Dick Johnson's not done dreaming yet - here are his thoughts on a numismatic encyclopedia.
Dream with me a moment. As a writer in the numismatic field what other tool would you like to have available? May I suggest an encyclopedia of numismatics. The idea of such a tool is not original with me. I know there are a number of numismatic books that have "encyclopedia" in their name, but they are so specialized, so narrow. I am seeking a numismatic encyclopedia -- I have named this "Numismapedia" -- which covers all numismatics with entries on people, places, events, facts, figures AND numismatic topics. Basic facts please.
A couple of other writers have started such ventures. Pete Smith has compiled a biography of famous American numismatists. That is a starting point. But one person has started exactly what I have in mind. That person is that indefatigable numismatic writer, Q. David Bowers. On May 13, 2005 Dave sent me the first 24 manuscript pages of the beginning of the "A" entries. His concept is exactly what is needed most of all.
Dave's manuscript is two columns in 9 point type, he crams a lot on one page. He doesn't leave much margin space on any page. I like to talk back to authors by writing in the margins. But I learned a long time ago, you don't talk back to Dave! You don't need to. If it is worth saying, Dave has said it all.
That is why I would like to see Dave complete this project. I assume he has set it aside while he is writing a Red Book of every type coin and denomination in American coinage. There is collector demand for these books. But, I sure would like to have that book on my shelf now that Dave started four years ago. Right next to the computer. Fact checking would be far easier and much faster. And authoritative!
I answered Dave's accompanying letter. I sent him forty entries I would contribute to his project. Dave stated in that letter while he is usually in a "fair rush [for most publishing projects] I am trying to take my time to create a text that will be informative and interesting to read."
Dave created a format for the style of entries. I endorsed this completely. He grasped exactly what is needed.
Perhaps Dave would respond to this appeal. Please create this Numismapedia.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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