The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 4, Number 31, July 29, 2001: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2001, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have one  new subscriber this week:  NBS member 
   Donald Yarab.  Welcome aboard!  Our subscriber count is 
   now 409. 


   The 2001 Numismatic Bibliomania Society election has 
   been concluded.  The following officers and trustees will 
   begin their terms at the upcoming convention of the 
   American Numismatic Association: 

   President: Pete Smith 
   Vice President: John W. Adams 
   Secretary-Treasurer: David Sklow 
      Dave Hirt 
      John Kraljevich 
      Bob Metzger 
      Joel J. Orosz 
      P. Scott Rubin 
      Tom Sheehan 


   Fred Lake of Lake Books writes: "This is a reminder that 
   our 59th mail-bid sale of numismatic literature closes on 
   July 31, 2001 at 5:00 PM EDT. 

   Please note that lots E115 and G5 have been withdrawn 
   because of incorrect cataloguing.  You may see the entire 
   catalog by visiting our web site at the following address:" 


   Munzgalerie Munchen (of Munich, Germany) has published 
   their 2001 catalog of numismatic literature.  (Some time ago 
   probably, but a copy arrived in your editor's mailbox just 
   this week). 


   Chales Davis writes:  "I will have a tables 132-134 (along 
   the left wall) at the ANA Convention next week.  I hope 
   E-Sylum readers will stop by and say hello." 


   Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I just finished reading the 
   latest E-Sylum in an Internet Cafe in Ho Chi Minh City. 
   Technology is sometimes great!  My trip here to Viet Nam 
   has been about two weeks long and I depart in about 24 
   hours.  So far, I have not been able to find any new or 
   old numismatic or exonumia references, but I will not give 
   up until the last hour.  But I have found a couple of 
   Vietnamese banking and economic publications that were 
   not already in my library. 

   As for numismatic and exonumia pieces, I have found a 
   very few new pieces to add to my collection, but I have 
   found many, many for friends, to include philatelic pieces. 
   Shopping for friends keeps my searching interesting!" 


   Russ  Rulau reports that "Advance galley proofs of the 
   United States section of Dr. Gregory G. Brunk's new 
   standard reference on merchant and other private 
   counterstamps of the world have been furnished to me. 
   The work is done and the entire manuscript is now in 
   the hands of the publisher, Rich Hartzog of Rockford, 
   Illinois. Brunk estimates it will take six months for the 
   catalog to be released, or early 2002. 

   Titled "Merchant and Privately Countermarked Coins: 
   Advertising on the World's Smallest Billboards," the 
   slightly humorous name masks a stupendous research 
   effort aided by some of the best and brightest scholars 
   in numismatics today.  Thousands of listings backed by 
   photos, historical notes on issuers, a complete new 
   numbering system, and 14 years of data collection since 
   his 1987 catalog should make this volume one to stay 
   on bookshelves for a generation. 

   The chapter on "regulated" foreign gold coins by U.S. 
   and West Indies  goldsmiths (Ephraim Brasher, John 
   Burger, Joseph Richardson et al) is pleasing because 
   of its coherent  treatment of a complex subject.  The 
   hobby will be waiting for this book! 

   Announcements on price, availability etc. will come from 
   the publisher.  Brunk says he's tired and off to Alaska 
   until end-October to relax." 


   An ad in the June 2001 issue of the Token and Medal 
   Society Journal reports that "the long awaited revision of 
   Farran Zerbe's landmark reference is now being printed. 
   The expected availability is 1 August.  Fred Schornstein 
   has added many hitherto unknown pieces and new 
   information about this enigmatic series of political exonumia." 

   The book is 128 pages in hardcover with a full color dust 
   jacket, with "all varieties pictured in larger-than-life size" 
   Retail price is $29.95 (TAMS members $24) plus $2.75 
   for shipping.  Send check to: Mark Lighterman, 9230 
   S.W. 59 Street, Miami, FL 33173. 


   Is anyone aware of a photograph of (or reference to) 
   large cent specialist George H. Clapp viewing coins 
   with a microscope?  Please write to me at   Thanks.  -Editor. 


   Mike Metras,  webmaster of the Elgin Coin Club provided 
   the address of a web site in response to Pete Smith's query 
   about the status of the Elgin Pioneer Memorial: 


   Mike Metras is also the author of a new CD-ROM 
   compilation of articles from the Elgin Coin Club Newsletter 
   From the press release: 

   "Fractional Currency, The 1964 Peace Dollar, A Horde of 
   Five Thousand Cents, A Pennsylvania Quarter Error, A Time 
   Table of Colonial Coins, The Roman As, The Byzantine Follis, 
   The Nickel Three Cent Piece, The Eritrean Nakfa, Sicilian 
   Coin Collections, The Lincoln Cent,  The Tasmanian Devil, 
   The 1998 ANA Summer Seminar, and The Minting Process 
   are just a few of the more that 85 articles appearing in the 
   just-released Money Meanderings: An Introduction to 
   Numismatics.  Assembled and edited by Michael Metras from 
   Elgin Coin Club Newsletter articles, Money Meanderings 
   holds a wide variety of fascinating knowledge for the beginning 
   and seasoned collector alike. 

   First published in January, 1994, the Elgin Coin Club 
   Newsletter is written for the Elgin Coin Club of Elgin, Illinois. 
   During the Newsletter's first six years, the American Numismatic 
   Association (ANA) awarded it first place as the Outstanding 
   Local Publication three years and second and third place two 
   other years. Michael Metras, a collector for 47 years, was the 
   writer, editor, and publisher of the Newsletter during those years. 

   Money Meanderings is an interactive book on CD-ROM in 
   HTML format for viewing on any computer with an internet 
   browser and CD-ROM drive. The book includes the following: 

   * Eighty six articles are illustrated by more than 180 large 
      clear graphics. 
   * The table of contents and extensive index allow you to 
       jump directly to specific articles and topics. 
   * A bibliography lists over 75 sources including internet links. 
   * Internal links lead you between articles and to the internet 
      for additional information. 

   Money Meanderings is available for $17.95 postage paid. 
   Send check or money order to Michael Metras, Box 314, 
   Somonauk, IL  60552-0314.  You can also contact the 
    author at" 


   Dick Johnson. writes: "Dave Bowers has mentioned this 
   before, but repeats this again in his recent Rare Coin 
   Review (July-August 2001, no 142) in This & That 
   column (page 73, "Wanted:").  He calls for a uniform index 
   which would include the most popular numismatic 
   publications of the 19th and 20th century. 

   He is right. Despite the fact The Numismatist has been 
   indexed three times, the first by Frank G. Duffield and 
   published on the 50th anniversary of the publication 
   (1888-1938), again by Krause Publications which hired 
   a woman do do a second index, and finally the index at 
   the Harry Bass Foundation (which may have replicated 
   some of these other indexes). They all leave something 
   to be desired. 

   None of these are satisfactory for penetrating numismatic 
   research. They all are indexed BY TITLE and not BY 
   CONTENT. The seven-man committee that did that first 
   index of The Numismatist was a who's who of numismatics 
   at the time. This project cannot be a committee effort. 
   An index must be created by one person, but it requires a 
   lot of TIME. 

   The person who could do this is a rare bird -- he, or she 
   -- must have an intimate knowledge of numismatics in all 
   its segments, a professional knowledge of indexing, and a 
   computer with tremendous capacity.  It could be speeded 
   up if all text was digitized, but still it would require the full 
   time for one individual for years!  A retired individual would 
   be ideal. 

   I found the best such index which could be used for a model 
   on the shelf in my publisher's office. Title:  "Index to Nineteenth 
   Century American Art Periodicals." Author: Mary M. Schmidt 
   (head art librarian, emeritus, Princeton University Marquand 
   Library).  Details: 2 volumes, 1,584 pages. 

   Here is how he describes this monumental work in his current 

   "Imagine this nightmare assignment:  You must locate every 
   art magazine published in 19th century America -- no matter 
   how rare or how long it takes to find them.  Then, you must 
   read every single article in each magazine. And most important, 
   you must take notes every time you come across an artist's 
   name, geographical place, or any type of subject matter! 

   "Well, it took more than 20 years, but this extraordinary feat 
   was accomplished by noted art librarian, Mary M. Schmidt, 
   and her team of graduate students.  For the first time, every 
   article in every issue of every art magazine that appeared in 
   19th century America was thoroughly indexed!" 

   I certainly would not want this job for numismatic periodicals. 
   Five and a half years ago I begin indexing American artists, 
   diesinkers, engravers, medalists and sculptors. I was naive of 
   the estimated size of this project. I have have 3,129 such 
   artists in my databank. And have over 2,000 pages of text. 
   And counting... 

   Can you imagine the size of the numismatic index that Dave 
   wants. Don't hold your breath, Dave. I don't think you can 
   find that person!" 


   Alan Luedeking  writes: "Your news of the death of John 
   Davenport brought back a memory, and after pondering 
   whether to share it or not, have decided that the lesson to 
   be learned therefrom is worth it. 

   I do not exactly recall the date, but it was Summer 14 or 
   15 years ago, when I received a call from Colin Bruce at 
   Krause Publications asking me if I could assist him by 
   visiting the home of John Davenport and help him to pack 
   up his library which he had decided to donate to KP.  He 
   was about to move from Coral Gables up to central Florida 
   and couldn't carry it all with him. 

   I eagerly accepted, as I considered it a privilege to meet 
   and help Mr. Davenport. Colin had also generously offered 
   that for my efforts I could keep whatever interested me in 
   the line of Latin American numismatic material. On the 
   appointed weekend morning I arrived at Mr. Davenport's 
   small but elegant-looking 1930's art-deco style house, 
   typical of the hey-day of Coral Gables. He lived there alone. 
   He was then I believe in his mid-seventies or older, but 
   looked in his sixties at most, thin as a rail and small-boned, 
   birdlike but intense. 

   I looked at his library and felt a pang of disappointment 
   as it consisted of nothing but one medium bookcase, 
   perhaps two-thirds full, with nothing that greatly impressed 
   me at the time. (It should be mentioned that I'm a better 
   judge of numismatic literature now than I was then, in my 
   numismatic infancy so to speak.) I was surprised at how 
   small his holdings were and wondered to myself how such 
   a fabulous wealth of numismatic knowledge and series of 
   great crown books could have sprung from a man with 
   such a paltry library.  After a short chat, I said I'd run out 
   to my jeep and get the boxes and stuff to pack up his 

   Then came the surprise. John said the stuff he wanted to 
   ship up to KP was in his concrete storage shed in the 
   garden, and what was here in his living room was what 
   he intended to keep!  He repeated Colin's offer that I 
   could keep whatever I wanted in exchange for my help. 
   He pointed me in the right direction, thanked me profusely 
   in advance and said I should pack up anything and 
   everything I found in the shed, he wanted nothing left behind. 

   With pounding heart I trotted over to the shed, unlocked 
   it, and opened the door.  A powerful musty odor assailed 
   my nose and I reared back. Letting my eyes adjust to the 
   gloom for a moment I stepped further in, found the pull 
   cord for the overhead naked light bulb, and revealed --- 
   a swarm of cockroaches that instantly disappeared. To 
   make a long and very sad story short, I labored in awful 
   conditions, pouring sweat in 100+ degree humid heat to 
   pack up hundreds of auction catalogs and a few cartons 
   of books, almost all of them covered with a green and gray 
   growth of mold and fungus, not to mention cockroach and 
   rat droppings. The vast majority of these pages would 
   never see the light of day again, as they were forever stuck 

   I reported back to Mr. Davenport what I had found, and 
   while he knew already, I could not resist asking him why he 
   had not thought to install an air conditioner in the shed.  I 
   do not believe my comment was well received, and after 
   I left his home we never spoke again. I reported to Colin 
   what I had found, and we reluctantly agreed that I should 
   ship him 3 cartons worth of material that might still be 
   salvageable, all catalogs that had come from the innermost 
   piles, since perhaps the clean, cool dry air of Northern 
   Wisconsin might kill the mold.  The remaining dozen 
   cartons or so I regretfully consigned to the tender mercies 
   of the Dade County dump, my only consolation being that 
   I saw nothing older than from the 1940's with perhaps a 
   few catalogs from the thirties.  Much of it was European, 
   with some American series, and a few Scott and Wayte 
   Raymond and the like. I kept for myself not a thing but a 
   lesson on how NOT to store books in Miami, and a moldy 
   smell in my jeep for a few days thereafter." 


   This week's featured web page is from Ron Wise's World 
   Paper Money site.  It features illustrations of banknotes 
   from Greenland, dating from 1905 through 1942.  The 
   scans were donated by several individual collectors who 
   own the different notes.  The site currently contains over 
   14,000 scans (over 7,000 notes, with individual front and 
   back scans). 

  Wayne Homren 
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society

Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature.   For more information please see our web site at There is a membership application available on the web site.  To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application.  Visit the Membership page. Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link.

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