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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 7, February 12, 2006, Article 10

ON NAMING NAMES

Doug Andrews writes: "While I agree that the efforts of
numismatic researchers are frustrated somewhat by donors
and auction consignors insisting that they remain anonymous,
there are broader issues that carry significant risks and
potential penalties for anyone considering the "outing"
of such an individual.

In some jurisdictions, an individual's right of privacy
survives him or her for years following their death, and
their anonymity is enforceable in law. That privacy guarantee
may last for 20 years or longer after the person's death. In
addition, there also may be contractual barriers to an
auctioneer releasing the name of a consignor, or a museum
identifying a donor. The auction house, for example, may
have agreed in writing to protect the identity of the owner
of the rare numismatic material forever.

Many NBS members and E-Sylum readers, myself included,
are researchers. While there are often sound ethical and
legal reasons for not publishing names of anonymous consignors
and donors, consider this: Researchers may uncover the name(s)
in the course of their inquiries. There may be nothing to
prevent the writer from effectively acting on this information
in furtherance of their research, provided that the identity
of the individual is not revealed."

[These are the types of questions that are both interesting
and important to for researchers to explore.

One reader familiar with U.K. taxes asked about the situation
in the U.S.  Here we have both income and inheritance taxes
that might be triggered by the sale of a collection, but I'll
let one of our readers more familiar with these matters comment
if they choose.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

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