The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 14, April 8, 2007, Article 3


Dick Johnson writes: "Our intrepid editor's creative April 1st spoof 
in last week's issue had enough truths in it to give it the ring of 
validity. One was the relocation of the American Numismatic Society. 
This could actually come about as ANS officials are now considering 
selling their headquarters building (because of unused space and too 
few visitors to its lower Manhattan location).

"Acquiring the present building made sense at the time (cramped space 
at the old building, a deteriorating neighborhood location, and such). 
It was a good financial transaction with gift of a large part of the 
cost from the seller. However, unless you live in New York City (and 
can take the subway) it was difficult to get to and to utilize the 
new building.

"I recall my first visit there and the cramped streets on both sides 
of the ANS building. My Good Wife dropped me off at the entrance before 
she parked the car two blocks away. As I approached the sidewalk a 
Chinese work crew was backing up a truck. I yelled to keep from being 
crushed. (Apparently such a yell is the same in Chinese as English!)

"One factor ANS officials should consider in relocating is WHO will 
use the building. Obviously employees and members, but also researchers, 
like myself, who wish to use your library. This is a national treasure. 
No, the library is an international treasure! Scholars from Europe 
formerly came to New York to research the library in your old building 
because of its vast holdings and the ease to use it. I met Professor 
Philip Grierson from England in the ANS library once on just such a visit.

"The most ideal location of an organization's building could possibly 
be in some suburb. Once I visited the headquarters of the American 
Foundry Society in Des Plains, Illinois, outside Chicago. It was ideal. 
Their library was on the first floor and they had an ample parking lot. 
Most researchers DRIVE to visit libraries - often with heavy briefcases 
or valuable material to research.

"For long-term research it is necessary to have inexpensive hotel/motel 
accommodations nearby. The American Antiquarian Association in Worcester, 
Massachusetts, rents out rooms in a building across the street from its 
building to accommodate such researchers.

"At a coin convention in New Jersey with some medal friends prior to 
the ANS move, I mentioned that relocating to White Plains, New York, 
would be better than lower Manhattan. This was within earshot of Donald 
G. Partrick, president of ANS (and the owner/seller of the building). 
After my friends dismissed my suggestion, Mr. Partrick gave me a 
lecture on why ANS should stay in New York City.

"Now that two successive Manhattan locations have proved unsuitable, 
ANS officials should consider a location in lower Westchester County, 
NY or northern New Jersey (still half hour from NYC). And, oh yes, 
with an adjacent parking lot!"

[The ANA headquarters in Colorado Springs meets Dick's criteria, with 
an adjacent parking lot and lodging in the area. It's hard to imagine 
a large event like the ANA's Summer Seminar taking place in New York 
City. Yet it's also hard to imagine the ANS being anywhere BUT in New 
York or another major metropolitan center. I guess that's why I 
picked Baltimore over say, Grovers Mill, NJ for my faux HQ. 

If I were making the decision I'd consider a suburban airport location 
near a major city, providing ready access for locals as well as national 
and international researchers. Straying far from New York is probably 
out of the question due to consideration of the current staff, but my 
selfish personal vote would be for the Dulles airport area outside of 
Washington, DC. Lots of lodging and parking in driving distance of a 
huge population, plus direct flights from around the nation and the 
world, all within easy reach of the nation's Capital. -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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