The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 39, September 27, 2009, Article 11


Dick Johnson submitted these thoughts on numismatic indexes, and proposes a new one: ANIE - Articles of Numismatic Interest Extracted from Non-Numismatic Publications. -Editor

While we ponder the fate of NIP -- the numismatic publication index supported by the Harry Bass Foundation -- we should consider a companion index for non-numismatic publications. This was brought to mind by the query by Ben Keele in last week's E-Sylum.

I propose an index to the vast amount of information which would be of tremendous value to numismatic writers in the future. This becomes more evident because of the ease of accessing these early publications now on the internet.

E-Sylum authors have commented on the subject of numismatic indexes often before. Alan Davisson wrote (vol 4, no 12, article 10) "Numismatic indexes are extremely important." Granvyl Hulse, Jr. wrote (in the same article) "I am in full agreement that an index of numismatic periodicals is long overdue."

But criticism crept in. Dave Bowers commented (vol 4, no 24, article 13) "To be really useful an index has to be by SUBJECT and CONTENT, not by title [alone]." Dave got right to the core of the problem.

What we have now are too many indexes by title and author. In fact, The Numismatist has been indexed three times! All by title and author alone! A committee headed by Frank Duffield indexed the first 50 years of The Numismatist in 1940 -- by title and author. This was extended for another 20 years by Mrs. D. Dee DeNise in 1959 -- also by title and author.

Chet Krause hired a lady to compile a second index to The Numismatist again, by title and author (I don't know what year). And now we have NIP which has indexed The Numismatist -- along with other publications by title and author for a third time! However NIP's index is more compatible to a computer than a human researcher.

All this work Dave Bowers correctly states is not entirely useful because the title does not entirely reveal full content, nor all subjects discussed, nor people mentioned, and perhaps, not all numismatic topics involved.

In my numismatic writing over the last 40 years I have encountered hundreds of indexes, bibliographies, reference lists and finding aids in this and other fields. I have found one that is outstanding - it is comprehensive and is of tremendous utility, ideal for every human researcher who may search its pages. That gem is:

Mary Morris Schmidt Index to Nineteenth Century Art Periodicals.
Madison CT: Sound View Press. 2 volumes:
Vol 1 -- Citations, 756 pages.
Vol 2 -- Author -Subject Index, 1,584 pages.

The author compiled the content of every article in every periodical even remotely associated with art. Her task took 23 years. She would even travel on her vacation time to other libraries which had periodical runs in their collections which she did not have access to in her own library at Princeton University. Her compendium was published by Peter Hastings Falk, publisher of the three-volume magnus opus Who Was Who in American Art.

I would recommend a style for a numismatic index similar to what Mary Schmidt utilized in her index. Such a style would fulfill every desire by Dave Bowers, and the thousands of numismatic writers who follow us in the future. Mary analyzed every article and made an entry by every possible subject anyone is likely to look for in such an index.

What to name it? I wanted a memorable acronym. If it could be a companion to Harry Bass's NIP I immediately thought of TUCK. NIP and TUCK would cover both. But no such luck for tuck. I could not come up with appropriate words for a TUCK acronym. I did come up with ANIE: Articles of Numismatic Interest Extracted from Non-Numismatic Publications.

I have appended three pages of sample entries I found in Schmidt that have numismatic interest. Perhaps editor Homren would attach a sample or two of these to illustrate what I purpose.

Otherwise, this proposal should be spelled out in further detail. Perhaps an article in The Asylum. Is anyone interested?

Below is an image of one section of the file Dick included. These articles sound interesting. What do you think, readers? -Editor

Schmidt Index examples

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: QUERY: STATUS OF THE NUMISMATIC INDEX OF PERIODICALS (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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