We discussed this project before, so it's not completely "new", but here's a review by Ursula Kampmann on a
publication by Spink of Owen W. Linzmayer's The Banknote Book. -Editor
Owen W. Linzmayer, The Banknote Book. Spink / London 2014. 22 x 28 cm. 2355 pp., color
There are people who live their passion. Apparently, Owen W. Linzmayer, writer of a new reference work on banknotes published by Spink in 2014, is
one of these. He maintains the website www.banknotenews.com, which – when compared to the impressive, three-volume catalog recently published by
Spink – is a perfect testimony to the change the work of an author has undergone in the previous decades.
Let’s start with the aim of this project. Owen W. Linzmayer plans to assemble all officially issued banknotes of every country in the world in a
huge, exemplary catalog. His work is characterized by detailed information with an accurate description of the banknotes, first-class images, names
of the printers, and additional notes on products designed specifically for collectors. In addition, the author provides numismatic comments on the
different emissions. That makes this work considerably more detailed than any other transnational catalog.
At the end of each chapter the experts which assisted the author in writing the relevant chapter are mentioned by name. The catalog is completed
by a lengthy list of bibliographic sources and the request to share one’s knowledge with the author.
This catalog is special because it is not finished yet. Rather, it is a published – albeit already highly impressive – intermediate result (as of
August 2014) of the project that aims for completeness. The author is assembling the images and the material for the subsequent chapters and asks all
users of this catalog both for their help and for scans.
The Banknote Book is a typical catalog project that would have been impossible to undertake prior to the internet era. A central author
standardizes information he has gathered from collectors, dealers, experts and, naturally, from books, and then compiles a catalog of a hitherto
unparalleled level of quality. By the way, this catalog is of course likewise a price guide with thoroughly researched prices given for all listed
banknotes in three conditions.
Thus, we advise every collector of banknotes to go for the double pack: buy the printed version of the three volumes for £60 only at Spink, and,
in addition, subscribe for $99 per year in order to get all updates until Spink publishes the next printed edition. You can also buy and download
individual chapters on the website which only pays off if you harbor very special interests. After all, the price of every chapter counting 10 or
more pages is already $9.99.
The Banknote Book is a true asset not only to the library. The approach that has been taken to compile this catalog is likewise remarkable.
It is a new way that can help undertake projects that are too complex for a single author.
To order the books from Spink, see:
The Banknote Book by Linzmayer, Owen W.
To read the complete article, see:
The Reference Work on Banknotes: The Banknote Book
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
THE BANKNOTE BOOK CELEBRATES FIRST ANNIVERSARY (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v15n31a08.html)
BOOK REVIEW: THE BANKNOTE BOOK (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v15n11a05.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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