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The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 30, July 23, 2000, Article 5


David Cassel writes:

"In answer to your question concerning the CDs: I received the first of two CDs from UBS, the Basel auction firm, in December 1999. "Gold and Silver Coins Auction 48, 25 - 27, January 2000" was featured on their first CD. A very fine paper catalog also accompanied the CD. Several weeks later the same firm came out with a fixed price list on CD with also an accompanying paper catalog. The quality of the CDs are excellent."

Andy Lustig notes:

"I'm probably the 82nd person to point this out, but UBS (formerly Swiss Bank) started issuing catalogs on CD about two years ago."

Well, just the second. But it looks like Heritage's CD is not the first numismatic catalog CD after all. Can anyone pinpoint the date of the first UBS CD, or tell us about an earlier CD?

Karl Moulton writes:

"Perhaps some clarification is due in regards to the heading of "The very first auction catalogue CD" that is found on the cover of my July 2000 list. Since the list has to do with American numismatic literature, it can stand as being a correct title. However, in a technical sense, no, the Heritage CSNS 2000 sale was not the very first auction CD ever issued.

While I'm no expert in worldwide numismatic literature, I can cite two different examples that were issued earlier than the Heritage CD. The first, (there's that word again) was for the UBS auction David Cassel mentioned. The second is for the February 29, 2000 Munauktion Tkalec AG sale (thanks to Dan Demeo). There may be others, but if any were actually released prior to 2000, I'm not aware of them.

I am definitely NOT trying to hype the catalogue CD. My primary desire is to make people aware of its significance and the changes it will bring. Since the auction CD enjoys worldwide usage, we, as dedicated bibliophiles need to grapple with the new concept of "electronic literature". Only through discussions can we eventually agree on proper terminology, classification, and so forth.

The CD is here and being used now. Even if the technology changes in the future and the CD becomes obsolete, (I don't think it will become as useless as an 8 track tape), that's fine. It will make them even more collectible, as it is extremely doubtful they would ever be "reprinted" in a newer format by the original issuers.

The auction houses will push for quick acceptance due to the cost factor being only a small percentage when compared to the extravagant printed catalogues that have been produced lately. It all boils down to a case of simple economics - that being more profit!"

Wayne Homren, Editor

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