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May 07 2024

Newman Portal Search Hints

Newman Portal searches from the home page are exact text only. If you enter multiple words, it will search for that entire phrase.

If you wish to search for multiple terms all one page, but not in exact order, use the search form at https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/powersearchform. For example, if you wish to locate pages containing the words "Washington," "medal," "birth," and "centennial," enter the search:

ItemContent:Washington AND ItemContent:medal AND ItemContent:birth AND ItemContent:centennial

You can also use Google to search the Newman Portal site. From Google, enter, for example:

"washington medals" site:nnp.wustl.edu

Finally, you can search the Newman Portal document repository directly (https://archive.org/details/newmannumismatic), which, in some cases, will deliver additional results. On this page, check the box "Select text contents" before searching.

For additional assistance, please email us at NNPCurator@wustl.edu.

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Jul 11 2024

Greg Bennick Interviews Eric Schena

Eric Schena, a well-known fixture in the numismatic research fraternity, specializes in “off the beaten path” material, with a focus on numismatic items of the mid-Atlantic region. He is especially focused on merchant tokens and scrip, which are often the surviving artifacts of long-forgotten commercial enterprises. Given the geographical area, there is significant crossover with coal mines and company stores. 

Unlike the U.S. Mint, which centralizes information related to federal coinage, token researchers have to cast a wider net, with the Ingle-Schierloh records being one important source of information. This firm manufactured tokens for hundreds, if not thousands of firms, and some of their records survive. These confirm the low mintages of many issues, and it is not uncommon that examples survive to the extent of ten or fewer examples. Unlike federal coins, however, these can often be acquired at remarkably low prices. 

Schena also looks to old business directories, many of which he has on microfiche. Few researchers can claim to own their own microfiche reader, and Schena takes his place among this elite group. Ebay contains its own needles in a haystack, and Eric discusses the lucky acquisition of a 19th century bank minutes book. 

Newman Portal acknowledges Greg Bennick, who has now contributed ten interviews, capturing stories of collectors past and present. Coin collectors are in many ways historians, and even those not involved in the research side of the hobby act as curators and stewards for the next generation of those to come. 

Link to Eric Schena interview audio on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/639081
Link to transcript of Eric Schena interview: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/639095
Link to Greg Bennick Interviews on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/multimediadetail/548505
Link to Ingle-Schierloh Company records: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/archivedetail/531624
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Jun 28 2024

C. C. Wright Declaration of Independence Medals

The C. C. Wright Declaration of Independence Medals, GW-181 to GW-184, are among the most aesthetically pleasing in the entire American series. Neil Musante dates the medal to 1851, and examples appeared in auctions as early as October 16, 1865, where Edward Cogan (lot 1556), describes it as “a very scarce medal.” A selection of these medals is currently on exhibit in St. Louis at Washington University’s Olin Library, courtesy of the Resolute Americana collection, and will remain on view through July 7.

Link to Cogan 1865 sale: https://archive.org/details/catalogueofverye00coga_1
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