The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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V23 2020 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 23, June 7, 2020, Article 41

LOOSE CHANGE: JUNE 7, 2020

Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor

Book Review: Rivalling Rome

Over on the Coin Talk discussion board, member Parthicus posted a great review of the new book Rivalling Rome: Parthian Coins & Culture. Follow the link to see the complete review. -Editor

Rivalling Rome book cover This slim volume (118 pages) is intended to accompany a special exhibit at the British Museum, which was scheduled to run from April 2nd to September 6th, 2020. For obvious reasons (note to posterity: the COVID-19 pandemic) the exhibit has been postponed (the British Museum website says only that it is "coming soon") but meanwhile we are able to enjoy this book. Firstly, I will summarize that I found this book very enjoyable to read, and a useful overview of Parthian coins, history, and civilization. While I have a few minor quibbles, the book as a whole is very worthwhile, and I would suggest anyone with an interest in Parthian coins and history should purchase it.

While the book does include many clear photos of Parthian and related coins, it is not a comprehensive catalogue or identification guide (and is certainly not intended as such). Rather, the coins are used to illustrate both the history of the Parthian kings, but more importantly, examined for what they reveal about the Parthians themselves, particularly their cultural practices and religious beliefs, as well as aspects of their material culture (i.e. clothing, tools, etc.). The photographs are of good quality, all coins are depicted life-sized or larger, and the various other objects are also beautifully photographed.

To read the complete article, see:
Book review: Rivalling Rome: Parthian Coins & Culture (https://www.cointalk.com/threads/book-review-rivalling-rome-parthian-coins-culture.361020/)

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NEW BOOK: RIVALLING ROME: PARTHIAN COINS (https://www.coinbooks.org/v23/esylum_v23n20a06.html)

Michael Matzke (1966-2020)

Ursula Kampmann published an article in CoinsWeekly about the late Michael Matzke, an expert in medieval numismatics and curator of the Basel Historical Museum. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Michael Matzke (1966-2020) (https://coinsweekly.com/michael-matzke-1966-2020/)

The Golden Biscuit

Ron Guth's blog recalls the 1976 Whist Match, where Large Cent collectors compared their specimens to discover the best. -Editor

1816 Large Cent The Golden Bisquit

"Whist" predates the Set Registries by many years, but the basic premise of a Whist Match is that two collectors compare their coins to see who has the better collection. The benefit of a "manual" game of Whist is that outside parties can observe the contest, and that was where I found myself in 1976.

When the first 1816 variety, Newcomb 1, was called out, Doug placed his champion down on the felt pad – a coin he called "The Golden Biscuit." That name stuck with me through all these years as one of the most significant remembrances from that meeting. In fact, that is all I remember of the 1976 Whist Match. I could not tell you who else was there, or about any of the other 1816 Cents, or even if Doug's coin won (it's listed as second finest in the Condition Census, so Ted probably beat it with the finest known). But that name – The Golden Biscuit – just stands out in my mind. Maybe I was hungry.

To read the complete article, see:
Coins and Memories (https://numismaticdetectives.com/blog/f/coins-and-memories)

American Antiquarian Society Transcription

We're discussed transcription projects as a useful way to spend some free time during the pandemic shutdown. The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts described their latest transcription project in their blog on June 2, 2020. See the complete article online to learn about the mermaid and the woman who swallowed two bullets. -Editor

AAS-donation-book

Staff at AAS have been sad and frustrated about Covid-19's effects on our researchers, fellows, and fellow cultural institutions. Despite this hardship, we've been able to find some joy in our days and to feel connected to the collections we love by working on a staff-wide transcription of the first AAS donation book.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the first donation book, it includes a list of all of the Society's acquisitions between 1813 and 1829. Most of items in the list are written in our founder Isaiah Thomas' own hand. It includes many artifacts from indigenous populations that were deaccessioned over the years, as well as all of the books, pamphlets, and manuscripts that we received during that period.

We started working on this project not long after we all began working virtually from home.

Two staff members transcribe each page of the donation book and, when the project is complete, we will reconcile the two transcriptions and produce one final, solid transcription. Once completed, we will post these transcriptions online. Digital images of the donation book are already available online here. Already 15 staff members have worked on the project, completing 120 pages from the donation book (that's 240 pages of transcription!)

To read the complete article, see:
When Times are Tough, AAS Gets Going . . . on Transcription! (https://pastispresent.org/2020/good-sources/when-times-are-tough-aas-gets-going-on-transcription/)

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
JOIN NATIONAL ARCHIVES TRANSCRIPTION INITIATIVE (https://www.coinbooks.org/v23/esylum_v23n13a09.html)
NATIONAL ARCHIVES TRANSCRIPTION UPDATE (https://www.coinbooks.org/v23/esylum_v23n14a20.html)
TRANSCRIPTION IS A BOOMING PANDEMIC ACTIVITY (https://www.coinbooks.org/v23/esylum_v23n21a35.html)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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