of having tangible proof of memories like honeymoons, business trips, holidays, etc.
What is the most effort you've put into getting hold of a specific newspaper?
A funny story… I was once in a small Indian village and the only newsagent didn’t want to sell me a newspaper because I could not read and understand them. I suspected he only had a few left and didn’t want to deprive any locals of their own copy. Finally, with the help of my driver, I managed to convince him to sell me a paper.
Sergio’s collection has grown with the help of friends and family sending him newspapers from their travels across the world. He highlights one edition, collected by a family friend during the Romanian Revolution.
The incredible thing is that truly every newspaper has more than a story within and it is fascinating reading them and discovering old events, or reading about the common ideas of political situations at that time.
Are there any countries or newspaper editions you are desperate to add to your collection?
Of course there are. The Oceanic Islands: Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon, etc, above all. My dream would be to cover all countries but it's a very difficult mission.
Will you continue collecting now that you have achieved the record?
The Guinness World Records title is a flattering achievement. My motivation (to collect) has only increased with the fact that my collection is now publicly recognised as unique in the world. This collection is something that has accompanied my life ever since I was a kid.
Finally, since achieving the record, have you personally been featured in any newspapers and do you have a copy?
A journalist from Corriere della Sera, a major Italian newspaper, came to interview me and photograph my collection, but unfortunately the news was never published.