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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 23, June 7, 2009, Article 15

QUERY: WHAT INFORMATION WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN DYE'S ENCYCLOPEDIA?

Speaking of digitization, Tom Kays has some interesting questions about a book he recently found online. He writes:
A Harvard Library copy of Dye's Coin Encyclopedia of 1883 has been digitized by Google, but they stop at page 1127 in the middle of the quarter dollar section, at least that is where my computer stopped downloading after about 47 megs in PDF. This is an impressive work published posthumously, which must have been started back in the 1860s.

The rise of money in world cultures at the beginning is really great and the detail in the colonial section rivals recent scholarly publications regarding 1749 half pence of the H.M.S. Dolphin, the various Machin's Mills including how the press became ballast on the ship Newburgh, and street addresses of the colonial mints.

Was this the first compilation of such information or does it rest on the laurels of earlier numismatic research? The back half surveys modern world coins circa 1880 and for fifty years prior, which I know was already investigated and reported by folks at the Mint on a periodic basis, such as the extended report of 1827 and subsequent years. Steel engravings of the mint buildings including Charlotte and Dahlonega also appear in back.

What information was first published in this Encyclopedia? Does anyone have the back few pages with the bibliography?


I have a copy of the 1883 edition, although the pagination is different than Tom described, and there's no bibliography. Perhaps it's a different printing. Anyway, I'll make my copy available to Tom. I've always enjoyed this book, especially for the Appendix on the "recently discovered" Confederate Half Dollar.

There's a lot of great information in these pioneering books, and not all of it has been republished elsewhere.

As for what information FIRST appeared in Dye's Encyclopedia, I'm curious to hear our readers' thoughts. Crosby's classic on The Early Coins of America was published in 1875 and likely was a source for some of Dye's text, but I haven't done any comparisons. -Editor




Wayne Homren, Editor

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