The E-Sylum:  Volume 6, Number 48, November 9, 2003, Article 2


  Last week I asked, "If you could save just one item from
  your numismatic library, what would it be, and why?"  Here
  are some of your responses:

  Tom DeLorey writes: "My autographed copy of Taxay's
  "The U.S. Mint and Coinage." It is my favorite numismatic
  work.  Second choice would be Vermeule's "Numismatic
  Art in America."

  Denis Loring writes: "My copy of Penny Whimsy, which
  I 've had since I started collecting large cents in the 1960's.
  It's autographed by Sheldon, Paschal, and (with a full-page
  inscription) Breen.  The book is heavily annotated and falling
  apart from use.  It's obviously not the most valuable item in
  my library, but certainly links to the most memories."

  Bruce Perdue writes: "Regarding your question in the v06n47
  E-Sylum as to what book one might take while leaving a
  burning house:  Since I don't have any valuable numismatic
  books, or valuable books period, (although I do have a number
  of first additions) I'd grab my checkbook."

  Dick Johnson writes: "One item?   One book?   How about
  one shelf, or one bookcase?  Then I realized almost everything
  can be replaced. Then I got to thinking. What do I have that
  is unique, really irreplaceable?  My own manuscripts?  They are
  still in the computer.  Jerk the cords off the CPU and throw it
  out the window to be retrieved  later.  Grab the backup disks.

  To answer your question: The one book I would save because
  it is irreplaceable is "The Fantastic 1804 Dollar? " one of the rare
  first edition -- that was the only copy signed by both authors in
  two different cities on the same day. Sixteen copies were
  delivered to Ken Bressett at an ANA convention in Detroit. He
  gave me a copy because I was flying back to Kansas City that
  day with a stopover in St. Louis.  If Eric Newman could meet
  me at the airport I would deliver his first copy.  Both authors
  signed my copy. That's irreplaceable."

  Ralf Böpple of Stuttgart, Germany writes: "The most important
  numismatic book for me was the 1995 North American Coins
  & Prices. Although outdated, heavily annotated and earmarked,
  it still holds a special place on my bookshelf. Why?  While I
  surely cherish each and every item in my library, I would not be
  where I am today if I had not discovered the world of Mexican
  numismatics through this catalog (and this even though the
  fascinating world of Mexican Revolutionary coinage is not even
  covered!). And from there I wandered off into the world of
  auction catalogs, special references, pamphlets, die studies,
  coffee table books, mint reports, periodicals, etc. Not to forget
  the non-numismatic part of Mexican, world, economic and bank

  So while it was not the first book or catalog on coins I
  possessed, it was the one that laid the foundation of the collecting
  and study interest I am pursuing today.  And I still love to go back
  to the book and look at the innocent comments and annotations I
  made there at a time when I, as am absolute beginner, knew
  absolutely nothing about the subject."

  Bob Christie writes: "In response to the question asking which
  book to save from your library if faced with the disaster of the
  California fires; the first one that popped into my head was The
  Standard Catalogue of Encased Postage Stamps since I collect
  them and any memorabilia connected to them plus the fact that I
  like the simple easy way it's written.  But then I thought that in
  such a situation, I'd want something unique, meaningful, and
  brings back memories.  In 2000 I attended the ANA summer
  seminar in Colorado Springs, brought the American Numismatic
  Association Anthology (which was written to celebrate the l00th
  Anniversary of the ANA) with me and had many people autograph
  it.  With a clear mind, that's probably what I'd choose.  However,
  in such a situation, who thinks clearly?"

  Your editor was dying to know, so I put the question directly to
  George Kolbe, who actually lived this nightmare scenario.  He

  "To respond to your query, not counting personal items such as
  clothing, financial records, photo albums, and other treasured
  belongings (including our two dogs), we were able to take 21
  banker's boxes of books with us.  Seven of them contained GFK
  stuff, including runs of our fixed price lists and auction catalogues.
  Early numismatic bibliographies were packed in another carton
  and, from there on, it was pretty much whatever came to view.
  The remaining fourteen boxes were packed with items from the
  John J. Ford, Jr. library, mainly the highlights of items already
  catalogued, along with an extensive run of plated large format
  Chapman sales being readied for cataloguing.  As items in both
  categories were being placed back on our shelves, many
  "shoulda taken" items were noted. I know it sounds self-serving
  but I could have stood the loss of my own material; as to the
  Ford library and other significant consignments on hand . . ."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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