The E-Sylum:  Volume 6, Number 2, January 12, 2003, Article 11


  Bruce Perdue writes: "I haven't read all of the "new" format
  "Numismatist", but it seems to me that some of this change was
  done for the advertisers ... their ads seem more intrusive than
  they did in the old format.   I of course agree with Greg Heim
  that without David Bowers and Ken Bressett's columns it
  isn't as good as it was."

  Ken Bressett writes: "I must second what Greg Heim had to
  say about the new Numismatist.  One can only hope that the
  extra effort and cost that went into the renovation is on target
  and of benefit to the typical ANA member.  The decision to
  drop the columns by Dave Bowers and myself, as well as all
  the other changes, was strictly that of the ANA, and not ours."

  Regarding Greg's comment that "the articles were too
  specialized," Martin Purdy writes: "I find that rather odd, if I
  may say so.  Put alongside a really academic and quite turgid
  publication such as the Numismatic Chronicle, which I have
  never succeeded in reading from cover to cover, the
  "Numismatist" is decidedly populist and lowbrow.  Maybe
  that's not a good comparison, who knows.

  I enjoy receiving the "Numismatist" each month (I haven't
  got the January 03 issue yet, so I can't make an old/new
  comparison at this stage), but it's hardly a heavy read.  It
  also tends to let some fairly basic errors through the
  editing process, which I wouldn't expect of a more
  academic publication."

  Bill Malkmus writes: "I noted the comments about the "new"
  Numismatist in last week's E-Sylum.  I was compiling a list
  to send to the editor, and thought I'd offer a few of my

  The dropping of the article I agree is a non-issue. But some
  of the other changes for the sake of change are not so
  innocuous. I have tried to resist my usual septuagenarian's
  viewpoint that equates "change" with "bad" (however often
  that may be the case).

  I do credit them for placing the name, date, and page number
  on (almost) every page. (It's frustrating when a Xerox file
  copy is found to be lacking in ID.)

  The typography and proofreading seem good, although I am
  still checking my pocket change unsuccessfully for that
  Eisenhower quarter mentioned on p.12.

  I agree that the dropping of Bowers and Bressett is regrettable,
  but would add Sear, Fitts, and Hessler (at least) to the list.

  But I cannot accept the premise that the former journal was
  too "erudite" or highbrow -- I don't go along with the "lowest
  common denominator" theory. I can't believe that vast
  numbers of readers could not cope with what David Sear had
  to offer in 2 or 3 pages on ancient coins.  I do not collect dog
  tokens or beer tokens (and expect I never will), but I do not
  feel put upon for seeing articles about them; in fact, I feel my
  horizons are widened for having read them.

  In the "form overcoming content" category, I must remark on
  one of my pet peeves, that of overlapping photos of (usually)
  obverse and reverse images of a coin (the cute technical term
  being, I believe, "eclipsing") when, as is usually the case, there
  is no space constraint requiring it. I really get upset when what
  would be the best illustration I have of some particular coin is
  thus artsily mutilated, with partial obscuration of a reverse
  design or legend.

  The use of icons ("next page" and "end") is good, although the
  "end" icon should be at the very end of all text (after "learn
  more"). (I am not sure what the "end" icon represents, if it
  matters, and it is barely distinguishable from "next page.")

  Unfortunately, the introduction of the "learn more" caption
  seems to imply that there will never be any sufficiently
  important comment ever made which might require one of
  those untidy and intimidating footnotes or endnotes."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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