Jeff Burke submitted this article about a recent presentation to the New Jersey Numismatic Society by David Hill of the American
Numismatic Society. Thanks! -Editor
ANS Librarian and Archivist David Hill Speaks at September Meeting of the New Jersey Numismatic Society
With gratitude to the late Dave Ginsburg for helping to arrange this guest presentation.
David Hill was a special guest speaker for the September meeting of the New Jersey Numismatic Society at the Madison (N.J.) Public
Library on September 19, 2016. Hill is the Francis D. Campbell Librarian at the ANS. He holds an M.A. in American History and an M.L.S.
from the University at Albany, N.Y. Hill’s professional work has included positions at the Columbia University Archives and Columbiana
Library, the Berkshire County Historical Society (M.A.), the Westchester County Archives (N.Y.), and Iona College Library in New Rochelle,
N.Y. David served as the ANS’s archivist for five years, prior to his appointment as head of its library in 2014. His numerous articles on
historical topics in the field of numismatics have appeared in ANS Magazine and The Asylum (from bio supplied by the
I had the chance to speak with David about his article, “Printed or Electronic Books: Each Holds Advantages for Research” in The
Asylum, vol. 34, no. 3 (Autumn 2016), pp. 8-11, before he delivered his talk. Hill was surprised by the large number of contributors to
We also discussed the concerns of some numismatic bibliophiles who discover that, since of the advent of numismatic literature
digitization, copies of the extensive collections they have built up over the years can now be found online and the effect this might have
Dave Bailey, President of NJNS, introduced the speaker. Hill gave an abbreviated version of his hour-long presentation on the history of
the ANS that he delivers to his students at the annual ANS Summer Seminar.
After working out computer compatibilities with Ray Williams prior to our meeting, David gave an engaging PowerPoint presentation on the
ANS beginning with the founding of the organization in New York in 1858. He showed us a slide of an ANS archival document pertaining to
Augustus B. Sage (1842-1874) and an image of the familiar Massachusetts Pine Tree Shilling from 1652. According to ANS minutes, the Pine
Tree Shilling was among the first coins donated to the ANS by David Balfour in 1858.
Although the ANS began with a focus on U.S. coins, assembling a collection of ancient and foreign coins became predominant. In 1866, the
ANS launched publication of the American Journal of Numismatics, the first numismatic journal published in the United States.
Selected medal production became another point of emphasis for the ANS. For example, Swedish medalist Lea Ahlborn (1826-1897) designed
three ANS medals. Hill showed us images of various locations of the ANS along with pictures of major ANS benefactors and other ANS
luminaries. The ANS Summer Seminar idea was proposed in 1951 and first held in 1952. Eric Newman endowed the ANS Summer Seminar in
The ANS had a nomadic existence during its first fifty years, renting rooms to accommodate its cabinet, library, and meetings, before
moving into its own building at Audubon Terrace. At the present time, the ANS (http://numismatics.org/) is located at 75 Varick Street (at the corner of Canal Street) in Manhattan.
After Bailey thanked Hill for his witty presentation, the audience had several questions for David during the Q & A session. Hill
explained how recent ANS relocations dovetailed with being able to explain to architects and engineers the specific building requirements
needed for long-term storage of archival documents, rare coins, medals and other numismatic items.
Society members were very appreciative of Hill making the sojourn from New York City to spend the evening with us. David left the ANS
this morning and traveled by train, boat, bus and car to reach us. We were grateful that he made the trip!
Wayne Homren, Editor
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