In his Numismatics and Archaeology blog Thursday, Nathan T. Elkins noted a big change at the CoinArchives.com web site. -Editor
Coin find inventories and museum collections are increasingly being made freely available through online databases. It is also a growing trend that academic journals are being made available electronically while subscription prices are being lowered for those who opt for online subscription only. Therefore, it is curious these days when a resource suddenly ceases to be free and implements an inordinate access fee.
As I came into the office yesterday, the first thing I heard from a colleague was that CoinArchives.com had ceased allowing free and complete access to its archived auction sales and had limited full access only to those who pay an annual subscription of $600 or €430.
CoinArchives.com was a convenient reference used by some academics and researchers who wanted to start conducting a die study or who needed to make quick identification. It was also an easy place to go when one needed to see an image when certain reference catalogues were not at immediately at hand. Collectors frequently used the site to conduct their own research or to investigate pricing trends before making an acquisition. The recent and seemingly abrupt decision to limit access has certainly stirred up spirited discussions on collector fora such the Moneta-L list (click the link and see the subsequent discussion threads).
There has been a lot of speculation as to why this decision was made to limit access only to those who can pay such a large fee. But perhaps it is telling that instead of a $20 yearly access fee for which many people would pay, a $600 annual fee was chosen that will exclude most collectors, researchers, and institutions, and will therefore be a resource which only a few large auction houses and profitable dealers can afford. The fee will limit the potential of amateur and academic study alike with this resource and will be an especially serious blow to collectors who like to do a bit market research before bidding or buying.
Perhaps researchers will return to using large photo files like those at the American Numismatic Society or at Frankfurt University, but many photo files have ceased to be updated since the mid- to late 1990s precisely because of sites like CoinArchives.com that were electronically archiving sales and making those archives free to the public.
To read the complete article, see: CoinArchives.com Limits Access and Implements Fee (http://coinarchaeology.blogspot.com/2009/07/coinarchivescom-limits-access-and.html)
The site still has a great deal of free information and images. Here's what the site says about the for-fee features. -Editor
CoinArchives Pro is an advanced research platform for commercial dealers and active collectors of ancient and world coins.
CoinArchives Pro helps you:
- Gather recent and historical market information
- Research the rarity of coins on the auction market
- Make better buying and selling decisions
- Identify and attribute coins
- Trace pedigrees
CoinArchives Pro builds on the success of our free service, CoinArchives.com, to bring you:
- Full access to a searchable and browsable archive of more than 900,000 auction records
- Enhanced search tools
- Multiple auction lot viewing and sorting options
- Analysis and side-by-side coin comparison features
All of these features make CoinArchives Pro the most powerful tool on the Web for numismatic professionals.
To visit Coin Archives, see: http://www.coinarchives.com/
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2012 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster