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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 28, July 9, 2006, Article 14

NUMISMATIC LITERATURE DATABASES AND BUY/SELL ADVERTISEMENTS

I'm glad to see one of our subscribers is trying out librarything.com
(see Bill Burd's article in this issue about the Chicago Coin Company
library).  It's the type of tool I would love to see for numismatic
bibliophiles to catalog their libraries.  Wouldn't it be great to
have a set of links to catalogs of our personal libraries?  And as
long as we're wishing, how about a linkage to an e-commerce site for
buying and selling books?  Abebooks and eBay come to mind - why
reinvent the wheel just for numismatic books?

Anyway, items ensconced in our libraries would be filed in
Librarything (or some other tool) under "not for sale" but with
the click of a mouse could be made available for trade or purchase.
Similarly, entries representing holes in our libraries could become
"Wants".

The problem is always how such a mechanism could pay for itself
given the relatively low value of many items of numismatic literature,
such as the surplus auction catalogs discussed in the previous article
in this issue.  In response to Pete Smith's original query, Bill
Hunter responded with thoughts on setting up a searchable database
of items submitted by dealers and individuals, allowing interested
parties to hook up via email.

He writes: "I am sure that an individual taking on the task of
maintaining the database could come up with an appropriate method
of reimbursement for his services. I can see the database containing
priced and unpriced listings. It would then be available for book
dealer use and also for individuals like myself who cannot price
items, but are happy to email interested individuals to come up with
a mutually satisfactory exchange."

This of course, is an age-old idea in new clothing; most collector
publications through the ages have had an advertising section (a
low-tech database) enabling buyers and sellers to get together.

One of the founding principles of The E-Sylum, however, was to never
carry for sale or want listings.  This was mainly to keep the focus
on numismatic literature and research, partly to not step on the toes
of the dealers who make it their business, but mostly because as an
unpaid editor I had no desire to get in the middle of these exchanges
- I spend too much unpaid time on this already.

I've been hearing recommendations that I should branch out with a
for-profit newsletter that would carry paid advertising and classified-
style for-sale/wanted ads relating to numismatic literature.  What do
our readers think?  Would you pay to have your classified ad published
in The E-Sylum or a similar email newsletter?

  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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