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Jan 18 2019

Newman Portal Adds the New England Numismatic Association (NENA) News

The NENA News, a publication of the New England Numismatic Association, has been added to the Newman Portal for the years 1949-2013. Current issues include coverage of local coin conventions, club news, dealer ads, and feature articles. These local publications often contain information found nowhere else – in this particular case one immediately notices in recent issues advertisements for NENA medals, indispensable information for the eventual cataloguer of the series. A random search of earlier issues uncovers interesting tidbits, such as this item from the March 1949 issue, by Maurice Gould (NENA President and ANA Governor): 

“I recently picked up an 1861 half-dollar which was beautifully engraved ‘Taken from the ruins of the Masonic Temple, April 6,1865’ and on the reverse is engraved ’’Boston Encampment K.T.’ and the name of the party to whom it was issued. I dropped into the Masonic Museum, which is on the second floor of the Masonic Temple in Boston, and the Curator told me that they had four or five of these pieces in the Museum, which he showed me. These were donated by one of the members in Boston. The half-dollars are all dated 1865. and are in very fine to uncirculated condition. The Masonic Temple of Boston was destroyed by fire on April 6, 1864. Some U.S. half-dollars were found in the ruins of the fire and were engraved and issued as souvenirs by the Boston Encampment, Knights Templars, to some of its members whose names appear on the various coins.”

Newman Portal acknowledges NENA Vice President Yale Lansky for his assistance with this project.

Link to NENA News on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/529533

Link to American Numismatic Biographies entry on Maurice Gould on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/Library/PersonDetail/848
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Jan 07 2019

St. Louis Stamp & Coin Company Fixed Price Lists Scanned

The work of a librarian is endless, with an ever-changing backlog of uncatalogued material and the constant need to prioritize and process the most important content. The American Numismatic Society (ANS) library is no exception, and ANS librarian David Hill has the Sisyphean task of sorting it all out. Among the uncatalogued material, many fixed price lists have not been entered into the ANS library catalog (DONUM). Interestingly, some of these can be found in the ANS multi-volume dictionary catalog (1962 plus later supplements), but for whatever reason, were not included in the eventual computerization of the library catalog. This situation is somewhat relieved with the recent cataloging and scanning of the St. Louis Stamp and Coin Company fixed price lists, c. 1903-1930. 

Fixed price lists are among the most bibliographically challenging of numismatic literature as they often come undated, and without regular titles or sequencing. Charles Steigerwalt, the 19th century Pennsylvania dealer, is especially noteworthy (notorious?) in this regard. The situation is somewhat better for the St. Louis Stamp & Coin fixed price lists. Although published without dates, most are numbered and can be attributed within a year or two of publication. There are three distinct series, beginning with the “Special stock reduction circular” (c. 1903-1905), followed by the “Special bargain list” (c. 1903-1908), and then the better-known “Fixed price list” (c. 1905-1930). Also included in the series are unnumbered and undated items such as  the “Great Snaps (Not Ginger)” edition.

Link to St. Louis Stamp & Coin Fixed Price Lists on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/528772.
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Dec 09 2018

Idaho Trade Token Newsletter on Newman Portal

Recently added to the Newman Portal is John Mutch’s Idaho Trade Token Newsletter for the period 1997-1999. Token collectors frequently collect by state, and these pieces offer a historical connection between the collector and the businesses of bygone days. The first issue discusses accounting records of the Midway Bar (Boise) in 1911 – quite profitable, especially during the winter months. Also included is a note from the 1910 Wardner News noting the county crackdown on dance halls and their “gambling, dancing & kindred vices.” Mutch notes related 10-cent tokens from these mining town establishments. The exhaustive reference site, tokencatalog.com, identifies one such piece, from the J. Farrin & Co. dance hall in Wardner.
Thanks to John Mutch for granting permission and loaning physical copies for scanning.

Link to Idaho Trade Token Newsletter on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/529431
Link to J. Farrin & Co. token on tokencatalog.com: http://tokencatalog.com/token_record_forms.php?action=DisplayTokenRecord&td_id=366157&inventory_id=351887&td_image_id=196850&attribution_id=374739&record_offset=1
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