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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 53, December 31, 2006, Article 9

NUMISMATIC RESEARCH IN HISTORICAL DIRECTORIES OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE

Dick Johnson writes: "Thanks to RootsWeb Review and their weekly
e-zine I learned this week of a quite useful research tool for
numismatists digging into British coin, token and medal history.
They introduced me to a website on Historical Directories of the
British Empire, sponsored by the University of Leicester.

Here is what they say about the website:  "Historical Directories is
a digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales,
from 1750 to 1919. It contains high quality reproductions of
comparatively rare books, essential tools for research into local
and genealogical history."

You may search by location, by decade, by keyword. I tried out keywords
for various professions and quickly learned the people I was searching
for were usually located in either London or Birmingham (among 40 areas).
Makes sense! The coin and medal industry was centered in these two
areas. But I had to learn Birmingham is in Warwickshire. You cannot
enter Birmingham alone.

So by entering "All" in the three selectors and various keywords,
here are the results I found from some random word choices:

638 "coin," 501 "coins"
447 "medal," 425 "medals," 9 "medal makers"
202 "token," 105 "tokens"
449 "mint"
576 "engraver," 537 "engravers" (I assume all kinds)
209 "die sinkers" as two words, but 23 as one word.
130 "medallists"
11 "die engraver," 11 "die engravers"
9 "die forger" [These are not counterfeiters, these are primarily
blacksmiths, who, in the 18th & 19th centuries, hardened dies by
forging for striking in a press.]
41 "coin dealer," 23 "coin dealers"
9 "coin collector"
1 "coin engraver."

For the last entry I clicked to receive the exact page and found the
listing highlighted in yellow (thanks--that really saves time!). It
was listed--I thought as "com engraver" which I assumed as "commercial
engraver."
But you can zoom in and out. By zooming in I did find it really said
"coin engraver" after the name "Sugden, H." who worked at Globe Chambers
in Piccadilly, obviously in London.

It is easy to move around in this website. It also has a useful "fact
sheet" at the end of the line telling about the "directory" you click
on to find an entry. Numismatic researchers will undoubtedly find this
site useful: historicaldirectories.org/"

[Many thanks to Dick for bringing this great site to our attention.
-Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

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