American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

ANS E-news, June 2013


Midyear Appeal

The ANS midyear appeal has gone out. Please remember to make a donation and support all our programs.

Eric P. Newman Summer Seminar begins

The 59th Eric P. Newman Graduate Seminar began on Monday, 3 June, and will run for the next two months at the American Numismatic Society in New York City. Seven students will be participating for the next two months an intensive course on numismatics. Dr. Peter van Alfen and Mr. Richard Witschonke are co-directing the seminar, which covers all aspects of numismatics from antiquity to the modern period. This year’s Visiting Scholar is Dr. Pere Pau Ripollès Alegre of the University of Valencia, a specialist on ancient Spanish coinage.

The students admitted to this year’s program are:

James Conrad, UC Santa Barbara Nick Cross, CUNY Kathryn McBride, Brown Katherine Piller, UCLA Irene Soto, NYU ISAW Norman Underwood, UC Berkeley Paul Vadan, U Chicago

Details and calendar available here. Limited seating is available for some lectures. RSVP to Peter van Alfen at

Ophthalmologia Optica et Visio in Nummis book launch

On Thursday, 11 June, at 5:30 pm, a book launch will be held in honor of the release of Ophthalmologia: Optica et Viso in Nummis by Jay Galst and Peter van Alfen. A reception will be followed by a brief presentation of the book with a discussion of its place within medical numismatics. The programme concludes with a book signing and exhibit of items from the Galst collection. Please RSVP to Viviana Londono at (212) 571-4470 ext. 117 or Details available here.

Ophthalmologia: Optica et Visio in Nummis
 (Ophthalmology, Optics and Vision in Numismatics)

Hirschberg History of Ophthalmology Supplement Series 13 

by Jay M. Galst and Peter G. van Alfen (2013).

Published jointly by J.-P. Wayenborgh Verlag and the ANS, Ophthalmologia: Optica et Viso in Nummis catalogues roughly 1,700 objects in 14 chapters each of which focuses on a discrete topic, e.g., ophthalmologists, ophthalmological congresses, the blind (and their rehabilitation), optical instruments (including spectacles), and the eye as a symbol. Appearing as volume 13 in the supplemental series to Julius Hirschberg’s History of Ophthalmology, the book also serves to situate the objects within the larger historical context of the ophthalmological and optical disciplines. Order now.

Harry W. Fowler Memorial Lecture

On Tuesday, 13 June, Dr. Mariangela Puglisi of the University of Messina in Sicily will give the Harry W. Fowler Lecture. Her subject will be "Interpreting coin images. Signs of power in Roman coinage."

A reception will take place at 5:30 pm, followed by the lecture at 6:00. A subscription dinner ($85 per person) will be held following the lecture at a nearby restaurant. Pre-registration required. RSVP to Viviana Londono at (212) 571-4470 ext. 117 or Details available here.

Dr. Richard Doty passes away

The American Numismatic Society mourns the death of Dr. Richard G. Doty, who died June 2, 2013. From 1974-1986 he served as the Society’s Curator of Modern Coins and Modern Money before joining the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, DC, where he was Senior Curator of Numismatics. Dr. Doty, who received his BA from Portland State University and a PhD in Latin-American Studies from the University of Southern California, was one of the leading experts on coins and currency. He was renowned not only for his extensive and valuable publications, his profound knowledge and memory, his evocative personal writing style, his generosity and helpfulness to all those seeking information, and his charming wit and sense of good fun. For his contributions to numismatic scholarship he received the two highest honors, the American Numismatic Society’s Archer M. Huntington Medal Award and the Medal of the Royal Numismatic Society.

A full obituary will appear in issue 3 of the ANS Magazine.

ANS Librarian Elizabeth Hahn awarded research grant

Elizabeth Hahn has been awarded a modest research grant from the H.W. Wilson Foundation to pursue research on early Sicilian numismatic literature. Research will focus on the earliest analysis of Sicilian coins, including the early 17th century works by Filippo Paruta (Della Sicilia descritta con medaglie) and Vincenzo Mirabella (Dichiarazioni della pianta delle antiche Siracuse e di alcune medaglie di esse e dei principi che quelle possedettero). Updates and excerpts from the research will appear in future library columns in the ANS Magazine and other publications, when appropriate.

ANS Library duplicate items for sale (new items added)

New items have been added to the list of duplicate items from the library that are available for purchase. Prices do not include shipping fees, which can be available upon request. Please remember that all proceeds will benefit the library budget! To order an item, contact Librarian Elizabeth Hahn at or by phone at 1-212-571-4470. The full list is available online:

ANS Archives receives grant to develop digitization project

The ANS Archives has been awarded a grant from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation in New York to support new efforts to digitize a portion of the Archives. The project will commence in the summer 2013 and focus on making available a selection of the Edward T. Newell papers, including annotated manuscripts, notebooks, and correspondence. The result will make available to a global audience these important resources with a concept that will connect to the other digital initiatives of the ANS: MANTIS and DONUM. Updates about the project progress will be included in future enews postings.

Support the ANS through

Just click on the link below or on the ANS website each time you plan on purchasing any product through Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase to American Numismatic Society!

The ANS also now has a new store on with selections of worthwhile books on numismatic and related subjects. Please visit

Library Support Website

The ANS Library has recently updated a section of the ANS library support website. Library staff frequently get inquiries from people wishing to donate their auction catalogs. Because of space limitations here, we cannot accept all donations of every catalog, so we have prepared some listings of specific catalogs and runs of catalogs that we would very much like to acquire. Perhaps our members can help. The lists that are posted are of our MISSING catalogs (i.e. those we would like to acquire): This information will be updated as it becomes necessary.

New ANS Publications

The ANS is pleased to announce two new publications:

From Crime to Punishment: Counterfeit and Debased Currencies in Colonial and Pre-Federal America (ANS Numismatic Studies 27) by Philip L. Mossman.

Ever since coinage was developed in ancient Lydia, an element of society has sought to debase the coin of the realm for personal gain not only by counterfeiting, but also by shaving away precious metal. Currency debasement was not confined to the proletariat since throughout history various monarchs increased their royal revenues, or seigniorage, by reducing the quality of the coins’ specie content or its weight standard. The current text follows closely the course of royal English copper coinages whose high potential profit made them an ideal prey for counterfeiters. These forgeries flowed freely into the colonies where they overwhelmed, and eventually collapsed, the small change medium but not before various states sought to correct the evil of this imported copper trash.

Great attention is paid to Great Britain’s mercantilistic policies which shaped the character of the currency in the North American colonies where chronic hard money shortages encouraged counterfeit coinages of all stripes whose actual manufacture and circulation is examined in great detail. Colonists further sought to expand their monetary pool by printing bills of credit to meet the exigencies of the French and Indian Wars. This new paper currency likewise became the target for forgery and a battle royal ensued between the colonial treasurers and bands of counterfeiters as they competed to outsmart each other. But as “the weed of crime bears bitter fruit,” many counterfeiters were apprehended and punished for their evil deeds. Available in the Fall. Pre-order now.

Coins of the Holy Land: The Abraham and Marian Sofaer Collection at the American Numismatic Society and the Israel Museum. (Ancient Coins in North American Collections 8, 2013) by Ya’akov Meshorer with Gabriela Bijovsky and Wolfgang Fischer-Bossert, and edited by David Hendin and Andrew Meadows.

The Abraham and Marian Sofaer collection consists of 4,000 coins and related objects produced by the peoples who inhabited the Holy Land from the Persian period in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE through the Crusader Kingdom in the 13th century of the modern era. Assembled over more than 30 years, the collection contains gold, silver and bronze coins of the Persians, Greeks, Samarians, Jews, Nabataeans, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Crusaders. Order now.


ANS in Paris

On May 17-18, Margaret Thompson Associate Curator of Ancient Greek Coins Peter van Alfen participated in the Amphorae loquuntur conference organized by the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art (Paris). He spoke on the subject of "The restudy of the amphoras from the 7th c. Yassiada shipwreck: Current thoughts on standardization and metrology."

ANS in Auriol

On May 17, Adjunct Curator of Roman Coins Gilles Bransbourg attended the opening of the "À la recherche du trésor d'Auriol" exhibit at the Musée Martin-Duby d'Auriol in France. The ANS has lent 8 coins from the original Auriol hoard and provided technical expertise to the organizers of the exhibit, which runs until September 29. Details available here. The press conference of the opening is available here.

ANS Adjunct Curator awarded 2013 Holst Medal

On May 17, ANS Adjunct Curator David Hendin was awarded the 2013 Holst Medal of Gunnar Holsts Stilftelse für Numismatik Götborg in a ceremony at the University of Götborg, Sweden. Press release available here.

Advertise in the ANS Magazine

Support the ANS by advertising in the award-winning quarterly ANS Magazine. The ad deadline for the next issue is August 1. For more information about advertising rates and specs, visit the advertising page or contact Joanne Isaac at or 212-571-4470 ext. 112.