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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 11, March 12, 2006, Article 16

ON ELECTRONIC COIN BOOKS

Serge Pelletier writes: "I would like to weigh in on the
electronic numismatic reference debate.  My most recent catalogue
"Standard Catalogue of Canadian Municipal Trade Tokens, Vol. 4 -
Ontario" is available in two formats: book only and book and CD.
Since most coin collector are tactile by nature, i.e. they like
to touch things (that's why they want coins, not photos of coins),
I thought that a CD alone would not be of interest.  But I know
that I personally love the electronic format because it allows
me to search on words.  The CD simply contains a locked pdf
version of the catalogue, which can be easily searched, nothing
too fancy.  It also contains colour photographs of some of the
pieces.

Also, our newly release quarterly magazine, "The Gazette of
Municipal Numismatics" is available in two formats: old fashioned
paper and electronic.

Subscribers to the electronic version receive a low-resolution
locked pdf file by email at the time of issue.  At the end of
the year, they will receive a CD with high-resolution, printable
pdf files of each of the issue.

The hope is that a researcher will be able to utilize these new
tools in the future.  Would it not be great to be able to get
the Numismatist in such a format or the Standard Catalog of World
Coins?  I'm certain that all the theme collectors are saying YES
right now.

I most admit that I did subscribe to Coin World online and that
I was sadly disappointed because of the low resolution and
"un-natural" format when you zoom in on an article.  I would
be interested to hear what folks think of our approach for The
Gazette.  Would they like that approach for other publications
such as Numismatic News, World Coin News, Coin World?"

[Personally, I don't like .pdf files and prefer to view online
periodicals with full image resolution directly via a browser,
as long as the site also provides a printable format.  Most
mainstream web publishers adhere to this format.  Many require
registration but still allow free access to their content.
Others, like the Wall Street Journal, require a paid subscription.
The WSJ goes even further by requiring additional payment for
viewing archived content more than a few weeks old.  Searches
can locate any article in the archive.

This does require a big investment on the part of the publisher,
so .pdf distributions still make a lot of sense as a way for
smaller organizations and authors to distribute content.  But
if the right pricepoints are chosen I think this could be a
beneficial model for mainstream numismatic publishers and their
subscribers.

Access to the archive would be a huge boon to researchers and
casual readers alike.  Today, decades worth of hobby material
has been published, but remains all but inaccessible because of
the difficulty in storing, indexing and accessing back issues of
the weekly publication. -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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

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

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