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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.
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Sep 18 2020

Works of James Ross Snowden

James Ross Snowden, U.S. Mint Director from 1853 to 1861, oversaw the large growth of silver coinage following the Coinage Act of 1853, the opening of the San Francisco Mint in 1855, and the 1860 creation of the Washington collection in the Mint Cabinet. The Newman Portal “Books by Author” view (accessible under “Library” from the home page) provides an “at a glance” overview of Snowden’s biography (contributed by Pete Smith) and written works. The evolution is easy to see – Snowden, beginning in 1857, sought to document the operations of the Mint and the holdings of the Mint Cabinet. Clearly, he intended to leave the office more organized than he found it. The pamphlets published from 1857-1859 (digital copies recently provided courtesy of Craig Sholley) documented internal Mint business, along with the related legislation from the U.S. code. The works published in 1860-1861, much more known to numismatists today, were the first comprehensive views of the Mint Cabinet (today the National Numismatic Collection). The file concludes with a little-known work from 1864, published after Snowden left office, The Coins of the Bible, and its Money Terms. Although not stated, Snowden likely drew upon the Mint Cabinet as a resource for this final work.

Link to Snowden “Books by Author” page on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/booksbyauthor/1816

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Sep 08 2020

MacNeil’s Notes on Newman Portal

The Standing Liberty Quarter Collectors Society (SLQCS), active from 1990-1994, published MacNeil’s Notes, which covered a host of issues related to the Standing Liberty quarter dollar series (1916-1930). These journals, courtesy of SLQCS President Joe Abbin, are now available on Newman Portal. All aspects of the coin are covered, including population studies, strike characteristics, Herman MacNeil biography, and of course the infamous Type II design introduced in 1917, which is extensively discussed in the Summer 1993 issue. 

Attributed by Walter Breen and others to Puritan sensibilities, the more modest appearance of Liberty beginning in 1917 was in fact driven by less lurid concerns. Roger Burdette, in Renaissance of the American Coinage, came to the same conclusion. As Kellen Hoard noted in his recent NNP Symposium presentation, even false stories have power, and Breen’s is so natural and believable that it is difficult to drive the factual version into the public consciousness. NNP acknowledges Joe Abbin for his assistance with this title.

Link to MacNeil’s Notes on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/538969
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