Frequently Asked Questions


Q. When was the ANS founded?

A. The Society has a long and distinguished history, reaching back over 150 years to 1858, when it was organized. Since its inception, it has continued to play a definitive role in numismatics both in the United States and overseas, serving as both a repository and research center for serious students of numismatics for generations. You can read more about the history of the ANS.

Q. What is the current membership of the ANS?

A. The ANS currently has over 2,000 members. Membership classes are divided into three groups: 1) Associates (open to all with a serious interest in numismatics; 2) Fellows and Honorary Fellows (limited to a maximum of 225 and empowered to vote on Society business); and 3) Corresponding Members (open to selected foreign scholars of distinction).

Q. How can I join the ANS?

A. The membership of the ANS is comprised mainly of academics, serious collectors and professional numismatists, concentrated in the United States, but with a substantial international component. Applicants for membership are proposed for election by the Society's Council at its regular meetings. There are several different levels of membership which are described in more detail in the Membership section of this website.

Q. As a repository for numismatics, what are the particular strengths of the ANS collections?

A. The numismatic collection now numbers over three quarters of a million coins and related objects, and is of international caliber, rivaled only by the largest state collections of Europe. Both large study collections and great rarities are present in the holdings. The Society's cabinet is particularly strong in Ancient Greek coinages as well as Far Eastern issues, particularly the Chinese material. Also the Islamic cabinet is of exceptional breadth and depth. Other areas of notable strength are found in the Roman Republican, Latin American, and United States issues, including both the Colonial series and the Federal issues, as well as private coinages. Expert Curators manage and develop these departments. You can explore the collection in MANTIS

Q. And what of the ANS Library?

A. The ANS Library is also an exceptional resource for all those interested in numismatics. The Library houses over 100,000 items, comprised of bound volumes, pamphlets, manuscripts, and auction catalogues, as well as microforms. There is also on-site access to the fully catalogued collections by title, subject and author, which is facilitated by a specially designed subject guide and authority file, and a most competent Library staff. Due to the rare or unique nature of many of the Library items, they are not loaned out off-site. The online catalog or OPAC is named DONUM

Q. Are there exhibits at the ANS Building?

The ANS maintains an active program of exhibits. For more information about current, past and traveling exhibits, visit our exhibits page.

Q. How is the ANS organized?

A.The governing body of the ANS is its Board of Trustees elected to five-year terms in classes of four. Officers are elected annually. Day-to-day operations are administered by a full time professional staff coordinated by the Society's Executive Director. You can read more on our governance page.

Q. What educational programs are sponsored by the ANS?

A. The Society's Graduate Seminar in Numismatics, conducted each summer since 1952, enjoys a reputation as the foremost training program in the discipline. In addition, the ANS administers museum, library, and archival internships and organizes public lectures, conferences, including the Coinage of the Americas Conference with a focus on the Western Hemisphere, and jointly sponsored symposia across the United States.

Q. What does the ANS publish?

A. In addition to the Magazine for its membership to keep current on ANS activities and research, the Society produces a variety of publications. Since the end of World War II the ANS has published a regular bibliography of numismatic writings, entitled simply Numismatic Literature. (These are now being made available online). The American Journal of Numismatics and the Colonial Newsletter are the ANS's journal publications.

The Society also continues to publish two monograph series: Numismatic Notes and Monographs (NNM) and Numismatic Studies (NS), which have accounted for a total of 193 titles on numismatic subjects to date; as well as exhibit catalogues and conference proceedings volumes.

Q. What affiliations does the ANS hold?

A. The ANS is a constituent member of the American Council of Learned Societies, the International Numismatic Commission, the American Alliance of Museums, and the Museums Council of New York City; as well as a supporting member of the American Academy in Rome and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.