The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 32, August 7, 2011, Article 16


Joel Orosz writes:

Vol 10, No 13, April 1, 2007, "Blockbuster Announcement: ANA, ANS to Merge. Duplicate Sale Planned"
In the great journalistic tradition of April 1 articles that brought us stories such as the profile of the Indian Ocean islands of "Sans Serif," a hilarious send-up of merger mania in numismatics.

Following on the heels of the recent merger of leading numismatic auction houses Stack's and American Numismatic Rarities, the two leading U.S. nonprofit numismatic organizations announced this weekend that a long-rumored merger has come to pass. In a joint statement, the leadership of the American Numismatic Society (founded 1858) and the American Numismatic Association (founded 1891) acknowledged the financial and organizational obstacles that each has encountered in recent years, but focused on many positive aspects of the combined organization.

"These past months have been both draining and exhilarating for our boards and top officers. The secret meetings, late-night negotiation sessions, and endless discussions of details often devolved into recriminations and tears. We are clearly two organizations that care deeply for our members, history and traditions. Yet the talks were infused with a sense of great hope and promise for the future, which we feel is being realized today. We know many of our members will feel the same sets of contrasting emotions that all of us did in coming to this joint decision, one which we trust and pray that in the end the numismatic community will embrace with the same sense of hope for the future."

The new organization will be called the American Numismatic Trust. No staff layoffs are planned, but headcount will be reduced through attrition. Effective immediately, the popular glossy magazine-format monthly publications Numismatist and American Numismatic Society Magazine will be combined into one 25%-larger issue called simply "Coin". Organizational news will be published mostly electronically. The separate ANA and ANS web sites will be merged by year end.

The biggest surprise concerns the new organization's headquarters building, which had been rumored to be the biggest stumbling block in the negotiations. Although both sides had dug in their heels in defense of their existing operations in Colorado Springs and New York City, a compromise was finally brokered by a team of angel backers led by well-known dealer Q. David Bowers, which donated an historic building at 225 N. Holliday St. in Baltimore, Maryland.

Erected in 1813 by Rembrandt Peale, son of the famed portraitist Charles Willson Peale, it was the first building in the Western Hemisphere created to serve as a museum. After years of mixed success, in 1830 the building was acquired by the city of Baltimore and later became the home of "Number 1 Colored Primary School". In subsequent years the building was used for storage and fell into disrepair. But with today's announcement, the grand building, just blocks from Baltimore's famed Inner Harbor, stands to rise again as a leading museum.

ANS leaders contacted privately admitted that "we looked around and realized we hadn't gotten around to unpacking all this stuff from our last move anyway, so what the heck, we might as well move again." The ANS' current exhibit at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will remain for at least two years, when a new satellite exhibit will occupy a special place at the new Museum of American Finance at 48 Wall Street. The Museum's founder John E. Herzog said he was "delighted with the new arrangement, which ensures that many numismatic treasures will remain available to the public here in New York."

In Colorado Springs, CO, a similar arrangement has been made with the trustees of Colorado College, which will keep the main level of the old ANA building open as a museum after the purchasing the building and grounds by year end. Former ANA employees staying in Colorado Springs will move to a smaller suite of rented offices nearby. In a similar move, New York-based employees will move to smaller rented space while the ANS building is emptied and sold.

Funds from the building sales and planned auctions of duplicates from the organizations' famed collections and libraries will replenish the combined organization's endowment fund.

Officials stated "We're shooting for a grand opening of the new building Friday, August 1, 2008, in conjunction with the "World's Fair of Money" convention planned by the ANA for the Baltimore Convention Center."

American Numismatic Association elections, scheduled to begin next month, have been cancelled, and the terms of both Executive Directors have been extended through December 31, 2012. "At first we kidded about holding a kickboxing tournament at the 2007 Numismatic Literary Guild Bash to determine who gets the top post, but some people didn't get the joke. I dunno, they're both tough cookies - we coulda sold some serious tickets."

This was one of those late-night directly-into-the-keyboard items I somehow came up with while putting the issue to bed. I went to bed myself with a smile on my face, even though in the end I resisted the urge to put in something about Chris Cipoletti and Ute Wartenberg-Kagin dancing cheek-to-cheek at the celebratory Social. It's one of my all-time favorite original articles. It set phones ringing across the country. -Editor

To read the complete original E-Sylum article, see: BLOCKBUSTER ANNOUNCEMENT: ANA, ANS TO MERGE; DUPLICATE SALE PLANNED (


DAVID SKLOW - FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS offers Mail Bid Sale No. 14 on October 15, 2011, including: Samuel Hatch priced and named sale Feb. 14, 1866 with addenda . PH: (719) 302-5686, FAX: (719) 302-4933. EMAIL: USPS: Box 6321, Colorado Springs, CO. 80934. Contact me for your numismatic literature needs!

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster