The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 11, Number 26, June 29, 2008, Article 4


Jim Wiley, who describes himself as "a mere merchant token collector" writes:
As a contributing writer and publisher of a newsletter to glass collectors ( quarterly---hardly weekly!), I understand and hope that others read carefully and understand your comment ...."As long as editing this newsletter continues to be fun, I'll gladly keep it up." Some folks need to recognize that this is a labor of love and not a method of gaining fame or money. Thank you for all of the interesting and timely work that you turn out.
On the issue of sticking purely to numismatic literature, Larry Dziubek writes:
How many subscribers do you think you would have if you only mentioned books? I think about 50, tops. Your reply was 110% correct. Keep them coming as is. Anyone who wants a pure bookie newsletter should unsubscribe - how boring!
As much as I love numismatic literature, I agree with Larry. As a matter of fact, the main reason The E-Sylum veered away from purely numismatic literature topics into the broader numismatic world was a dearth of submissions from readers. Related topics proved to be interesting to readers and generated much more participation. Not every article is interesting to everyone, but each issue usually has something for everyone. -Editor.
John H. Burns writes:
There are topics in The E-Sylum that go rather far afield of coin books, numismatics and related items but the readership seems to enjoy them. My problem is the yapping Pekinese that wait till a man is DEAD before they come out of the woodwork. It is cowardice to shout accusations and hearsay about someone who CANNOT respond.

Donald Erlenkotter writes:
I received the latest E-Sylum just after reading the new Spring 2008 issue of the American Numismatic Society Magazine. On p. 36 of the magazine, under the period 1948-1957, I found the following:

Sadly, it was during this period - although this was not discovered until many years later - that the Society's cabinet sustained its most critical loss. Famed U.S. large-cent expert William Sheldon evidently succeeded in switching dozens of the finest pieces out of the collection by substituting in their places other coins of identical varieties but slightly lesser states of preservation. To date, about two-thirds of these coins have been recovered; an ongoing effort seeks the remainder.
If it hadn't been for The E-Sylum, I would have been completely in the dark as to what was going on behind this brief statement.

This issue of the ANS Magazine also has a lot on the recent relocation of the Society and the move as you reported. Keep up the good work!

Rick Witschonke writes:
Thanks for sticking to your guns on the Naftzger controversy. Kleeberg was at the ANS during the dispute, and has first-hand information.

Jeff Reichenberger writes:
The story of Naftzger/Sheldon/ANS is fascinating, thanks to all who weighed in on it. I also enjoyed Alan Weinberg's submission of the Kosoff/Kaplan/Laine caper. Great stuff!

George Kolbe writes:
I found the postings on Ted Naftzger and Abe Kosoff in the June 15 E-Sylum to be troubling, and printed them out to review. I did not get around to it and thought that others would share their thoughts in the June 22 issue. Charles Davis did and you also mention a call from John Burns. Frankly, I thought there would be more outrage, though Charlie was certainly direct.

I'll restrict my comments to John Kleeberg's commentary on Ted Naftzger and Alan Weinberg's story about Abe Kosoff. While I find some of John Kleeberg's characterizations to be slanted and unfair, he steps up to the plate and takes responsibility for what he says and it is clear that, if need be, he could document many if not all of the basic facts.

I have no brief against Alan Weinberg. I certainly enjoy his man-on-the-street contributions in the Big E and other numismatic publications and I admire his obvious love of the hobby. Nor am I above sharing controversial stories about numismatists of the past and present. But to do so in print, with zero documentation and anonymous sources, is not acceptable. You just cannot do this, despite the "tap dance" disclaimer at the end. Abe Kosoff may not have been a saint - who of us are - but I would hope, and I think that you would too, that others will not write such things about us when there are no provable facts or named sources to support them and we are no longer around to defend ourselves.

As I have told you many times before, the Big E is a great publication and all of numismatics is in your debt. I hope you will continue to publish controversial articles, leavened with a bit better judgment. I was appalled by John Kleeberg's comments on John Ford after his death yet I did not criticize you for publishing them. So, keep up the good work!

Kleeberg's submissions on John Ford and Ted Nazftger were among the hardest items I've ever had to edit. I snipped quite a bit from the Ford piece, less from the one on Naftzger. Snipped were parts I felt were too harsh, or too hard to justify or document. What was left of both submissions was still lengthy, and could quite well be seen as slanted or unfair. I knew they would be controversial, but decided to hit the Send button. I appreciate George's careful review of the final Nazftger product, and feel that my edits were probably appropriate.

The Kosoff/Laine piece was VERY hard to publish, as George could tell by the lengthy "tap dance" disclaimer. Like George, I expected far more commentary. If I'd snipped the dodgy pieces, there'd have been nothing left. What tipped the scales for me in deciding to publish it was the connection to the Kosoff book and the clues the tale might provide for researchers tracing pedigrees and transaction prices for the Judd coins listed within. Even though many readers enjoyed reading it, I understand the objections of others. I'll take my lumps on this one and raise the bar in the future. -Editor

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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