Dave also submitted the following report on his recent visit to the American Numismatic Society library and its new librarian, Elizabeth Hahn. NOTE: I reduced my tongue-in-cheek offering price to FREE, but I can't blame Dave for taking the opportunity to instead visit the ANS and meet Elizabeth. -EditorContinuing my quest for the few Mint annual reports I was missing, I, perhaps foolishly, turned down the Editor's generous offer to send me two of the reports from his library - for a modest shipping and handling fee of only $500 each - and decided to make a lunch-time trek through the wilds of Manhattan to 75 Varick Street, the new home of the American Numismatic Society.
The ANS' website recommends visitors check with the Librarian before visiting, so I called Ms. Hahn and made an appointment for noon the next day.
As at most buildings in New York, the building's front desk asked for my picture ID, signed me in and directed me to the 11th floor. Once there, I entered the unmarked main entrance and approached the bank vault-like security desk.
As I approached the security desk, I was greeted by name and, after my drivers' license was scanned to produce a picture visitor's badge, I was told that Ms. Hahn would be right out to escort me to the Library. (I quickly decided that I could get used to this sort of reception!)
As we walked down the hall, we passed the climate-controlled rare book room on the left and the Librarian's office on the right, then entered the main room, which looks surprisingly like its picture.
On the left you can see the rolling shelves that hold many of the Library's 100,000 items and on the right you can see one of the room's two tables and the conveniently placed photocopier. In the back of the room there's a nice conference room.
Ms. Hahn told me she's beginning to feel settled into the new space and they've kept the same subject divisions as at their former location. She said that visitors "come in spurts", but average two per week. (She also mentioned that she reads the E-Sylum when she can, but I forgot to ask if she's a subscriber or visits the website.) She then gave me a quick tour and left me to my own devices.
Well! Talk about heaven on Earth for a numismatic researcher! I briefly scanned the shelf listings and walked through a couple of rows. I recalled that I wanted a copy of an article in the September 1968 issue of Numismatic Scrapbook and quickly found it among the decades of bound volumes.
I ran my eyes over the shelves of books on economic history and briefly thumbed through a copy of the four-volume set, "Documentary History of Banking and Currency in the United States".
Somewhat regretfully, because my time was limited, I headed for the shelves marked "Mint Reports". It took me a minute to find the US Mint reports, because first I had to get past the reports from the British Mint, the Paris Mint, the Mexican Mint (and perhaps a few others) before I got to the bottom shelf where the 19th century US Mint reports were kept.
And so, after a happy half-hour of note-taking, I had the information I was missing and bid a (hopefully temporary) good-bye to the ANS Library and trekked back through the wilds of Manhattan to perch at my desk and ponder whether a government-guaranteed bond issued by a (former) investment bank should be considered a "Government security."
Wayne Homren, Editor
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