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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 9, February 26, 2006, Article 25

NUMISMATIC BOOKS ON CD-ROM

Larry Korchnak writes: "I read the piece about books on CD's
with great interest.  Perhaps resistance to their use by college
students is generational as well as functional.

My school district has used CD texts with great success in our
elementary schools through High School. While high school
students accept electronic texts without a fuss, our youngest
students do the best with them.   Parents love them, too,
because students do not have to carry heavy texts home for
multiple subjects.  Furthermore, CD texts are usually accompanied
by website support that links students to a myriad of other
educational sources in addition to the text.  And, it saved
tens of thousands of dollars for other needed instructional
materials.

I am not sure that hard copy texts will be totally replaced,
but there is certainly a place for electronic ones."

[Anyone born after 1976 seems like a young whippersnapper to
me, so I wouldn't have thought of today's college students as
being resistant to technological change.  But all changes take
time to become fully accepted, and as Larry points out, acceptance
is easier the younger one is when introduced.  As Internet-savvy
as I like to think I am, although I have several CD versions of
numismatic books and catalogs I don't actively seek them out.
But change is coming as sure as night follows day.  The most
recent example of this may be Wendell Wolka's massive book, "A
History of Nineteenth Century Ohio Obsolete Bank Notes and Scrip,"
for which Wendell has just published an addendum on CD.  See the
following E-Sylum item for details.  -Editor]

Wendell writes: "Some thoughts first on "Why a CD?" might be in
order.  With a book the size of the Ohio catalog, reprinting a
new edition would be financially impossible.  Thus the only real
options, it seemed, were to provide a print update in black and
white or an "electronic" update. I went with the CD approach
because:

 * I could provide full color illustrations (that can even
   be magnified up to at least 400%) at no extra cost.
 * Using PDF format makes the information completely searchable.
 * The cost of a CD is significantly less than having a printed
    version done
 * Users can print out pages that are of particular interest
    to them (or the whole thing for that matter).
 * Producing future updates will be easier and faster to do.
 * Any serious errors or mishaps can be corrected "on the fly"

As to the future, yes, the Ohio book will fit on a single CD...
if there's ever a second edition I believe it too will be on CD."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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