The E-Sylum:  Volume 7, Number 42, October 17, 2004, Article 3


  [Regarding Pete Smith's quest to identify the thickest
  numismatic book (by page count),  I had my own guess
  as to the particular book Pete was referring to in his
  original question. "It takes a big man to write a big book!"
  Weighing in at 1,041 numbered pages is Wendell Wolka's
  "A History of Nineteenth Century Ohio Obsolete Bank
  Notes and Scrip," published this year by the Society of
  Paper Money Collectors.  -Editor]

  David Gladfeler writes: "I've got the 1041-pager too and
  it's a damned good book. Paid cash-and-carry, saved $6
  in postage and got the author's autograph and ~half-hour
  gab thrown in free (however, had a sore shoulder for a
  few days -- thanks, Wendell).

  You beat me on having the fattest numismatic book.  I
  have the 1956 Numismatic Scrapbook, 2352 pages, all
  in one ponderous volume courtesy of Stephen Harris,
  whose name is stamped on the cover. He took the covers
  off before binding which saves a few calories, but not many."

  David Davis writes: "I, too picked up an autographed copy
  of Wendell Wolka's  book at ANA.  We might also want to
  establish a couple of other categories. The largest, height by
  width?  The heaviest?"

  Scott Miller submitted this selection:
  "Storer's Medicina in Nummis has 1146 pages."

  Martin Logies writes:
  "The thickest book from my library, and my nomination
  for the record is "The Comprehensive U.S. Silver Dollar
  Encyclopedia" by John W. Highfill.  Published in 1992, this
  book has 45 pages at the front simply given Roman numerals
  plus 1,233 pages numbered using Arabic numerals -- for a
  total of 1,278 pages."

  [There are few unrare U.S. numismatic books that aren't in
  my library, and for shelf space reasons, this is one of them.
  The late Ken Lowe had a special copy - he disbound it and
  discarded all the pages he felt were irrelevant to his interests.
  Then, he had it rebound in a far thinner binding.

  A similar tactic would have greatly reduced the size of my
  Numismatist set.  There have been people who simply
  ripped out all the ads and covers, leaving only the numismatic
  articles to be bound.  As a bibliophile, I am at once sympathetic
  to the problem and appalled by the solution -- often the ads
  have a great deal of important numismatic information, and
  much of the value of the publication is lost without them.

  Peter Irion writes: "Greetings from Vermont.  My nomination
  for the thickest Exonumia book is the Encyclopedia of the
  Modern Elongated by Angelo Rosato.  It weighs in at (XXVII)
  + 1732 pages which equals about 3 1/16th inches.  And it
  only covers elongated coins from the years 1960 to 1978.
  I can only imagine how thick an updated edition covering
  1960 through 2004 might be."

  Bill Burd seconded Peter's choice.  He writes: "Other books
  in my library over 1040 pages long are:  A California Gold
  Rush History - 1055 pages;  A Bibliography of 16th
  Century Numismatic Books - 1059 pages;  A Bibliography
  of 17th Century Numismatic Books - Volume 3
  - 1153 pages;  Xian Qin Huo Bi/Ch'in Dynasty Currency,
  Shanghai 1988(Chinese text) - 1181 pages.   And, of course
  I have "A History of Nineteenth Century Ohio Obsolete Bank
  Notes and Scrip", weighing in at 1041 pages."

  Bill Murray also nominated the Rosato work on Elongateds,
  and notes: "While on the subject of big, I suggest Dave Bowers'
  "A California Gold Rush History" deserves consideration as the
  weightiest tome, at 11 pounds six ounces.

  Karl Moulton writes: "As for the "thickest" book (as per
  numbered pages), I offer the following:

  Although Dave Bowers 1991 two volume set of the
  "American Numismatic Association Centennial" comes in at
  1744 pages, there is yet another "thicker" book available.
  It is a 1985 numismatic book about numismatic books titled
  "Numismatic Bibliography" by Elvira Clain-Stefanelli.  It is a
  single volume numbering an impressive 1848 pages.
  Although it is not the thickest publication ever printed (this
  is primarily due to the type of paper used and font sizes) it
  stands as one of the lengthiest publications regarding

  Mark Borckardt writes: "Is this a single volume book contest,
  i.e. Hickman and Oakes, or are multiple volume publications
  to be included in this search, i.e. Dave Bowers' ANA History?
  What about other parameters: are we searching strictly for
  page count, or are we looking for physical thickness of the
  spine? If just page count, I imagine that one of the Krause
  "telephone book" world coin catalogs will certainly be in
  contention. If physical thickness, other books may take
  precedence, depending on what weight paper is used."

  [Pete started this discussion, and his criteria was page count,
  so that's what we're looking for here.  We'll allow multiple
  volumes, but recognize them as a separate category from
  single volumes.    Thickness and weight are certainly relevant,
  and perhaps worthy of further discussion in a future issue.
  Some of this week's submissions do mention these other
  attributes.  -Editor]

  Joe Boling was thinking along the same lines as Mark on
  the Krause series.  He writes: "Good grief, guys, there are
  SIX books in the current Krause Publications line that
  exceed that page count."  Mark and Joe weren't alone in
  their observations.

  Nolan Mims writes: "The thickest numismatic volume in my
  library is the "1996 Standard Catalog of World Coins" by
  Krause / Mishler with 2286 numbered pages. The heaviest,
  at nearly twelve pounds, is Dave Bowers' outstanding "A
  California Gold Rush History", but it has "only" 1054 pages.
  I wrote a review of this book when it was published and the
  only critical remark, if it could be called such, was that I felt
  it should have been two volumes to make it easier to handle."

  James Higby writes:  "My thickest book is the 32nd edition of
  the Standard Catalog of World Coins, at 2288 pages."

  Yossi Dotan agrees: "The thickest one in my library has 2,288
  + LVI (56) pages, and an insert of 16 pages, making for a total
  of 2,360 pages.  I assume many of the readers of The E-Sylum
  have this book in their library as well. It is the 2005 (32nd)
  edition of the Standard Catalog of World Coins ? 1901-Present
  by Krause and Mishler.

  I am now expecting a follow-up question to appear in one of
  the next issues of E-Sylum: What is the thinnest numismatic

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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