July 29, 2014

2012 issues of the Bowdoin Street Times are delivered weekly to the dollhouse. (Courtesy David Trumbull)

Big News in a Small Package

News comes in all shapes and sizes, so be prepared to read the fine print in the Bowdoin Street Times — Boston’s smallest weekly with an even smaller circulation.

David Trumbull, a columnist for the Post-Gazette in Boston, began printing the four-page newspaper four years ago for his wife, Mary DiZazzo-Trumbull, a fellow Post-Gazette writer and dollhouse enthusiast. Since the early 1980s, Mary’s dollhouse has been a labor of love, where she stocks the kitchen with “pancakes, coffee and syrup.”

But David felt something was missing.

“I couldn’t imagine a house that didn’t have a newspaper delivered,” he said.

So, he got to work.

The first issue of the Bowdoin Street Times was published in January 2010, highlighting the most exciting events from the couple’s week. David is the paper’s sole publisher, editor and reporter. He produces four copies a week: one for the dollhouse; one for his archives; and two for Mary, one of which she gives to friends.

“I can put out what’s happening in our lives, what’s happening with the dollhouse, when our friends visit … that can be a story in the paper,” David said.

 In June, David and Mary accompanied Post-Gazette publisher Pam Donnaruma to Washington to see “One Nation With News for All,” the Newseum’s exhibit in partnership with the Smithsonian that tells the story of how immigrants and minorities used the power of the press to shape the American experience. The Post-Gazette is featured in the exhibit. The newspaper was founded in 1905 by Donnaruma’s grandfather, James V. Donnaruma, as La Gazzetta del Massachusetts. It remains one of the leading voices for Italian Americans in Massachusetts.

During the visit, David brought archived copies of the Bowdoin Street Times to share with Newseum curators. Beyond the paper’s charms, David and Mary see a serious educational value and a possible impact on the future of printed news.

“It’d be fabulous if this little newspaper would encourage a new generation to turn to newspapers,” David said.

“News for All” is open at the Newseum through Jan. 4, 2015. For more information on the Bowdoin Street Times, please contact David Trumbull at david@trumbullofboston.org

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