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ON THE E-SYLUM EDITORIAL POLICYCharles Davis writes: "I for one am disappointed with the editorís airing of largely personal laundry in the pages of the E-Sylum. I think several of the recent letters have crossed the line as to what the content of the weekly newsletter should be. Little of it has to do with bibliomania, and if the editor sees fit to continue to publish this line of content, I would recommend that NBS no longer associate itself with it. Let the E-Sylum and the Asylum have their purposes, and let the tabloids cover the balance."
Charlie's submission hit my inbox late Tuesday evening. By that time I'd processed some forty-five emails from readers, none of whom expressed disappointment with Sunday's or any other recent issue. One reader wrote: "Wow, some of the most interesting and revealing numismatic reading I've seen in decades! You have simply outdone yourself as Editor."
Did I pause before publishing some obviously controversial material? You bet. But I don't let it pass unedited or unaccompanied by editorial comment. Some of the scraps that have landed on the E-Sylum cutting room floor over the years would curl your hair. But luckily, the vast majority of submissions are benign and require only minimal editing.
Do I believe everything I publish? Heck no - I don't believe everything I read or hear, and neither should my readers. Proof of decades-ago deeds, thoughts and motivations is hard enough to come by when the participants are alive, and for all practical purposes impossible when the participants are dead.
So why publish at all? There are many reasons, but foremost is the firm belief that readers have a desire and right to be informed and are quite capable of deciding on their own who and what to believe - the Jeffersonian vision of a well-informed populace.
Literature dealer John Burns called Friday to add his voice against some of the recent topics. On the other hand, two other readers asked for more information from authors of the controversial submissions. Clearly there are multiple views among our readership.
Numismatic information is what this newsletter is all about. Numismatic literature is one embodiment of that information, but it's not the only one (it just gets top billing). We bibliophiles arenít merely book lovers, we're info-maniacs. If it concerns numismatic science, numismatic history, numismatic personalities or anything else with a connection to numismatics, we'd like to know. What people today are saying and thinking about numismatic personalities is important and often fascinating information. And that's what makes our little forum so fun.
As long as editing this newsletter continues to be fun, I'll gladly keep it up. But don't take any of this to imply that The E-Sylum is soliciting controversial content. Having it land in my lap is interesting, but rarely fun. Charlie's point is valid. We may have different opinions on where to draw the line, but we agree that a line exists. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
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