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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 28, July 15, 2007, Article 4

ANA, ANS PLANS DRAW COMMENTS AND ANS REBUTTAL

George Cuhaj recently contributed a controversial Viewpoint article
to Numismatic News about the differing museum and library planning
trajectories of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the
American Numismatic Society (ANS).  It was reprinted on George's
blog this week - here are some excerpts:

George writes: "What interesting news from two major U.S. museums.
The American Numismatic Association launches a plan to expand and
go bi-costal while the American Numismatic Society’s goal is to
crawl under a rock.

"The American Numismatic Association recently announced a 40 million
dollar expansion program and plans for public museum satellite
locations in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, Calif.

"On the other hand, the American Numismatic Society in New York
City, nearing its 150th anniversary, is adopting a long-range plan
that is tantamount to cold storage.

"So, what is the ANS about to do? Sell the newly acquired Fulton
Street property, and accept a 20-year lease and move into part of
the 11th floor of a recent factory conversion on the far west side
of Manhattan. The plan is to have the library on closed shelves,
and very limited access to the collection material. Therefore,
the collection will for all intents and purposes be in storage
for 20 years!"

To read George's complete blog entry, see:
Full Story

[As of this writing, the ANS had not yet publicly announced their
plans.  ANS Executive Director Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan will provide
us with the press release as soon as it is ready and I'll publish it
in The E-Sylum.  I asked her for some additional information on how
the move might affect access to the ANS library and archives, a key
point of concern for bibliophiles and researchers.  -Editor]

Dr. Kagan writes: "I read George Cuhaj’s comments in Numismatic News
with both interest and surprise.  It is not clear where his information
comes from, but he is clearly misinformed.   I want to assure
E-sylum readers that the new ANS location will have slightly more
useable space than we are using currently. Moreover, we have essentially
the same library and archives whose public area is almost identical
to the current setup.

"Exactly as now, some books will be housed in compact shelving in
open, fully accessible areas. There will be an additional reading
room, and a slightly larger rare book room.  The vaults and coin
viewing area will accommodate more visitors, and there will be an
exhibition gallery with c. 12 museum exhibition cases.  The entire
space will be welcoming and filled with ambient light.  Not exactly
“cold storage”.

"Why are we selling our building and moving to a new home? As
obliquely referred to in Cuhaj’s column, it will put the ANS on
a solid financial footing now and into the future. Expenses will
be predictable; donations will go towards endowing more positions,
paying for exhibitions, lectures at the ANS and elsewhere,
increasing membership services etc. - an ideal position of strength
from which to grow bigger and be more responsive to the members,
Fellows and the public.  Hardly what I call crawling under a rock.

"Once the ANS is sure of its current plans, which are still not
finalized, a press release with more detail will be issued."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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