The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 22, May 30, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers is Gregory N. Mirsky,
  courtesy of Dick Johnson.  Welcome aboard!  We now have
  664 subscribers.


  Numismatic Bibliomania Society President Pete Smith writes:
  "If you have not renewed your membership in the NBS, now
  is the time!  The Winter 2004 issue of The Asylum included a
  notification and reminder for members who are not current.

  Our special 25th Anniversary issue of The Asylum is expected
  to exceed 150 pages. This will only be sent to members who
  are current as of July 1, 2004.

  At last report, there were still more than 100 former members
  who have not renewed for the current year. While the number
  of unpaid subscribers to The E-Sylum continues to increase,
  our paid membership is dropping. The NBS board supports
  the E-Sylum as a service to our hobby.  Two years ago there
  were about equal numbers of paid members and E-Sylum
  subscribers. Now there is just one paid member for three
  E-Sylum subscribers.

  The E-Sylum is a fast and convenient way to communicate
  with those who collect and enjoy numismatic literature.
  However, many of us still like to see ink on paper, such as
  our printed journal, The Asylum. Membership in the NBS
  also supports meetings at the ANA, FUN, Central States
  and other conventions. This year we plan a special lunch for
  members and tour of Pittsburgh Numismatic libraries during
  the ANA convention.

  If you have just forgotten to renew, consider this a timely
  reminder. If you have not been a member in the past, now
  is a great time to join."

  [The following text appears in every issue of The E-Sylum,
  but we'll place it up front to make it easier for those wishing
  to join or renew their membership in NBS. -Editor]

  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. For those without web access,
  write to W. David Perkins, NBS Secretary-Treasurer,
  P.O. Box 212, Mequon, WI  53092-0212.

  For Asylum mailing address changes and other
  membership questions, contact David at this email
  address: wdperki at


  The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a press
  release May 27th regarding three Medals of Honor which
  the department confiscated from eBay auctions.   The release
  did not say how the medals came to be for sale.   It is illegal
  to sell a Medal of Honor.

  "FBI Director Robert S. Mueller today presided in a
  ceremony at FBI Headquarters to return three Medals of
  Honor recovered in an FBI investigation to the Congressional
  Medal of Honor  Society.

  Members of the Congressional Medal of Honor (MOH)
  Society have gathered in Washington, DC, to participate in the
  Memorial Day Weekend dedication of the World War II
  Memorial. The MOH is the highest award for valor in action
  against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an
  individual serving in the armed forces of the United States. The
  MOH is generally presented by the President of the United
  States on behalf of Congress and, therefore, it is often called
  the Congressional MOH."

  "These recoveries are as follows:

  - A Spanish-American War era MOH awarded to Navy
    Seaman Robert Blume who was awarded his MOH in 1898
    while serving aboard the USS Nashville near Cuba during the
    Spanish American War.

  - A MOH awarded to U.S. Army First Sergeant George W.
     Roosevelt during the Civil War, who received an extremely
     rare dual citation MOH in 1862 for heroic acts performed
    during the Second Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of

  - In Newark, New Jersey, a WWII Navy/Marine Corps
    MOH in the original presentation box (recipient unknown).

  These medals were being sold illegally over e-Bay and were
  recovered as a result of a joint investigation. Fifteen Canadian
  and U.S. law enforcement agencies assisted the FBI's Buffalo
  Cyber Task Force investigation. To date, one person has pled
  guilty to Federal charges involving the unlawful sale of any


  Fred Lake writes: "The prices realized list for our sale #74
  which closed on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 is now available
  for viewing on our web site at:

  Once you have opened that page, click on the link marked
  "2004" (or scroll down) to sale #74. You will find two
  options for viewing the prices realized. One is PDF format
  and the other is MS Word.

  Our thanks to our bidders and please note that our next
  sale will be held on July 27, 2004."


  [The following is the second of two submissions by Dick
  Johnson on the new library of the American Numismatic
  Society. -Editor]

  Librarian Frank Campbell escorted me onto the elevator and
  we rose one floor. This is the second level of the American
  Numismatic Society's new home for the World's Largest
  Numismatic Library (on floors five and six).  Imagine! Two
  floors of numismatic books, journals, documents, data!  I had
  died and gone to numismatic book heaven!

  Layout of the sixth floor is similar to the fifth, with two more
  separate rooms. A small receptionist  room to the right as you
  enter, and a large room at the far left rear for the rare books.
  This level will be the domain of assistant librarian Barbara
  Bonous-Smit. Her office is at the rear directly above Frank's
  on the floor below. I perceive this level will be the entrance for
  visitors of the future. Sign in please.

  Shelving -- similar to the movable shelves on the floor below
  ? is at the sides like on five. Here are all the library's numismatic

  journals and all the nonnumismatic books. These are already
  shelved and ready for action.

  Study tables are intended to be in the center of the room. I
  noted the wires to be connected to outlets at the tables. Thank
  you, thank you. My laptop is so old my batteries cost more than
  a new Dell computer (and twice as heavy). I need to plug in. At
  the old library there was only one table (on the lower level) that
  had a plug hidden next to the set of Benezits behind the only
  chair to access that plug. (Only once, though, did I have to ask
  someone to move so I could do so.)

  It is the Rare Book Room on this floor that is the epicenter of
  the numismatic book world. Here will be found the one-of-a-kind
  numismatic literature, the irreplaceable documents, the nearly
  150-year old library has acquired.  [November 3, 2008 will be
  the library's 150th anniversary.]   It is inconceivable you could
  write so much as a 2-page article on any numismatic subject
  without research at this resource.

  At first glance, most of what you see in the RB Room are
  archival boxes.  Oh, what numismatic knowledge they contain!
  Frank pointed to a row of seven or eight gray boxes. ?Here is
  New Netherlands archives,? he said.

  ?Auction catalogs and bid books?? I asked of the NN archive.
  ?That plus some correspondence as well,? Frank replied, with
  mention of Walter Breen, John Ford, and others (sometime
  employees of the NYC numismatic firm, prominent in the 1950s
  and 60s).   The story is these surfaced in Charles Wormser?s
  estate, were acquired by Anthony Terranova, who donated
  them to the library.

  Overall the appearance of what is on the shelves is Clean and
  Well Organized.  Not only for the Rare Book Room but for
  the library total.  So well organized ? despite the fact the shelf
  labels are not on the shelving yet ? that Frank and Barbara
  may have less to do. You won't need to ask them the location
  of what you are looking for.

  That, plus all the holdings are on computer, even down to
  articles in journals.  (Not every article, is cited, of course, but
  citations to Coin World articles have long since passed the
  5,000 mark years ago, more than any other journal.)

  Seeing those well housed, labeled, organized, and indexed items
  ready for use ? particularly in the Rare Book Room ? made me
  think.  What in my own library should end up here?  I do have
  some rare books, one or two unique, the bid books from my
  own auction firm, perhaps some of my own files. A ten-drawer
  photo file, one file cabinet drawer of numismatic subjects,
  another of my writings.

  I made inquiry to Frank about receiving donations. I don't
  remember his exact words, but somehow it meant, ?later, not
  now.?  His routine work has been set aside for the move. He
  did state it has been weeks since he viewed his email. He
  expected it contained thousands of messages, mostly public
  inquires requiring answers.

  So for the present, don't email Frank don't call, don't write.
  He's very busy. But think of what books in your library should
  be added to the World's Largest Numismatic Library.
  Meanwhile, there is a donation book auction to support the
  Francis D. Campbell Library Chair (details elsewhere). I
  couldn't think of a better service to numismatic literature.

  The library is slated to be available for the summer graduate
  seminar (for graduate students and junior faculty) June 1 and
  open to the public June 18."


  As a reminder, here is an item published earlier this month
  (May 9, 2004, v7n19).   Donations are still being actively

  George Kolbe writes: "On August 19, 2004 we will be
  conducting donated book auction to benefit the Francis
  D. Campbell Library Chair at the American Numismatic

 1. We need your book donations with an average value
     of $300 each

 2. We need you to attend and bid wildly

  Place: Tambellini's Restaurant
  (easy walking distance from the ANA Convention)
  cocktails: 5:15 p.m.
  followed by dinner & Auction

  Tickets: $50.00 each, reservations to:
  John Adams
  60 State Street, 12th floor
  Boston, MA 02109
  jadams at

  Books: Send to George Kolbe
  P.O. Drawer 3100, Crestline, CA 92325."


  Don Coley writes: "On Monday May 24, I had the good
  fortune to be in the area on business and happened to have
  a few hours to visit the ANA in Colorado Springs. Of
  course, this is a great time to visit, as several world class
  dollar rarities such as the Dupont 1866 Dollar and the 1794
  Dollar that have recently been featured in the Numismatist
  are on display.

  Unfortunately, the library was closed on Monday.
  Disappointment turned into delight when I recognized
  Barbara Gregory telling the receptionist that she would be
  happy to come down and work on some editing in the library
  while I spent a few minutes looking for a few items. I was
  looking for a specific auction sale referenced in the Clapp
  notebook and was unable to locate the Frossard May 7-8
  1896 catalog. However, I left a note for the librarian to
  research and get back to me. As I continued to browse,
  Barbara found the catalog, and had already made 2 copies
  for me! What a great surprise!

  This was truly a great experience for me, and we had a
  wonderful conversation about the ANA and the many great
  people in numismatics. I appreciated her going beyond the
  call of duty and exceeding my expectations.  As we were
  speaking, a gentleman came by looking for information on
  a dime that his wife had found in a box at home. My pulse
  quickened..could it be a 1894-S?  Not to be, it was a well
  worn 1901-O. I shared with him that it was made in New
  Orleans ... and Barbara gave him the mintage figures and
  the value of around $2.00.

  Of course, the Bass Display was fantastic, the patterns and
  gold are truly remarkable and the display is world class.
  It was interesting to view Harry Bass' notes and to hear from
  folks like Dave Bowers and Julian Leidman.  Having just read
  an article by Dave Bowers in The Numismatic Sun on
  Museums,  it was fitting ... as Dave says the "artifacts" in the
  Bass exhibit are the "reason to be"

  There are many reasons to visit the ANA in Colorado Springs.
  People like Barbara, and of course the books and the
  "artifacts" !"


  The June 2004 issue of Bank Note Reporter announces the
  publication of three new books on U.S. paper money.

  "The Society of Paper Money Collectors (SPMC) has
  released the latest state catalog in its long-running series of
  books chronicling the obsolete paper money of antebellum

  Entitled "A History of Nineteenth Century Ohio Obsolete
  Bank Notes and Scrip," written by Wendell Wolka, this
  book eclipses all of the previous state books in terms of the
  sheer size of the undertaking.

  The 2-1/2 inch-thick, hardbound book contains nearly 1,100
  pages, has over 900 illustrations and lists nearly 7,000 different
  notes ..."

  "Wolka jokingly confided that, had he known the book was
  going to be this big, he might have had second thoughts about
  taking on the project six years ago." (p4)

  [Single copies are $66.  Orders should be sent to Wendell
  Wolka, SPMC Ohio Book, P.O. Box 1211, Greenwood,
  IN 46142.  Checks should be made out toe SPMC. -Editor]

  An ad by publisher BNR Press (p59) offers two new books:

  "National Currency: An Analysis with Values" by Robert
  Liddell and William Litt, 600+ "large format" pages.
  Paperbound: $55; hardbound $80; numbered collector's
  edition, $125.

  "U.S. Essay, Proof and Specimen Notes" by Gene Hessler,
  second edition.  Hardbound: $40; limited collector's edition,

  Shipping is an additional $4 per order (not per book).
  Order online at or
  email bnrpress at


  From a mailing by Joseph M. Ciccone, Archivist of the
  American Numismatic Society:

  "As part of the Archives' efforts to provide members with
  increased online access to the Society's history, we have
  launched a new site devoted to the history of the Graduate
  Summer Seminar.

  Located at
  the site offers visitors information on students, scholars and
  staff who have participated in the program since its founding
  in 1952.  Images of seminar participants have been included
  when available.

  Please note that the Archives is looking for images related
  to the seminar, especially any images of the program prior
  to 1982.  If you have any such images, or any other questions ]
  or concerns about the site, please do not hesitate to contact me."


  Dick Johnson writes: "To answer David F. Fanning's question
  in last week's E-Sylum:  Walter Breen and I put out the first
  issue of the MANA News. We worked in the basement office
  in the home of Eldridge Jones, one of MANA?s founders and
  longtime MANA secretary. Walter was in Washington DC at
  the time doing his research at the National Archives (I was in
  the Air Force stationed nearby). It was July 1953.

  I remember the night we worked that first issue. We had to
  get the text to Ed Rice in New Jersey who had made
  arrangements to print it. We rushed the envelope containing
  the final text to the Main DC Post Office ? at that time they
  kept a window open until midnight or 2 am (Oh! there was no
  FedEx then). We kept asking the clerk for a faster way to get
  it to the New Jersey destination. His harried reply: ?The only
  faster way to get it there was to take it yourself!?

  Later Walter and I went on a buying trip through the South to
  Miami, underwritten by Ben Douglas, a coin dealer with a shop
  in DC.  He wanted us to buy up all the Confederate currency
  we could find.  I remember Walter's best buy, however, was
  a Heaton Mint Canadian coin in a junk box at an antique dealer
  in Charleston, SC.  Incidentally I taught Walter to drive a car
  on that trip.

  Walter had rented a room in a basement apartment on
  Connecticut Avenue next door to the Ecuadorian embassy in
  DC. It had an elevator with an open cage.  Walter hated it.
  But on our trip to Miami he complained he was paying triple
  rent: His apartment in NYC, the room in DC and a hotel room
  on the trip.

  I don't know how long Walter's name was kept on the MANA
  News masthead. Later issues were still done in DC while Walter
  was in NYC and still later the name was changed to MANA
  Journal. Roger Cohen of half-cent fame who lived in Baltimore
  may have been involved. (My name was removed when I was
  discharged, entered Washington University in St. Louis to
  complete my coolege educashun.)  Anyone with a run of these
  MANA periodicals can pinpoint those exact dates."

  Clifford Mishler writes: "In the event no one has come forward
  with more definitive information, perhaps I can be helpful to
  David Fanning in his pursuit of information on the span of time
  Walter Breen was involved with the MANA Journal.  I happen
  to have a reasonably good run of the Journal, along with its
  predecessor, MANA News, from the mid- through the late 50s.
  My earliest issue of the News is vol. 2, no. 2, July 1954, where
  he is listed as editor, as he is in vol. 2, no. 3, October 1954,
  through vol. 5, no. 1, March 1957. That ends my run of the
  News. The first issue of the MANA Journal that I find is vol. 1,
  no. 2, October 1957, where he is listed as associate editor, as
  he is for the issues of 1958 as well. For the issues of 1959 he
  is listed as a contributor. Thereafter, his name is not present."


  Dave Bowers writes: "If anyone has a copy of BANKING IN
  MAINE, by Ava H. Chadbourne, they would be willing to
  loan/rent to me I would be very grateful. This modern book
  does not seem to be available in numismatic circles, at least not


  Hudson's Bay Company was in the news this week.
  The following excerpts were taken from a May 19th New
  York Times article.

  "The Hudson's Bay Company has had its share of
  adventures since it was formed by King Charles II of
  England 334 years ago to open trading opportunities
  in North America. By bartering furs with Indians and
  then building a far-flung network of trading posts, the
  early Bay men laid the foundation for Canada's biggest
  chain of department stores.

  Now Hudson's Bay, which claims to be North America's
  oldest corporation and whose stores are a landmark in
  every big Canadian city, is facing what could be the
  biggest adventure in its illustrious history: being taken over,
  and possibly broken up, by an American corporate raider."

  "The chairman of Hudson's Bay still holds the title of
  governor conferred by the original royal charter in 1670,
  and the corporate coat of arms features four beavers, two
  moose and a fox."

  To read the full article, see:

  QUIZ QUIZ: what numismatic item is the company
  known for?


  Steve Pellegrini writes: "As a brief follow-up on the Salvador
  Dali series of medals mentioned a few weeks ago. I saw this
  entire series offered (by the piece) on eBay not long ago.
  Although I never returned to the bid page to check on their
  final prices  they seemed to be staying with-in the under
  $50.00 range. Not bad for art medals by Dali.

  Even more reasonable is the beautiful little coin designed by
  Dali for El Salvador in 1971. Although listed in K-M as
  commemorating the 150 years of Salvadoran Independence
  it is in actual fact a design Dali created for the 'International
  Year of the Woman.' It was struck in both BU and Proof, in
  silver (KM#141) and gold (KM#143). The easiest way to
  get hold of an example of this little beauty is to pick up a
  1971 El Salvador Proof Set (KM#PS6). This contains the
  silver 1 Colon by Dali.. These sets used to sell for about
  $15-20 and were always readily available. I don't know if
  that's still the case. But I do know it is one of the most
  gorgeous coins of the modern era.  The gold 25 Colones
  has a relatively small mintage of only 7,650. These can be
  found in the much more expensive Proof Set KM#PS6
  which are catalogued in my 1996 K-M at $915.00."


  Myron Xenos writes: "There is at least one more book about
  Mark Hofmann.  The title is VICTIMS: The LDS Church and
  the Mark Hofmann Case, by Richard Turley, Jr., 1992,
  University of Illinois Press.   I also obtained a one-page letter
  from Mark to the late Armand Champa asking for an 1826
  Bust Half,  which he apparently intended to use with some
  forged document. Quite a case out of Utah!"


  A May 20 Reuters report described efforts to promote
  the teaching of Latin to tourists in Rome, as part of a
  program to immerse visitors in the ancient culture of the
  region.  It would be an interesting promotion of numismatics
  to also include Roman coins in the program.

  "Tourists have long been drawn to the Colosseum and ruins
  of magnificent Roman temples in the heart of the Italian capital,
  but starting this week they can immerse themselves in ancient
  history and even pick up beginners' Latin.

  The regional government along with two historical societies
  is offering free Latin classes to tourists in a bid to lure even
  more of the sword-and-sandals loving crowd to Rome."

  "They say interest for everything ancient skyrocketed after the
  success of Hollywood blockbuster "Gladiator" and is expected
  to just keep growing with films like "Troy," starring Brad Pitt
  which opened in the United States earlier this month."

  "But the fun won't stop with Latin.

  For those itching to really live the Roman experience,
  organizers plan to team up this summer with the Scuola
  Gladiatori Roma, or gladiator school, to offer a package with
  Latin classes and a crash course in gladiator fighting.

  After donning tunics and helmets, tourists would be treated to
  a typical Roman feast.

  "Tourists are always looking for something 'typical' of a region
  -- well for ancient Rome it doesn't get much more typical than
  gladiator fighting and Latin," said Pediconi.

  Still, he said the ancient post-supper vomiting ritual would be

  To read the full article, see:


  This week's featured web page is about the Dutch
  leeuwendaaler or "lion thaler".

  "The word thaler comes from its place of origin: the town of
  Saint/Sankt Joachimsthal/Joachimstal in West Bohemia [then
  Germany; today Jachymov in Czech Republic]. Joachimstal
  means, literally, "Joachim's Valley" [Tal means valley in german
  language]. Here, from locally mind silver, the Joachimsthaler,
  better known by its clipped form thaler or taler, was minted
  for the first time in 1519. This silver coin -made of a now
  unknown silver alloy that never tarnished- became one of the
  most successful coins in monetary history and was widely
  imitated not only in Germany but also in the Dutch provinces.
  In the Dutch provinces, the leeuwendaalder [i.e. lion thaler]
  were first coined in 1575 during the struggle for independence.
  Soon thereafter leeuwendaalder were issued by six [of the
  seven] Dutch provinces, along with independent issues
  produced by some of the major imperial towns..."

  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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