The E-Sylum v5#48, December 1, 2002

whomren at whomren at
Sun Dec 1 18:14:44 PST 2002

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 48, December 1, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   Among recent new subscribers is Andy Lanier, referred
   by Howard A. Daniel III.  Welcome aboard!  We now have
   508 subscribers.


   NBS Secretary-Treasurer David Sklow would like to remind
   our members that it's time to submit your dues for the year
   2003.  David's address appears at the end of this and every
   E-Sylum issue.  Dues are $15 to North American adresses,
   $20 elsewhere.


   Fred Lake writes: "Lake Books' sale #66 of numismatic
   literature closes on Tuesday, December 3, 2002. The sale
   may be viewed at
   Bids may be submitted by email or telephone."


   Gosia Fort, Cataloging and Database Management Librarian
   for the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library
   System writes: "I am sorry I missed Kerry's poll on modifying
   the name of "The Numismatist."   If it is not to late to add my 5
   cents, here is a librarian's perspective:  I can assure those who
   have doubts, that the proposed change will have no effect on
   the Library of Congress treatment of this journal.  In fact, it
   does not matter whether the article is present or not. Library
   systems have to ignore all definite or indefinite articles (such
   as "the" or "a") for searching, sorting and filling purposes.
   From the librarian's point of view it will be an insignificant and
   unnecessary change.

   We have to deal with many such changes, which, if they occur
   within the first five words of a title, call for a new record and
   linking fields in order to trace the whole run of the journal.  To
   take "revenge" on publishers who give us more work, librarians
   hold an annual competition for the worst journal title change
   of the year. To add some spice to it, last year's winner was one
   of our professional journals for librarians!   So unless you want
   to change the scope of the journal as well, do not change the
   title, please."


   Alan's Herbert's "Coins in Cyberspace" column in the
   December 2002 issue of The Numismatist makes a few
   bold predictions, including this one:  "I'll make a guess that
   by 2013 you will have seen the last edition of The Numismatist
   on paper.  It will be available online in an electronic edition,
   with pages also posted on the ANA's web site,

   "Or not.  Looking at the history of computing, it was
   supposed to change the world.  It has done that, but the
   idea of credit and debit cards replacing paper money and
  coins hasn't occurred, and may not for many years.  The
   majority of ANA members likely won't live long enough
   to see the last coin struck."

   "Coin catalogs could disappear in the next decade as

   [In a related event, a demo version of the previously
   discussed online version of Coin World is available on
   the web at  -Editor]


   An article by Carl Hulse in the November 25, 2002 issue of
   The New York Times reported that the original accounting
   book of the United States Senate, carrying "careful entries by
   the likes of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr"
   was found and rescued by workers minutes before it would
   have been hauled off to the trash.

   "Misplaced and long forgotten in a dirty underground storage
   room, the original accounting book of the Senate ... known
   as S-1, survived hundreds of years, escaping the torching of
   the Capitol in the War of 1812. But it was almost lost last
   week to an effort to modernize the building."

   "It came just a whisker from workmen whose only orders
   were to clear out the room," said Richard A. Baker, the
   Senate historian, adding that when he first heard of the
   volumes he presumed they were copies.

   "I couldn't believe my eyes," Mr. Baker said. "I have been
   here 28 years and have never seen a find like this."

   Marked as the "Senators Compensation and Mileage"
   ledger, S-1 covers Senate sessions from 1791 to 1881 and
   provides a down-to-the-dollar account of the early costs
   of democracy."

   "Since the ledgers were discovered last Tuesday, Mr. Baker
   and others in the Senate historical office have spent time
   establishing how they came to be lost, and he attributed it to
   a not uncommon government cause. "This is a screw-up,"
   he said.

   From what the historical office can discern, S-1 and the
   other volumes had been shipped to the National Archives,
   perhaps around the 1930's, but for an unknown reason
   Senate officials asked that they be returned in 1963. They
   eventually found their way to the storage space, which the
   Senate disbursing office abandoned in the early 1980's.
   Hardly anyone has been in there since.

   Mr. Baker said the carefully drawn entries on the pages,
   which measure about 9 by 14 inches, show the Senate's
   struggle to keep accurate accounts in its early years as it
   moved from New York to Philadelphia to the District of

   Another historian, Peter Drummey, librarian at the
   Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, said such
   documents were vivid reminders of the small scale of the
   early federal government, when the president personally
   signed the commissions of military officers."

   "The east front of the Capitol is now under construction
   for a three-level underground visitor center that will
   provide more space for tourists and museum exhibits as
   well as improved security. Visitors will enter the Capitol
   near where the storage room was.  But Mr. Baker does
   not expect any more historical discoveries, saying the
   Senate has become much more careful with its documents
   in recent decades."

   [Perhaps some interesting tidbits of information on the
   early U.S. Mint await discovery in the long-lost volume.


   Numismatic organizations are not immune to such record-
   keeping snafus.  Perhaps some of our readers will have
   similar stories to share.  In the years since many of our
   favorite institutions were founded, I'm sure many a ledger
   has been misplaced or deliberately destroyed along the

   One happy story involved my own club, the Western
   Pennsylvania Numismatic Society.  Founded in 1878,
   the society's Secretary and Treasurer kept log books
   covering every meeting and expense from 1878 to
   1889.  The society's Curator also kept a log of library
   acquisitions.   The books had been misplaced for years
   and presumed lost when somehow they turned up in the
   hands of a former officer's family, who returned them to
   the society.   The ledgers were part of an exhibit put
   together by Pat McBride for the 1989 Pittsburgh ANA

   The ledgers enabled me to write the first comprehensive
   history of the organization.  See our web site and click
   on "History":


   When a dozen replies arrive immediately after publishing an
   E-Sylum issue, I know one of two things happened: either I
   messed something up, or I messed something up ROYALLY.
   It turns out that the anniversary item at the beginning of the
   issue contained two errors.  That'll teach me to throw in
   something quick without double-checking.  (Or perhaps
   NBS will cut my salary in half...)

   Myron Xenos (and several others) pointed out the first error.
   He wrote:  "Regarding the 40th anniversary of  Ruby killing
   Oswald -- if it is 40 years, then he must have killed Oswald
   before Oswald killed Kennedy."   It's only been 39 years.

   Tom DeLorey wrote: "The 22nd was the 39th anniversary
   of Kennedy's death, not the 40th.  On the 22nd I asked
   several over-50 customers at the coin shop "What happened on
   this day in history?" and most of them could not remember.
   Of course, once reminded of  it, everybody knew where
   they were when they heard the news. That remains the
   defining characteristic of the baby boomer generation."


   The other boo-boo was my statement that none of D.B.
   Cooper's ransom money had been found.  Terry
   Stahurski wrote: "Is it my imagination or did I read
   somewhere that some tattered currency was found a
   number of years ago in the Pacific Northwest that was
   possibly attributed to D.B Cooper's heist?"

   Well, Terry probably read it right here in The E-Sylum.
   From the referenced vol 4, no. 48 issue:

   "An 8-year-old boy digging a fire pit on a sand bar along
   the north bank of the Columbia River west of Vancouver
   on Feb. 10, 1980, unearthed $5,800 of Cooper's loot.
   The money, only inches below the surface, had eroded so
   badly that only Andrew Jackson and the serial numbers
   were left.

   Some believe the find showed Cooper landed in or near
   the Columbia River, but hydrologists concluded the tattered
   and still-bundled money was more likely deposited by a
   stream flow than human hands."

   All of the notes had been photocopied before being
   packaged for the hijacker.  So the serial numbers are
   known, and 290 of the bills have been recovered."

   ANA Museum Curator Larry Lee provides this followup:
   "There are at least five $20 bills still in the hands of the
   family that discovered three bundles of the notes ($5,800
   face) along the Columbia River, ten years after the incident.
   The ANA was planning on having a display case at the
   New York ANA Convention this year showing the bills,
   but after 911, an exhibit on planes and hijacking in New
   York was inappropriate, so the idea was shelved.  The
   $20 notes are in very, very poor shape, though their serial
   numbers do correspond to the FBI's list of the $200,000
   provided to the mysterious Mr. Cooper."


   Larry also has some followup to Bob Leonard's experiences
   with the Byron Reed Collection (which occurred after Larry's
   tenure as curator there).

   "I have quietly read my E-Sylum each week, holding my
   tongue (and fingers) from further comment or flame-fanning
   on the "Great Museum Debate," despite the continuing slings
   and arrows of misinformation, misunderstanding and ignorance.
   However . . .

   Bob Leonard used a very poor example of a curated museum
   collection to make his point that coins in museums are not very
   well organized.  In fact, the Byron Reed Collection is one of
   the most, if not the most thoroughly cataloged and numismatically
   attributed collections in the country. While there is very much
   a political problem with ownership and access to the Reed
   collection,  the collection itself is not disorganized in the least.
   The information Bob is seeking, Breen-Gillio number, weight
   and description, is properly recorded for every California
   pioneer fractional gold piece in the collection.  It is the access
   to that information that is in dispute.

   Bob should have indeed contacted the Omaha City Council,
   since they are the owners of the Reed collection.  Unless and
   until the Council knows collectors and researchers are
   unhappy about access to the collection, nothing will change.

   The attribution of the coins (and books!) in the Reed
   collection was carried out by several recognized numismatic
   experts, including Tom Reynolds doing the coppers and
   colonials, Harry Salyards on early American silver, Chris
   Connell attributing the Byzantine, etc. etc.  Charlie Davis
   looked at Reed's splendid library and concluded, after going
   through all 2,000 numismatic books, catalogs and pamphlets,
   that it is the oldest, nicest and most complete private
   American numismatic library still in existence.

   I have been addressing the issue of museums and universities
   selling their coin collections in my column in The Numismatist
   (notice the "The") over the past several months, so my views
   are well known to readers of my column.  To summarize four
   months of turgid commentary, I'm against it."


   Carl Honore writes: "As usual there are exceptions to many
   rules in the book field.  Where I live in Port Townsend,
   Washington, I saw a set of original first edition Oz books
   published by Reilly and Lee in Chicago each with an asking
   price of $300.00.  None of these had the original dust jacket
   as issued ,  but I have seen several WITH dust jacket priced
   a bit less...depending on condition of the dust jacket of course,
   but one would have expected that a dust Jacket in ANY
   condition would have increased the value of the book
   appreciably .

   This was a popular series as is the Harry Potter Series of
   today.  I tend to think the first edition of Potter is somewhat
   overpriced however like coins or coin books if there are
   collectors then the price will probably be up there."


   An article in the  November 26, 2002 issue of Numismatic
   News reported that there is updated version available of a
   booklet from the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in
   Cornish, N.H.   "The 1907 United States Gold Coinage"
   "runs 16 pages plus cover and contains annotated
   information about sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and
   his famed gold $20 double eagle design that the U.S. Mint
   first produced in 1907."  For more information, see the
   organization's web site:  Click on
   "Museum Shop."

   On a related note. I'd like to thank subscriber Nick Graver
   for giving me a copy of a 1997 National Gallery of Art
   booklet on "Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Memorial to Robert
   Gould and the Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth Regiment," a
   very interesting piece about the creation and restoration of
   this monument on the Boston Common.


   Bob Knepper writes: "Where, if anywhere, does there exist
   a list of numismatic libraries in Europe which are accessible
   either to the walk-in public or by appointment?  I realize that
   all numismatic dealers have libraries.

   I would also like a similar list of coin and/or paper money
   museums. I've visited a few but there must be more."

   [I assume someone has such a list, but I haven't seen one
   yet.  ANA Curator Larry Lee's column in the December
   2002 issue of The Numismatist includes a list of "United
   States Museums That Feature Numismatic Exhibits."
   Twenty-two museums are listed.  -Editor]


   Howard A. Daniel III writes that a new reference with
   much valuable background information about the British
   and Japanese issues from 1937 to 1947 in Burma has
   been recently published by Northern Illinois University.
   It is titled: "The Money Trail: Burmese Currencies in
   Crisis, 1937-1947" and the author is Marilyn Longmuir,
   an Australian who used British sources.

   There is also some information about counterfeits, bonds
   and lottery tickets.  Howard could not find a way to
   purchase it from the university but The Bookbin-Pacifica
   (seasia at at 228 S.W. 3rd Street, Corvallis,
   OR 97333-4630 sells it for $21.50 plus shipping.  A full
   review of this reference has been forwarded to the editor
   of "The Asylum" and will be in a future issue.


   George Fuld writes: "I am  a firm believer in bookplates,
   and have one showing the Baker 53  Washington medal
   with the text "Ex Libris Melvin and George Fuld".  Most
   of my library, sold in 1970-71, had book plates.  Library 2,
   which sold in 1980, also had them.  If anyone has a book
   from one of these Katen sales without a bookplate, I will
   be happy to send one.

   Now that I am on my third library, I agree with Dick
   Johnson.  Content is all that is important to me.  Reprints are
   fine -- first editions are not of importance.  I do take care of
   books, but content is first.

   A contrary opinion on bookpates comes from Henry Bergos:
   "Out of the hundred of us who buy books only half will ever
   be interesting enough to be worth remembering.  I say no to
   bookplates, signatures or other grafitti.  On the other hand I
   estimate that about 10% of my books are autographed to me
   by the author.  If I were just a bit older maybe more would be."


   Found while looking up other things:  an article about the
   ancient coin hoard found in Turkey some years ago, by
   Anne E. Kornblut of the Boston Globe, titled: "Coins of
   Contention: Turkey Battles to Recover Ancient Trove of

   "BAYINDIR, Turkey - The great coin discovery of the
   century happened almost by chance, rising out of a muddy
   field to the shouts of three men who simply thought they
   struck gold.

   Chasing the whir of a hand-held metal detector, three peasants
   had rushed to dig a hole, kneeling in soil still wet with rain.
   When hundreds of shining pieces began to appear, overflowing
   from a jar lodged in the earth, they jumped up.

   ''We are rich!'' yelled Ibrahim Basbug. ''We are rich!''

   It was, for a brief moment on April 18, 1984, a modern
   leprechaun tale.  But almost as quickly as the peasants could
   stuff the coins into paper bags, exhuming Athenian
   decadrachmas buried more than 2,000 years earlier, an epic
   saga with remarkable twists was beginning to unfold.

   In the years that followed - as the silver slipped out of Turkey,
   allegedly into the hands of smugglers and US collectors - it
   would prompt a lawsuit in Boston federal court, entangling two
   Harvard classmates and an eccentric billionaire, William I. Koch.
   Academics would wring their hands over the fate of one of the
   world's premier antiquities finds. The peasants would go to jail."

   For the complete article, see:

   A Turkish government web site pictures some of the coins:


   Howard A. Daniel III writes "Andy Lanier has recently
   updated his coins of the world list with Orchids on them.
   He is a specialist in anything with orchids on them.  If you
   are interested in this area of topical collecting, please
   contact Andy at his email address of
   "greyeagleorchis at" and request a copy be
   emailed to you."


   This week's featured web page is the University of Waterloo
   Library's "Wondering what to do with your old books and
   documents ...???" page.

  Wayne Homren
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society

  The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a
  non-profit organization promoting numismatic
  literature.   For more information please see
  our web site at
  There is a membership application available on
  the web site.  To join, print the application and
  return it with your check to the address printed
  on the application.   For those without web access,
  write to David Sklow, NBS Secretary-Treasurer,
  P.O. Box 76192, Ocala, FL  34481.

  For Asylum mailing address changes and other
  membership questions, contact Dave at this email
  address: sdsklow at

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