The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 06, February 5, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

GEOFFREY H. NORTH, 1909-2002

  This extra edition of The E-Sylum brings news submitted by
  Francis D. Campbell, Librarian of the American Numismatic

  On January 22, Geoffrey H. North, who served as Librarian
  of the American Numismatic Society from 1966 until 1975,
  passed away in South Orleans, MA, having never fully
  recovered from an operation, performed last September, to
  remove an aneurysm from his left leg.

  Geoff North began his employment at the American Numismatic
  Society in 1952. A graduate of McGill University, where he
  obtained his Bachelor of Science and Library Science degrees,
  he had previously been employed at the Brooklyn Public Library.
  As the Assistant Librarian under Richard P. Breaden, Geoff
  had  primary responsibility for the cataloging of monographs,
  periodical content, offprints and auction catalogs. He was also
  responsible for most of the technical services processing
  associated with library work.

  He joined the staff just as the Library was entering its greatest
  period of expansion. Together with Breaden, Geoff undertook
  a program of re-organization and upgrading that did much to
  render the library the great resource it is today.  The Society?s
  first Graduate Seminar in Numismatics had been held in the
  months immediately preceding Geoff?s employment.
  Consequently, there was a new emphasis placed upon
  acquiring reference materials that would support graduate-
  level  research and on the systematic cataloging of specialized
  materials. Geoff carried out the latter masterfully.

  During the years 1953-1955, the present library reading
  rooms and office areas were constructed, necessitating the
  relocation of most of the library collection into the new quarters.
  In this same period, the present pamphlet file arrangement was
  established and Geoff catalogued thousands of offprints and
  pamphlets that were then placed in labeled folders and arranged
  alphabetically by author for ease of access.  He also had major
  responsibility for an intensive binding program begun in 1956
  and continued in subsequent years.

  When the library staff assumed editorship of ?Numismatic
  Literature? in 1957, Geoff shared responsibility for preparing
  abstracts and did considerable editing and re-writing of abstracts
  contributed by others until ?NL? was placed under an
  International Editor in 1967.  He also helped prepare the card-
  copy used in the six-volume set of the Society?s Dictionary and
  Auction catalogues, published by G. K. Hall of Boston, Mass.,
  in 1962.  The first (1967) and second (1973) Supplements to
  this work were under his full supervision.

  In 1966, Geoff became the Society?s Librarian and hired the
  present Librarian as his assistant. In the Society?s ?Annual
  Report? for 1967, Geoff referred to a ?generous donation?
  to the library made by Mr. H.W. Bass, Jr. of Dallas, Texas.
  The donation was used to fund the binding of 33 manuscript
  volumes of the Edgar H. Adams ?Notebooks.?

  In the years that followed, Geoff would have many more
  opportunities to thank Mr. Bass, who had high regard for him
  and the Library. Bass became a member of the Library
  Committee in 1968, later joining the Society?s Council and
  eventually becoming President of the Society.  In the ?Annual
  Report? for 1971, Geoff acknowledged Mr. Bass for
  establishing the ?Bass Library Fund,? which has since grown
  to become the Library?s major endowed fund.

  Those who made Geoffrey North?s acquaintance came to
  respect him as a professional and a person.  During his tenure
  as Librarian the numismatic libraries of P. K. Anderson, H. A.
  Dietz, F. Dorsey Stephens, and David G. Briggs were added
  to the Society?s Library.  He maintained an excellent rapport
  with Council, staff, and visitors, especially the successive
  groups of Seminar Students, many of who still ask for him
  when they return to the Society.

  Geoff retired from his office as Librarian in 1975 after twenty-
  two years of faithful service to the Society.  Soon after, he and
  his charming wife Eileen moved to South Orleans, MA, on
  Cape Cod.   Eileen passed away in 1999.  I had the opportunity
  to visit them both on many occasions since Geoff?s retirement
  and we all remained very close friends until his passing.

  Born in Kimpton, Hertfordshire, UK in 1909, Geoff received
  his elementary and secondary education at local schools. In
  1928, he emigrated to Canada where, during World War II,
  he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as an aircrew
  member.  While living in Canada, he met his future wife,
  Eileen.  He and Eileen moved to the United States in 1952.
  Geoff?s interests were wide-ranging.  He was well versed in
  English literature, especially Shakespeare, and had a sound
  knowledge of military history. He was an accomplished
  organist, played the banjo, and was quite skilled at
  woodworking and leather crafts.  Through his collecting
  interests, he also came to know much about rare books and
  antique clocks.  He was in every way a gentleman and those
  who knew him will miss him dearly.

 Wayne Homren
 Numismatic Bibliomania Society

Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

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