The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 16, April 19, 2009, Article 1


Wayne Homren We now have 1,229 subscribers. No one new to report this week. Who's got a friend who would enjoy reading The E-Sylum?

Rich Mantia writes:
Thank you for the recent late issue of The E-Sylum. Having been in the hobby for so long and been a member of quite a few coin clubs and organizations over the years I have experienced a lot. More often than not there are a few members that participate actively in the hobby while the rest of the members sit back and enjoy the benefits of the labors of others. It's disappointing but true that this occurs, which is probably due to human nature that there are more followers than leaders.

The fact that an issue was late is not as important as recognizing that you work so hard for the benefit of us all. It's true that the subscribers volunteer stories and comments, but without your efforts nothing would be done. I appreciate ALL that you do and I hope that you desire to do it for a long time.

I think it's numismatist Jerry Kochel who often says, "The harder I work the behinder I get". I'm so busy and "behind" on things these days I figure that on sheer momentum alone I'll be dead for a week before I finally get around to falling over. But I always try to squeeze in some time for The E-Sylum. It is a lot of work, but it's a lot of fun as well.

It's my connection to the hobby and all of my great numismatic friends out there. I wouldn't feel like doing it if it weren't for the support of my readers. I expect I'll keep it up as long as I can find something interesting to write about, which never seems to be a problem with this great hobby of ours.

In all the confusion of wrestling with the mailing list I apparently messed up the issue numbering in the last two emails; thanks for Arthur Shippee for pointing it out. Bruce Perdue has corrected these in our web archive and hopefully, we're back on track this now. This is volume 12, number 16.

On another topic, I was helping my son Tyler with his homework after school one afternoon this week. One of his study questions was on the storytellers of Mali. He knew the answer - that the storytellers were responsible for handing history and stories down from generation to generation.

I told him that memory and storytelling were the only means the people had to do that, since they didn't have books. I pointed to a book on my shelf and asked him when it had been printed. Easy enough - on the spine of the bookbox of Barton's Life of Rittenhouse is printed the date 1813.

When I take that book off my shelf and read it, I told him, I'm hearing the story of a famous man's life told to me by the author who wrote the book nearly 200 years ago - an author who knew about him, read his letters, and talked to his friends and relatives. Without that book, we'd know a lot less about him today.

Then, referring to the book, Tyler said, "and you're going to pass it on to someone else, right?"

Indeed I will. We collectors know we are merely curators who, like the storytellers of Mali, will pass on their treasures to the next generation. I thought it was a remarkably mature insight for an eight-year-old who only last Sunday saw a light on at 4am and was beside himself with excitement thinking he'd spotted the Easter Bunny.

This week we open with information on the latest issue of our print journal, The Asylum, and the new "Guide Book of the Guide Book" from Whitman. Next up is a not-so-new-anymore book on the banknote printing industry and an old-but-soon-to-be-new-again book on the Morristown Mint.

Other topics include relic medals, the "Omaha Bank hoard", the motto "In God is Our Trust", and new e-books from Krause Publications. Quick, what's a "Brumagem", and how is the term used in numismatics? To learn what dental tools, Shrek and Michelangelo's David have to do with the U.S. Mint, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

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