For a look at the state of the hobby today, here are David W. Lange's thoughts on the newly announced convention schedule plan for the American Numismatic Society.
I was surprised and disappointed to see that the ANA has committed to having its annual convention in the same city for four of the next five years and quite possibly beyond that period, too. While I understand the economic sense behind it, I can't help thinking that this is not entirely in keeping with the ANA's mission of bringing education to its members nationwide.
Decades ago the ANA convention was a just that, a gathering of members to share their knowledge, their collections and their fraternity. Though the old definition of our annual convention may be a thing of the past, this new move is too radical a departure from the organization's legacy. The inclusion of a dealer bourse dates only to the 1940s, and it has since become the tail that wags the dog. Only a year or two ago the ANA was planning to limit its annual convention to rotation between three core cities of proven bourse success, with the fourth year being reserved for some other location selected through more traditional criteria. That earlier plan was compromise enough with the ANA's historic legacy, but this latest decision seems like a complete sellout to commercialism.
On a more personal note, I've always found Rosemont to be among the dullest locations possible for a coin show of any size. Its immediate environment is overly sterile and way too far from a real city to provide the sense of adventure and fun that is typically part of an ANA convention. It's particularly annoying that this location is always referred to by convention promoters as "Chicago," when it so obviously is not that city or anything like it. "Chicagomont" is not suitable for anything but business, but then that seems to have been the overriding criterion is selecting it.
I've been to Rosemont, but have never been to Chicago. When I go to a convention, the main attraction is the convention itself and my fellow conventioneers. I must admit though, that I would miss the opportunity to explore a city, which is much more easily done for shows in New York, Baltimore and elsewhere.
Since many E-Sylum readers are knowledgeable about the history of the ANA and other national organizations, what do you think about what this decision means in the context of the club's history? Does history matter in this matter? And just why DID the AMERICAN Numismatic Association meet in Montreal, CANADA in 1909, anyway? What cities have historically been the best (or worst) for ANA conventions?
THE BOOK BAZARRE
64th Edition Red Book, Zen-Like, Looks Inwardly Upon Itself
In this year’s Guide Book of United States Coins
, Appendix B (“Collectible Red and Blue Books”) has been expanded with more details, including more pricing for early Blue Books. Coverage of recent collectible Red Books includes the 2010 Large Print Edition, and the limited-print-run Philadelphia Expo edition.
Add the 64th edition to your numismatic library by calling Whitman Publishing at 1-800-546-2995, or order online at
Wayne Homren, Editor
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