The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 26, July 1, 2007, Article 2


Canadian Numismatic Bibliography Project chairman Ronald Greene writes:
"We are pleased to be able to report that the work is completed as follows:

i)      all text is complete
ii)     all photographs have been inserted
iii)    the final formatting has been done
iv)     the index has been checked against the entries
v)      photo credits compiled

"All that remains is to compile the computerized, press-ready disc that
will go to the printer.  This will be delivered to me at the Canadian
Numismatic Association convention and I will take it to the printer when
I return from the Niagara Falls.

"At the convention Darryl Atchison, Paul Petch and I will have available
photocopy quality print-outs for those interested in a preview.  If the
odd error that may have slipped past the proof-readers is spotted those
will be correctable, although additional entries will not be possible as
they impact on all following work and force re-formatting...  With luck
we should have books ready to ship in early September."

[Those of us who ordered the bibliography at its pre-publication price
are getting a bargain.  Since then the book has grown considerably along
with printing and distribution costs.  Addressing pre-publication
subscribers, Ron adds: "If you have moved in the last four years and are
not certain that you have given me your new address please do so within
the next month.  I feel quite confident that you will approve of the
final product and agree that the lengthy wait has been worthwhile."

I can attest that the book has indeed been worth the wait.  Darryl
Atchison passed through London's Heathrow airport yesterday on his way
from Ireland to Canada for the C.N.A. convention; we met there while he
was waiting between flights and I had the pleasure and privilege of
reviewing the page proofs, housed in an ungodly thick binder.

The manuscript will be published in two volumes.  The entire CNB is
1246 pages, with 606 pages in volume one and 640 in volume two (which
includes a 96-page index section to be printed on a different coloured
paper). There are illustrations throughout, with one or more pictures
for every two pages.  The illustrations are not just of numismatic
literature, but of many important numismatic items as well.

The illustrations and the inclusion of a number of exclusive essays,
special listings, and biographical compilations make this publication
far more than "just" a bibliography.  To read it is to gain an education
in the whole of Canadian numismatic history.  It is also a marvelous
starting point for anyone hoping to do new research in the area; in
addition to the bibliographic listings, the book includes contact
information for virtually every major research institution and archive
across Canada and the world with any connection to Canadian numismatics.
At one point the authors considered naming it the "Canadian Numismatic
Research Handbook", but it's far too massive to be a mere "Handbook".

I won't reproduce the entire table of contents here, but topics cover
the entire numismatic map from card money to modern cheques, including
coins, tokens, medals, ration books, P.O.W. currency, War of 1812 Army
promissory notes, private banknotes and everything in between.

The original essays include Peter Moogk's "Historical Introduction to
Canadian Currency and Numismatics", J. Graham Esler's "Brief History of
the Bank of Canada Numismatic Currency Collection," Moogk's essay on
"French Regime Coins, Currency and Counters" and Chris Faulkner's
volume-by-volume synopsis of Fred Bowman's unpublished Encyclopedia of
Canadian Numismatics (now at the Bank of Canada).  Chapter 12,
"Collectors and Collections" consists of about 60 pages of biographies,
obituaries and photos of prominent collectors of Canadian coins.

Which brings us to the illustrations - a large number of numismatic books,
catalogues and price lists are pictured, old and new.  These alone make
the book a pleasure to browse.  But in addition to the images of literature
are many images of numismatic items themselves, some common (like a 2004
Poppy Quarter) but many quite rare.  The authors went to great lengths to
obtain the illustrations and permissions to publish them.  In the numismatic

world, among those generous in providing images were Dan Hamelberg, Stack's,

Heritage, American Numismatic Rarities and Richard Doty of the Smithsonian

A prime example of their taste and persistence in choosing and securing
images is the frontispiece: The Royal Charter of the Hudson's Bay Company.
Dated May 2, 1670, the document is the company's trademark and much
communication was required to secure the rights to publish it.  Other
examples of images include:

* The only known example of a specimen banknote for Magdalen Island,
1815 (from a 2002 Morten & Eden sale)

* A leather banknote from Prince Edward Island

* A photograph of registrants attending the 1909 American Numismatic
Association convention in Montreal, Quebec, including P. N. Bretton,
Thomas Elder, Ludger Gravel, J.C. Mitchelson, Edgar Adams, Frank Higgins,
Waldo Newcomer, William Poillon, Frank Duffield and Ben Green.

* Depression scrip of the Kitchener-Waterloo Mutual Aid Association, a
"time certificate" in the denomination of one hour.  (I found this quite
interesting following my recent purchase of an 1830s British co-operative
society note, also in the denomination of "one hour").

* The U.S. Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Canadian Ambassador Kenneth
Taylor March 6, 1980 for his role in spiriting six American hostages safely
out of Iran.

A final example of the team's persistence is the inclusion of a photograph
of Bert Koper, who established the first national Canadian numismatic
organization.  No picture of him was known to have been published.  Through
an old-time collector in Winnipeg, contact was made with Koper's family,
who provided a photograph.  (Incidentally, Koper produced Whitman-style
coin boards for Canadian coins in his kitchen for sale to collectors).

OK, we get it - the book includes everything, right?  Is nothing missing?
Well, with any project of this scope there are bound to be omissions.
Many items with only a marginal Canadian connection are deliberately
skipped.  And while there are a couple significant inclusions from 2005,
the book effectively stops at 2004.  The biggest omission is that no
articles from Canadian Coin news are included - the authors were
unsuccessful in obtaining a complete run of the publication, and decided
not to include a partial run.

The brochure for the Annual SPMC Author's Forum (see below) includes a
colorful (and insightful) quote from Benjamin Franklin, currency engraver
& printer:  "If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead &
rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing."

This certainly applies to the accomplished Author's Forum speakers, but
it applies as well to Darryl Atchison, Ron Greene and all those associated
with the Canadian Numismatic Bibliography Project.  This twelve-year labor
of love, like most worthwhile numismatic publishing projects, has been a
thankless task replete with late nights and long weekends of unpaid labor,
and various project setbacks and disappointments.  But the finished work
will live for the ages; henceforth every numismatic researcher and
collector with an interest in Canadian numismatic history will be indebted
to this team for their Herculean efforts.

According to Ronald Greene, the retail price of the Canadian Numismatic
Bibliography is expected to be Can$225.00 (about US $212) plus postage.
Sound like a lot of money?  Not for what you're getting.  Luckily, many
of our readers are among those who subscribed at the much lower pre-
publication price.  About 250 of the planned 300 copies are already
spoken for.  For more information or to place an order, contract Ron at

Please show your support for the project and help ensure that the book
is distributed widely.  If you have even the slightest interest in
numismatic research in general or Canadian numismatics in particular,
purchase a copy for your library, or raise funds from your fellow club
members to add a copy to your club's library.  Mention the book to your
favorite dealers. Encourage your national associations, libraries and
numismatic museums (especially outside of Canada) to acquire copies as
well - no institutional library will be complete without one.

Even those of us who are "in" at the prepublication price should consider
adding a donation for the good of the project.  This was no boondoggle
funded by a grant from a wealthy benefactor.  Those involved with the
project have donated not just years of toil, but buckets of hard cash
as well.  I'll be sending a check, and I hope many of you do as well.
The project is an extraordinary effort, and deserves the support of
every numismatist.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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