The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 22, May 29, 2005, Article 3


In the May 26, 2005 Colonial Numismatics email list,
Ray Williams reported on a day trip to the American
Numismatic Society with a group of fellow colonial
coinage enthusiasts. He writes:

"For much less than the parking fee in NY (about $20), I
took a train from Trenton to Newark, then took the PATH
train to the World Trade Center station. When you exit the
station, the ANS is only a four block walk down Fulton Street,
and as a bonus, there's a Dunkin Donuts in between!!! It was
so easy to get to!

Roger Moore took the train ride with me. Once there, we
met with Dave Wnuck and Neil Rothschild. Roger Siboni
was a few minutes behind us. After coffee and some good
conversation with Don Partrick, Robert Hoge and Ute
Wartenberg Kagan, we were brought to the collections room,
where we were introduced to Lauren Jacobi, who is on an
intern program and assisted us with viewing trays of colonials.

I only made it half way through the first NJ Copper tray! I
also saw a tray of contemporary counterfeit coppers and
some CT Coppers. The counterfeits were very impressive,
but I think that I liked this Geo III Irish halfpenny that was
struck over a double-struck British halfpenny which had it's
second strike 50% off center. Did I say that all correctly?
I almost (not quite) didn't want to break for lunch.

While moving from room to room, we would see Juliette
running here and there. I don't know exactly what her job
title is, but it looks to me that she (and many of the staff)
does a little of everything. After lunch, we took a trip to
the storage area where we saw the file cabinets full of
photographic images - the same ones that were mistakenly
reported as having been thrown out a few weeks ago...
There were many cool pictures in there and they are not
all strictly numismatic.

Then we took the elevator to the library floor where we
took time to view some of the colonial literature. I was
reading Hall's Manuscript on CT Coppers and then just
looked through the titles on the shelves. What a collection!
Then we were taken by Frank Campbell (Librarian) to the
Rare Book Room, where we saw many manuscripts, old
catalogs seldom seen books. I look forward to the day
when I can retire and spend more time here.

It was a tiring day seeing so much material - information
overload I guess! I always knew that the ANS people
were helpful and friendly, but I never knew how easy it
was to get there by mass transit (cheap too). As accessible
as the ANS is, I'll be there much more often and hopefully
write a few more articles. Thanks to Roger and all the
ANS people for the tour today. I had a blast! I highly
recommend a visit to the ANS. You can check their
web site at ANS
be able to see. Everyone knows about Dickeson's classic
work on American Coinage, but sitting right next to it on a
shelf was a hand written work by Dickeson! For being a
doctor, his handwriting was remarkably legible!!! I'm sure
there are documents there that researchers are unaware of
and must look through the indexes and shelves to find these
treasures. I was like a little child in a candy shop!

The files of photographic negatives are huge! There are
thousands and thousands of them! All of us opened drawers
and removed the envelopes and looked at the negatives,
holding them up to the light. There were negatives (and some
prints too) of coins, medals, pictures of Indians and other
people. I am absolutely convinced that nothing happened
to these negatives. If any are missing, it would be due to
criminal theft over the past century, not to any mishandling
or reckless disposal."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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