Skip to content

Featured Video

Featured Categories

Books

The NNP library, at the heart of our project is a growing database of all numismatic literature and documents we can digitize.

People

Rub shoulders with our huge database of numismatic figures from authors to Mint directors to coin designers.

Encyclopedia

A great place to start if you don't know exactly what you're looking for.

Periodicals

A wide selection of historic numismatic periodicals, featuring many popular titles.

Auction Companies

Keep up with latest auctions.

Image Collections

A growing database of numismatic images contributed by collectors and institutional partners.

Blog

Sep 12 2020

Newman Numismatic Portal Symposium Videos

Videos of the 2020 Newman Numismatic Portal Symposium presentations are now available at https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/multimediadetail/539070. This event was held via Zoom, August 28-30, and includes forty-one sessions.
Read more
Jan 19 2021

Peter, The Mint Eagle

An 1896 letter from the Mint correspondence in the National Archives, recently transcribed by Newman Portal, asks about Peter, the Mint eagle. The letter writer asks for more specifics regarding the oral tradition of this national bird, who was said to have inhabited the Mint, broke a wing on the machinery, died, and was thereafter stuffed for posterity. The missive is addressed to the Philadelphia Mint Superintendent and the response is recorded as follows.

“We have no record of the history of the eagle, Peter; except by tradition. He was the property of Mr. Adam Eckfeldt, the Chief Coiner of the Mint; The Mint was his home. He would fly all around the city, and always return to the Mint. His life in the Mint was between 1830 and 1836. He was the model for several pattern coins, and the nickel cent of 1857, and 1858 of the regular issue. The first was the pattern dollar of 1836.”

Left unexplained is how the bird navigated to the new Mint building that was put into operation c. 1833. The earliest mention of Peter appears to be in Elizabeth Johnston’s A Visit to the Cabinet of the United States Mint (1876), where “an old citizen of Philadelphia” is cited as the authority for the story. Peter is today comfortably ensconced in the visitor’s area at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.

Link to “Peter the Mint Bird” letter: https://archive.org/details/peterthemintbirdstory18960507/page/n3/mode/2up
Link to U.S. Mint general correspondence on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/archivedetail/515202
Link to Elizabeth Johnston’s A Visit to the Cabinet of the United States Mint on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/booksbyauthor/1079


Read more
Jan 14 2021

Newman Portal Adds Paper on C. Wylls Betts

Following up on the Betts’ biography appearing in the January 10th E-Sylum, Chris McDowell contributed an in-depth exploration of the identity of Mrs. Charles Wyllys Betts, said to have been married to Betts from 1879-1880. As part of a Newman Grant, awarded in May 2020 for the purposes of numismatic research, McDowell has been working on the subject of Fugio cents and Betts’ involvement with the Fugio restrike dies. The discovery of Betts papers at the Morgan Library in New York demanded further investigation, and, in this paper, McDowell delivers convincing evidence that in fact “Mrs. Charles W. Betts” never existed, and that references to her actually refer to Betts’ sister-in-law Louise (Holbrook) Betts. McDowell cites a contemporary record from the American Numismatic Society noting that Charles Betts never married, and further explains how a cataloging error at the Morgan Library turned into a person who never existed. McDowell intends to continue his research in Manchester (UK), working with the Matthew Boulton papers to investigate the involvement of Boulton and James Jarvis with the Fugio cents.

Link to “The Late Mrs. C. Wyllys Betts of New York City: Another Numismatic Mystery Put to Rest” on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/booksbyauthor/534073
Link to “Charles Wyllys Betts (1845-1886)” in the January 10th, 2021 E-Sylum: https://www.coinbooks.org/v24/club_nbs_esylum_v24n02.html#article23
Read more

NNP Statistics Watch us grow!

39,386
Volumes
10,061
Auction Lots
4,981
People
25,735
Encyclopedia Records
NNP is 100% non-profit and independent // Your feedback is essential and welcome. // Your feedback is essential and welcome.