The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 48, December 1, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers is Andy Lanier, referred
  by Howard A. Daniel III.  Welcome aboard!  We now have
  508 subscribers.


  NBS Secretary-Treasurer David Sklow would like to remind
  our members that it's time to submit your dues for the year
  2003.  David's address appears at the end of this and every
  E-Sylum issue.  Dues are $15 to North American adresses,
  $20 elsewhere.


  Fred Lake writes: "Lake Books' sale #66 of numismatic
  literature closes on Tuesday, December 3, 2002. The sale
  may be viewed at
  Bids may be submitted by email or telephone."


  Gosia Fort, Cataloging and Database Management Librarian
  for the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library
  System writes: "I am sorry I missed Kerry's poll on modifying
  the name of "The Numismatist."   If it is not to late to add my 5
  cents, here is a librarian's perspective:  I can assure those who
  have doubts, that the proposed change will have no effect on
  the Library of Congress treatment of this journal.  In fact, it
  does not matter whether the article is present or not. Library
  systems have to ignore all definite or indefinite articles (such
  as "the" or "a") for searching, sorting and filling purposes.
  From the librarian's point of view it will be an insignificant and
  unnecessary change.

  We have to deal with many such changes, which, if they occur
  within the first five words of a title, call for a new record and
  linking fields in order to trace the whole run of the journal.  To
  take "revenge" on publishers who give us more work, librarians
  hold an annual competition for the worst journal title change
  of the year. To add some spice to it, last year's winner was one
  of our professional journals for librarians!   So unless you want
  to change the scope of the journal as well, do not change the
  title, please."


  Alan's Herbert's "Coins in Cyberspace" column in the
  December 2002 issue of The Numismatist makes a few
  bold predictions, including this one:  "I'll make a guess that
  by 2013 you will have seen the last edition of The Numismatist
  on paper.  It will be available online in an electronic edition,
  with pages also posted on the ANA's web site,

  "Or not.  Looking at the history of computing, it was
  supposed to change the world.  It has done that, but the
  idea of credit and debit cards replacing paper money and
 coins hasn't occurred, and may not for many years.  The
  majority of ANA members likely won't live long enough
  to see the last coin struck."

  "Coin catalogs could disappear in the next decade as

  [In a related event, a demo version of the previously
  discussed online version of Coin World is available on
  the web at  -Editor]


  An article by Carl Hulse in the November 25, 2002 issue of
  The New York Times reported that the original accounting
  book of the United States Senate, carrying "careful entries by
  the likes of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr"
  was found and rescued by workers minutes before it would
  have been hauled off to the trash.

  "Misplaced and long forgotten in a dirty underground storage
  room, the original accounting book of the Senate ... known
  as S-1, survived hundreds of years, escaping the torching of
  the Capitol in the War of 1812. But it was almost lost last
  week to an effort to modernize the building."

  "It came just a whisker from workmen whose only orders
  were to clear out the room," said Richard A. Baker, the
  Senate historian, adding that when he first heard of the
  volumes he presumed they were copies.

  "I couldn't believe my eyes," Mr. Baker said. "I have been
  here 28 years and have never seen a find like this."

  Marked as the "Senators Compensation and Mileage"
  ledger, S-1 covers Senate sessions from 1791 to 1881 and
  provides a down-to-the-dollar account of the early costs
  of democracy."

  "Since the ledgers were discovered last Tuesday, Mr. Baker
  and others in the Senate historical office have spent time
  establishing how they came to be lost, and he attributed it to
  a not uncommon government cause. "This is a screw-up,"
  he said.

  From what the historical office can discern, S-1 and the
  other volumes had been shipped to the National Archives,
  perhaps around the 1930's, but for an unknown reason
  Senate officials asked that they be returned in 1963. They
  eventually found their way to the storage space, which the
  Senate disbursing office abandoned in the early 1980's.
  Hardly anyone has been in there since.

  Mr. Baker said the carefully drawn entries on the pages,
  which measure about 9 by 14 inches, show the Senate's
  struggle to keep accurate accounts in its early years as it
  moved from New York to Philadelphia to the District of

  Another historian, Peter Drummey, librarian at the
  Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, said such
  documents were vivid reminders of the small scale of the
  early federal government, when the president personally
  signed the commissions of military officers."

  "The east front of the Capitol is now under construction
  for a three-level underground visitor center that will
  provide more space for tourists and museum exhibits as
  well as improved security. Visitors will enter the Capitol
  near where the storage room was.  But Mr. Baker does
  not expect any more historical discoveries, saying the
  Senate has become much more careful with its documents
  in recent decades."

  [Perhaps some interesting tidbits of information on the
  early U.S. Mint await discovery in the long-lost volume.


  Numismatic organizations are not immune to such record-
  keeping snafus.  Perhaps some of our readers will have
  similar stories to share.  In the years since many of our
  favorite institutions were founded, I'm sure many a ledger
  has been misplaced or deliberately destroyed along the

  One happy story involved my own club, the Western
  Pennsylvania Numismatic Society.  Founded in 1878,
  the society's Secretary and Treasurer kept log books
  covering every meeting and expense from 1878 to
  1889.  The society's Curator also kept a log of library
  acquisitions.   The books had been misplaced for years
  and presumed lost when somehow they turned up in the
  hands of a former officer's family, who returned them to
  the society.   The ledgers were part of an exhibit put
  together by Pat McBride for the 1989 Pittsburgh ANA

  The ledgers enabled me to write the first comprehensive
  history of the organization.  See our web site and click
  on "History":


  When a dozen replies arrive immediately after publishing an
  E-Sylum issue, I know one of two things happened: either I
  messed something up, or I messed something up ROYALLY.
  It turns out that the anniversary item at the beginning of the
  issue contained two errors.  That'll teach me to throw in
  something quick without double-checking.  (Or perhaps
  NBS will cut my salary in half...)

  Myron Xenos (and several others) pointed out the first error.
  He wrote:  "Regarding the 40th anniversary of  Ruby killing
  Oswald -- if it is 40 years, then he must have killed Oswald
  before Oswald killed Kennedy."   It's only been 39 years.

  Tom DeLorey wrote: "The 22nd was the 39th anniversary
  of Kennedy's death, not the 40th.  On the 22nd I asked
  several over-50 customers at the coin shop "What happened on
  this day in history?" and most of them could not remember.
  Of course, once reminded of  it, everybody knew where
  they were when they heard the news. That remains the
  defining characteristic of the baby boomer generation."


  The other boo-boo was my statement that none of D.B.
  Cooper's ransom money had been found.  Terry
  Stahurski wrote: "Is it my imagination or did I read
  somewhere that some tattered currency was found a
  number of years ago in the Pacific Northwest that was
  possibly attributed to D.B Cooper's heist?"

  Well, Terry probably read it right here in The E-Sylum.
  From the referenced vol 4, no. 48 issue:

  "An 8-year-old boy digging a fire pit on a sand bar along
  the north bank of the Columbia River west of Vancouver
  on Feb. 10, 1980, unearthed $5,800 of Cooper's loot.
  The money, only inches below the surface, had eroded so
  badly that only Andrew Jackson and the serial numbers
  were left.

  Some believe the find showed Cooper landed in or near
  the Columbia River, but hydrologists concluded the tattered
  and still-bundled money was more likely deposited by a
  stream flow than human hands."

  All of the notes had been photocopied before being
  packaged for the hijacker.  So the serial numbers are
  known, and 290 of the bills have been recovered."

  ANA Museum Curator Larry Lee provides this followup:
  "There are at least five $20 bills still in the hands of the
  family that discovered three bundles of the notes ($5,800
  face) along the Columbia River, ten years after the incident.
  The ANA was planning on having a display case at the
  New York ANA Convention this year showing the bills,
  but after 911, an exhibit on planes and hijacking in New
  York was inappropriate, so the idea was shelved.  The
  $20 notes are in very, very poor shape, though their serial
  numbers do correspond to the FBI's list of the $200,000
  provided to the mysterious Mr. Cooper."


  Larry also has some followup to Bob Leonard's experiences
  with the Byron Reed Collection (which occurred after Larry's
  tenure as curator there).

  "I have quietly read my E-Sylum each week, holding my
  tongue (and fingers) from further comment or flame-fanning
  on the "Great Museum Debate," despite the continuing slings
  and arrows of misinformation, misunderstanding and ignorance.
  However . . .

  Bob Leonard used a very poor example of a curated museum
  collection to make his point that coins in museums are not very
  well organized.  In fact, the Byron Reed Collection is one of
  the most, if not the most thoroughly cataloged and numismatically
  attributed collections in the country. While there is very much
  a political problem with ownership and access to the Reed
  collection,  the collection itself is not disorganized in the least.
  The information Bob is seeking, Breen-Gillio number, weight
  and description, is properly recorded for every California
  pioneer fractional gold piece in the collection.  It is the access
  to that information that is in dispute.

  Bob should have indeed contacted the Omaha City Council,
  since they are the owners of the Reed collection.  Unless and
  until the Council knows collectors and researchers are
  unhappy about access to the collection, nothing will change.

  The attribution of the coins (and books!) in the Reed
  collection was carried out by several recognized numismatic
  experts, including Tom Reynolds doing the coppers and
  colonials, Harry Salyards on early American silver, Chris
  Connell attributing the Byzantine, etc. etc.  Charlie Davis
  looked at Reed's splendid library and concluded, after going
  through all 2,000 numismatic books, catalogs and pamphlets,
  that it is the oldest, nicest and most complete private
  American numismatic library still in existence.

  I have been addressing the issue of museums and universities
  selling their coin collections in my column in The Numismatist
  (notice the "The") over the past several months, so my views
  are well known to readers of my column.  To summarize four
  months of turgid commentary, I'm against it."


  Carl Honore writes: "As usual there are exceptions to many
  rules in the book field.  Where I live in Port Townsend,
  Washington, I saw a set of original first edition Oz books
  published by Reilly and Lee in Chicago each with an asking
  price of $300.00.  None of these had the original dust jacket
  as issued ,  but I have seen several WITH dust jacket priced
  a bit less...depending on condition of the dust jacket of course,
  but one would have expected that a dust Jacket in ANY
  condition would have increased the value of the book
  appreciably .

  This was a popular series as is the Harry Potter Series of
  today.  I tend to think the first edition of Potter is somewhat
  overpriced however like coins or coin books if there are
  collectors then the price will probably be up there."


  An article in the  November 26, 2002 issue of Numismatic
  News reported that there is updated version available of a
  booklet from the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in
  Cornish, N.H.   "The 1907 United States Gold Coinage"
  "runs 16 pages plus cover and contains annotated
  information about sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and
  his famed gold $20 double eagle design that the U.S. Mint
  first produced in 1907."  For more information, see the
  organization's web site:  Click on
  "Museum Shop."

  On a related note. I'd like to thank subscriber Nick Graver
  for giving me a copy of a 1997 National Gallery of Art
  booklet on "Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Memorial to Robert
  Gould and the Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth Regiment," a
  very interesting piece about the creation and restoration of
  this monument on the Boston Common.


  Bob Knepper writes: "Where, if anywhere, does there exist
  a list of numismatic libraries in Europe which are accessible
  either to the walk-in public or by appointment?  I realize that
  all numismatic dealers have libraries.

  I would also like a similar list of coin and/or paper money
  museums. I've visited a few but there must be more."

  [I assume someone has such a list, but I haven't seen one
  yet.  ANA Curator Larry Lee's column in the December
  2002 issue of The Numismatist includes a list of "United
  States Museums That Feature Numismatic Exhibits."
  Twenty-two museums are listed.  -Editor]


  Howard A. Daniel III writes that a new reference with
  much valuable background information about the British
  and Japanese issues from 1937 to 1947 in Burma has
  been recently published by Northern Illinois University.
  It is titled: "The Money Trail: Burmese Currencies in
  Crisis, 1937-1947" and the author is Marilyn Longmuir,
  an Australian who used British sources.

  There is also some information about counterfeits, bonds
  and lottery tickets.  Howard could not find a way to
  purchase it from the university but The Bookbin-Pacifica
  (seasia at at 228 S.W. 3rd Street, Corvallis,
  OR 97333-4630 sells it for $21.50 plus" shipping.  A full
  review of this reference has been forwarded to the editor
  of "The Asylum" and will be in a future issue.


  George Fuld writes: "I am  a firm believer in bookplates,
  and have one showing the Baker 53  Washington medal
  with the text "Ex Libris Melvin and George Fuld".  Most
  of my library, sold in 1970-71, had book plates.  Library 2,
  which sold in 1980, also had them.  If anyone has a book
  from one of these Katen sales without a bookplate, I will
  be happy to send one.

  Now that I am on my third library, I agree with Dick
  Johnson.  Content is all that is important to me.  Reprints are
  fine -- first editions are not of importance.  I do take care of
  books, but content is first.

  A contrary opinion on bookpates comes from Henry Bergos:
  "Out of the hundred of us who buy books only half will ever
  be interesting enough to be worth remembering.  I say no to
  bookplates, signatures or other grafitti.  On the other hand I
  estimate that about 10% of my books are autographed to me
  by the author.  If I were just a bit older maybe more would be."


  Found while looking up other things:  an article about the
  ancient coin hoard found in Turkey some years ago, by
  Anne E. Kornblut of the Boston Globe, titled: "Coins of
  Contention: Turkey Battles to Recover Ancient Trove of

  "BAYINDIR, Turkey - The great coin discovery of the
  century happened almost by chance, rising out of a muddy
  field to the shouts of three men who simply thought they
  struck gold.

  Chasing the whir of a hand-held metal detector, three peasants
  had rushed to dig a hole, kneeling in soil still wet with rain.
  When hundreds of shining pieces began to appear, overflowing
  from a jar lodged in the earth, they jumped up.

  ''We are rich!'' yelled Ibrahim Basbug. ''We are rich!''

  It was, for a brief moment on April 18, 1984, a modern
  leprechaun tale.  But almost as quickly as the peasants could
  stuff the coins into paper bags, exhuming Athenian
  decadrachmas buried more than 2,000 years earlier, an epic
  saga with remarkable twists was beginning to unfold.

  In the years that followed - as the silver slipped out of Turkey,
  allegedly into the hands of smugglers and US collectors - it
  would prompt a lawsuit in Boston federal court, entangling two
  Harvard classmates and an eccentric billionaire, William I. Koch.
  Academics would wring their hands over the fate of one of the
  world's premier antiquities finds. The peasants would go to jail."

  For the complete article, see:

  A Turkish government web site pictures some of the coins:


  Howard A. Daniel III writes "Andy Lanier has recently
  updated his coins of the world list with Orchids on them.
  He is a specialist in anything with orchids on them.  If you
  are interested in this area of topical collecting, please
  contact Andy at his email address of
  "greyeagleorchis at" and request a copy be
  emailed to you."


  This week's featured web page is the University of Waterloo
  Library's "Wondering what to do with your old books and
  documents ...???" page.

  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.

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature.   For more information please see our web site at There is a membership application available on the web site.  To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application.  Visit the Membership page. Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link.

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