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NNP Blog

Jan 13 2020

Newman Portal Adds Boston Numismatic Society Archives

One of the oldest numismatic societies in the United States, the Boston Numismatic Society (BNS) for many years (1870-1891) published the American Journal of Numismatics and today continues as an active numismatic organization. BNS member Yale Lansky, working with Newman Portal, has facilitated scanning of the Society archives, and these records are now available on Newman Portal. The series consists of eight volumes of Society proceedings (1860-1992), treasury book (1860-1982), and a two-volume history compiled in 1998 by Thomas P. Rockwell. The earliest records contain well-known names including Jeremiah Colburn, Thomas Appleton, Augustine Shurtleff, and others. Appleton reported in the minutes the launch of the Society on February 11, 1860: “Eight gentlemen met by invitation on Saturday, February 11 at the rooms of the N.E. Historic Genealogical Society, 13 Bromfield St. Mr. Jeremiah Colburn occupied the chair….the secretary read a constitution….” As today, exhibits were an important component of meetings, and the Society proceedings carefully record who exhibited what, so that anyone researching these individuals, or their collections, will find this an important source of information. Moreover, the series as a whole documents a formative period of American numismatic history, when collectors began gathering in a formal way in order to create enduring institutions. Some succeeded and some failed, and we are fortunate that BNS has persevered and faithfully preserved an important part of the historical record.

Link to Boston Numismatic Society archives on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/archivedetail/535143
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