The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 36, September 3, 2000, Article 2
OUR 100TH ISSUE
The present issue is the 100th E-Sylum issued since we started on September 4th, 1998. That issue began as follows:
"This message is being sent to members and friends of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS). ...
In a Press Release going out soon to the numismatic press, we describe the purpose of the mailing list as follows:
Numismatic Bibliomania Society Vice President Wayne Homren is collecting email addresses for NBS members, a process which began at the national meeting at the Portland ANA convention. The resulting mailing list will be used to keep members and interested parties updated on NBS events and changes to the NBS web site....
A number of folks signed up at the meeting in Portland. To that initial group we've added the addresses of other current and former members that the Board is aware of, plus a few numismatic pen pals we thought might be interested.
This is intended to be a moderated, low-volume mailing list, with no more than one message every week or so. Its purpose and use will evolve over time - please send us your comments and suggestions."
Well, we've come a long way since then. The newsletter didn't even have a name until the February 8, 1999 issue, when we announced:
"These email missives are in their sixth month now, but they've never had a formal name. To remedy that situation, we've decided on "The E-sylum", an obvious play on our print journal "The Asylum". "
The NBS Board had lengthy email deliberations about the name before deciding on The E-Sylum. We voted on a list of about a dozen suggestions. I believe E-Sylum was my idea, but it was my second choice - I lobbied for "The Babbler", that being what members of an Asylum are wont to do. But saner heads prevailed, and The E-Sylum was born.
That first email message went to 49 people. Less verbose announcements were also sent to the COINS and BIBLIONUMIS mailing lists, as well the the Early American Coppers "Region 8" mailing list.
By noon subscription requests began arriving from around the world. Peter Gaspar of St. Louis, MO was the first. Jere Bacharach of the University of Washington in Seattle, was second, with Dr. Hubert Emmerig of Austria a close third. Over the course of the Labor Day weekend another twenty people subscribed, mostly from the U.S., but from as far afield as Italy, Poland, and the Russian Federation. Today we have grown to 335 subscribers.
We've far exceeded our original expectations. The E-Sylum serves not only as a vehicle to promote NBS and serve its members, but has also become a clearinghouse of sorts for numismatic research. We're a community of kindred souls who work together to further our numismatic knowledge. It's always gratifying to see articles, monographs, and books which credit The E-Sylum and its readers with inspiration and research assistance. It is the internet serving its highest purpose - bringing together people across geographic boundaries, 24 hours a day. We're in a place that didn't exist for most people just a few years ago, and now most of us don't know how we ever muddled along without it.
I'll have to admit, I was wary of being able to come up with enough material to fill a weekly publication, although that was always my goal. It's never easy, but some issues almost write themselves with the help of our readers. So keep those emails coming, folks - you're the backbone of The E-Sylum, and your editor couldn't do it without you.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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