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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 8, February 24, 2008, Article 13

ED SNIBLE ON LITERATURE CATALOG ORDERING FORMATS AND KOLBE 105

[In his blog this week Ed Snible commented on the catalog
of George Kolbe's 105th numismatic literature sale.  Here
are a couple excerpts. -Editor]

Lot 29 was a surprise to me. It's a CD-ROM of the Library
catalogue of British and Royal Numismatic Societies. I wasn't
aware of this title, although The ANS library has a copy (in
the multi-media section  also new to me). The ANS entry
implies the disks were a supplement to the 2003 Numismatic
Chronicle.

[I don't recall hearing about this bibliographic resource
before either.  Has anyone made use of it in research?
-Editor]

Catalog 105 follows the usual Kolbe format of being first
divided into consigners, then arranged alphabetically by
author within each consignment. I don't understand the
arrangement; I'd prefer to see it first arranged by subject.
So ancient coin books can be found in lots 1-447, and also
582-623. Perhaps this is a good arrangement for future scholars
tracing back ownership of books?

[George's catalogs (and those of other numismatic literature
dealers) adhere to various arrangement schemes.  The consignor
orientation makes a lot of sense for both the auctioneer and
consignor.  It would be much harder to track a consignment
if it were split up and mixed with other books scattered
throughout a catalog.  While this has a benefit of enabling
the tracing to a consignor, I suspect it's a secondary
consideration.

I also recall a discussion on lot ordering I had with Ken
Lowe of The Money Tree, and he told me there was another
method to this madness.  If all the lots on a given topic
were grouped neatly into sections, bidders would tend to
read only a few sections of the catalog and not look at the
rest.  But by plowing thru the catalog in search of material
of interest, bidders often discover other useful items that
they might have missed otherwise.  So again we have the catalog
order (or lack thereof) being driven more by the practical
concerns of marketing the material rather than the ease of
later use of the catalog by researchers.  -Editor]

To read Ed Snible's original blog post on Kilbe sale 105, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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