American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Bauman L. Belden

Bauman L. Belden papers, 1905-1933
1.3 cubic feet (2 boxes)

Biographical note
Bauman L. Belden (1862-1931) of Cranford, New Jersey, served the American Numismatic Society as librarian (1891-1896), secretary (1896-1903, 1905-1916), director (1909-1915), and council member (1906-1928). He sat on several Society committees, including the Committee on Indian Peace Medals, which he chaired. He was the author of Medals and Publications of the American Numismatic Society (1915), Indian Peace Medals Issued in the United States (1927), and A Mint in New York (1930). He was a member of the American Numismatic Association and was active in the New York Numismatic Club. At the time of his death he was working on a project involving life saving medals.

Contains materials relating to (1) World War I medals, decorations, and insignia, (2) Indian Peace Medals, (3) life saving awards and medals, and (4) official correspondence with Howland Wood, who eventually became American Numismatic Society curator. Items relating to World War I include correspondence documenting Belden’s efforts to obtain medals and information about them (1905-1917), news clippings (1916-1919), items pertaining to German war medals, a poster from Munter Bros. of New York City entitled “Now You’ll Know Them When You See Them: Army Insignia as Returning Soldiers Wear Them,” and photographs from the American Numismatic Society’s collection of medals. Materials relating to Indian Peace Medals include correspondence with historical societies, the Smithsonian Institution, government agencies such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other organizations (1919-1930). These relate to Belden’s efforts to obtain medals and information about them, including information on associated individuals such as American Indians (Native Americans) and silversmiths. Includes clippings, notes, handwritten drafts, rubbings and photographs of the medals, reports of the American Numismatic Society’s Committee on Indian Peace Medals, and a photograph of Chippewa Chief John W. Stevens. Materials relating to life saving medals include correspondence, notes, photographs, and booklets such as Insull Medal Awards, 1922-1930 and Theodore N. Vail Memorial Fund National Awards (1920-1931). Correspondents include the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Tiffany and Co., the New York Central railroad, the National Safety Council, and U.S. government agencies such as the Bureau of Mines. Also present is a photograph of Eva Adams, director of the U.S. Mint, and Cesar Borja inspecting an exhibit presented by the International Nickel Company. Belden’s file of ANS correspondence with Wood (1909-1919), which is at times on American Numismatic Association letterhead, relates to matters such as Wood joining ANS (1909); committee appointments; Wood’s appointment as curator (1913); the Far Eastern collections of Henry A. Ramsden, owner and foreign manager of the coin dealership in Yokohama, Japan, that operated under the name of his brother in law, Jun Kobayagawa, including efforts to publish a Numismatic & Philatelic Journal of Japan; and matters relating to the content of the American Journal of Numismatics, of which Wood was editor, with one letter discussing a perceived lack of interest in the articles on medical medals by Horatio Robinson Storer (1910).

Archival Collections