Howland Wood personal correspondence, 1873, 1902-1938

Descriptive Summary

Repository
American Numismatic Society
Extent
1.7 cubic feet (4 boxes)
Language
English
Abstract
Mostly official correspondence from Wood’s work as curator of the American Numismatic Society.

Part of a cartoon caricature lampooning Virgil Brand, Thomas Elder, and other prominent numismatic figures circa 1912


Creator

Name
Wood, Howland, 1877-1938
Abstract
Howland Wood became a member of the American Numismatic Society in 1909. By 1913 he had been appointed Curator, remaining in this position until his death in 1938.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection open to all researchers.

Preferred Citation

Howland Wood personal correspondence, 1873, 1902-1938, Archives, American Numismatic Society.

Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply. Permission to publish or reproduce must be secured from the American Numismatic Society.

Biographical Note

Howland Wood was born in New Bedford Massachusetts in 1877 and graduated from Brown University in 1900. Wood became a member of the American Numismatic Society in 1909. By 1913 he had been appointed Curator, remaining in this position until his death in 1938. At that time, the Society only maintained a single curator, with two assistants. Despite the limited size of the staff, during Wood's tenure the Society's collections increased significantly, from 50,000 to almost 200,000 specimens. In addition to his curatorial duties, Wood also served as editor of the American Journal of Numismatics from 1910 to 1920. In 1920, Wood became only the third recipient of the Society's Archer M. Huntington Medal Award. Outside of the ANS, Wood also served as secretary to the American Numismatic Association from 1905 to 1909 and then as governor and chairman of the ANA's board from 1909 to 1912. After Wood's death, Edward T. Newell (ANS President, 1916-1941) eulogized Wood as "the ideal Curator," noting that "Howland Wood was one of those rare geniuses who combined an inherited urge to collect, an insatiable curiosity as to the 'why' and the 'wherefore,' and an orderly mind which could not brook obvious gaps or disorderly arrangement."

Scope and Content Note

Letters received by Howland Wood, with only a few outgoing, from fellow numismatists during his time as secretary, governor, and chairman of the American Numismatic Association (1905-1910) and for the first few years after becoming member (1909) and curator (1913) of the American Numismatic Society. Correspondents include A.H. Baldwin & Sons, S.S. Heal, Henry Chapman, Thomas Elder, E.H. Adams, George Heath, Farran Zerbe, the British Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Royal Numismatic Society. Topics include the development of Wood’s collection and collecting interests and articles he wrote for the American Journal of Numismatics and the Numismatist. This was a particularly turbulent time for the Numismatist as well as for the ANA leadership, and some of the correspondents are explicit in their opinion about fellow numismatists and other matters. E.H. Adams, Numismatist editor, mentions having “severed all diplomatic relations” with previous Numismatist owner and editor Farran Zerbe. Regarding some New York Numismatic Club business, Thomas Elder calls Frank C. Higgins “more trouble than a bag of monkeys.” With the correspondence from T. Louis Comparette (1912) is a cartoon caricature lampooning Zerbe, Virgil Brand, William Woodin, and other prominent numismatic figures. Also found are the results of Wood’s civil service exam when in 1905 he applied for the position of curator of the numismatic collection at the U.S. Mint, a job that instead went to Comparette; an 1873 letter discussing Chinese and other far eastern coins; letters from Baumen Belden at the ANS, including ones regarding Wood’s appointment as curator (1912) and the buying of coin collections offered by Henry A. Ramsden, a topic also found discussed in the correspondence of John Robinson; the English translation of a portion of a German letter (September 9, 1914) from Dr. H. Nutzel to Wood assigning blame for World War I to England and Russia and listing atrocities committed by those countries; a long reminiscence by S.S. Heal brought on by the death of A.R. Frey (1926); a letter from Ruth Gaines of the Huntington Free Library and Reading Room, of which Wood was second vice president, objecting to the appointment of a library director (1933); a letter from H.O. Granberg of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, relating to gold mine investments available through Hahns Peak Gold Mining & Milling Company (1936); and letters from Wood to and from his Uncle George in which he mentions joining ANA and discusses his collecting interests and his intention to specialize. Also included are six files of at times very lengthy letters (1908-1914) from 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. Wood sometimes represented Ramsden’s interests in the United States, and the topics include Japanese, Chinese, and other Far Eastern coins; Ramsden’s travels in China; the Ro (also called Lo) collection of Luo Zhenyu, which was displayed at the ANS; and fellow collector Giuseppe Ros, Italian consulate general, Shanghi. Also present is an account book (1912-1915), along with some invoices, mostly documenting transactions pertaining to Ramsden and Kobayagawa, and a portfolio containing Wood’s certificate for joining ANA in 1902; a typed satirical poem, “Coin Collecting Carols or Pithy Poems for Pocket-Piece Pursuer’s Perusal,” naming George F. Heath, Lyman Low, Edgar H. Adams, Thomas L. Elder, and others; the text of a speech on coin collecting; an outline, “Some Reasons for a Numismatic Department in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts” (July 1903); and a photograph of coins displayed in a cabinet.

Related Material

Related Material

See also Howland Wood curator correspondence and other material, 1913-1937.

Related Entities

Collection Hierarchy

  • Box 1 of 4

    • 1873, 1902-1916 - Miscellaneous

    • 1903 - American Numismatic and Archaeological Society

    • 1903 - Baldwin, A. H.

    • 1903 - Courteau

    • 1903 - Frey, A. R.

    • 1904 - Baldwin, A. H.

    • 1904 - British Museum

    • 1904 - Duffield, Frankfurter

    • 1904 - Foster, Ely

    • 1904 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1904 - Heath, George

    • 1904 - International Money Order Receipts

    • 1904 - Meili, Julius

    • 1904 - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    • 1904 - Robinson

    • 1904 - Schulman

    • 1905 - Miscellaneous – including Civil Service test

    • 1905 - American Numismatic and Archaeological Society

    • 1905 - Bahrfeldt, Emil

    • 1905 - British Museum

    • 1905 - Carswell

    • 1905 - Chicago Numismatic Society

    • 1905 - Dunham, W. F.

    • 1905 - Foster, Ely

    • 1905 - Heal, S.S. (January to August)

    • 1905 - Heal, S.S. (September to December)

    • 1905 - Higgins.

    • 1905 - Kinghoe gt berkhamsted hearts

    • 1905 - Kube, Rudolf

    • 1905 - Meili, Julius

    • 1905 - Poller

    • 1905 - Quaritch, Bernard

    • 1905 - Robinson

    • 1905 - Salles

    • 1905 - Schulman

    • 1905 - Wright

    • 1906 - Adams, Geoffrey Charlton

    • 1906 - Baldwin, A. H.

    • 1906 - Bell Telephone Co. of Canada

    • 1906 - British Museum

    • 1906 - Chapman, Henry (Jr)

    • 1906 - Comparette, T. Louis

    • 1906 - Courteau

    • 1906 - Ezekiel and Bernheim Co.

    • 1906 - Foster, Ely

    • 1906 - Frey, A. R.

    • 1906 - Geuthner, Paul.

    • 1906 - Harvard

    • 1906 - Heal, S.S. (January to May)

    • 1906 - Heal, S.S. (May to December)

    • 1906 - Heath, George

    • 1906 - Hemer

    • 1906 - Kube, Rudolf

    • 1906 - Lachlan

    • 1906 - Meili, Julius

    • 1906 - Mitchelson

    • 1906 - Moritz, Christian

    • 1906 - Papeterie, Fortuna

    • 1906 - Poller

    • 1906 - Quaritch, Bernard

    • 1906 - Robinson

    • 1906 - Royal Numismatic Society

    • 1906 - Schulman

    • 1906 - Wright

    • 1907 - Baldwin, A.H.

    • 1907 - Carswell

    • 1907 - Chapman, Henry (Jr)

    • 1907 - Comparette, T. Louis

    • 1907 - Courteau

    • 1907 - Elder, Thomas

    • 1907 - Foster, Ely

    • 1907 - Frey, A.R. (January to July)

    • 1907 - Frey, A.R. (August to December)

    • 1907 - Geuthner, Paul

    • 1907 - Heal, S. S.

    • 1907 - Hemer

    • 1907 - Higgins

    • 1907 - Kube, Rudolf

    • 1907 - Lachlan

    • 1907 - Mayer

    • 1907 - Meili, Julius

    • 1907 - Mitchelson, J. C.

    • 1907 - Nacht

    • 1907 - Office of Naval Inspector of Engineering

    • 1907 - Papeterie, Fortuna

    • 1907 - Ratto, Rodolfo

    • 1907 - Robinson

    • 1907 - Royal Numismatic Society

    • 1907 - Salles

    • 1907 - Schulman

    • 1907 - Spink and Son

    • 1907 - Steingenvalt

    • 1907 - Wilkinson and Hodge

    • 1908 - Breton

    • 1908 - Comparette, T. Louis

    • 1908 - Congres international de numismatique

    • 1908 - Courteau

    • 1908 - Dupriez, Charles

    • 1908 - Foster, Ely

    • 1908 - Frey, A. R.

    • 1908 - Fuldauer

    • 1908 - Geuthner, Paul

    • 1908 - Gies, A. C.

    • 1908 - Granberg

    • 1908 - Heal, S. S.

    • 1908 - Hemer

    • 1908 - Higgins

    • 1908 - Jordanides, Lazaraki

    • 1908 - Kube, Rudolf

    • 1908 - Lachlan

    • 1908 - Low, Lyman H.

    • 1908 - Mayer

    • 1908 - Philatelic West and Collectors’ World

    • 1908 - Quaritch, Bernard

    • 1908 - Ripstra

    • 1908 - Robinson

    • 1908 - Schulman

    • 1908 - Treasury Department, U.S.

    • 1908 - Webb, Percy H.

    • 1908 - Wilkinson and Hodge

    • 1908 - Zerbe, Farran

    • 1909 - Adams, Edgar H.

    • 1909 - American Numismatic Society

    • 1909 - Comparette, T. Louis

    • 1909 - Congress international de numismatique

    • 1909 - Courteau

    • 1909 - Elder, Thomas

    • 1909 - Foster, Ely

    • 1909 - Frey, A. R.

    • 1909 - Fuldauer

    • 1909 - Geuthner, Paul

    • 1909 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1909 - Kube, Rudolf

    • 1909 - Lachlan

    • 1909 - Ministry of the Royal House of Italy

    • 1909 - Quaritch, Bernard

    • 1909 - Ratto, Rodolfo

    • 1909 - Robinson

    • 1909 - Royal Numismatic Society

    • 1909 - Salles

    • 1909 - Schulman

    • 1909 - Spink and Son

    • 1909 - Tuthill, Luther B.

    • 1909 - Valentino

    • 1909 - Webb, Percy H.

    • 1909 - Zerbe, Farran

    • 1910 - Miscellaneous

    • 1910 - American Numismatic Association

    • 1910 - American Numismatic Society

    • 1910 - Baldwin, A. H.

    • 1910 - Joseph Baer and Co.

    • 1910 - Breton

    • 1910 - British Museum

    • 1910 - Comparette, T. Louis

    • 1910 - Congres international de numismatique

    • 1910 - Elder, Thomas

    • 1910 - Essex Institute

    • 1910 - Foster, Ely

    • 1910 - Geuthner, Paul

    • 1910 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1910 - Heffer

    • 1910 - Higgins

    • 1910 - Hills, J. Coolidge

    • 1910 - Howorth, Daniel

    • 1910 - Jordanides, lazaraki

    • 1910 - Kube, Rudolf

    • 1910 - Lachlan

    • 1910 - Library of Congress

    • 1910 - Low, Lyman H.

    • 1910 - Mayer

    • 1910 - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    • 1910 - Public Library of Boston

    • 1910 - Quaritch, Bernard

    • 1910 - Robinson

    • 1910 - Royal Numismatic Society

    • 1910 - Salles

    • 1910 - Schulman

    • 1910 - Sears, Elmer S.

    • 1910 - Spink and Son

    • 1910 - Steingenvalt

    • 1910 - Valentino

    • 1910 - Wilkinson and Hodge

    • 1911 - Miscellaneous

    • 1911 - Adams, Edgar H.

    • 1911 - American Numismatic Society

    • 1911 - Joseph Baer and Co.

    • 1911 - British Museum

    • 1911 - Chapman, Henry

    • 1911 - Chapman, S. H.

    • 1911 - Chicago Numismatic Society

    • 1911 - Comparette, T. Louis

    • 1911 - Frey, A. R.

    • 1911 - Gamber

    • 1911 - Geuthner, Paul

    • 1911 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1911 - Hills, J. Coolidge

    • 1911 - Howorth, Daniel

    • 1911 - Kube, Rudolf

    • 1911 - Robinson

    • 1911 - Royal Numismatic Society

    • 1911 - Salles

    • 1911 - Schulman

    • 1911 - Spink and Son

    • 1911 - Tilden

    • 1911 - Valentino

    • 1911 - Whitehead

    • 1911 - Zerbe, Farran

    • 1912 - Miscellaneous

    • 1912 - Adams, Edgar H.

    • 1912 - Alazza

    • 1912 - American Numismatic Association

    • 1912 - American Numismatic Society

    • 1912 - British Museum

    • 1912 - Chapman, H.

    • 1912 - Comparette, T. Louis

    • 1912 - Elder, Thomas

    • 1912 - Essex Institute

    • 1912 - Frey, A.R.

    • 1912 - Gamber

    • 1912 - Geuther, Paul

    • 1912 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1912 - Heffer

    • 1912 - Hiersemann

    • 1912 - Kube, Rudolf

    • 1912 - Low, Lyman H.

    • 1912 - Ministry of Education (Cairo)

    • 1912 - Nacht

    • 1912 - Newell, Edward T.

    • 1912 - Numismatic Society of India

    • 1912 - Pflumer, George

    • 1912 - Quaritch, Bernard

    • 1912 - Ritehie, Anna

    • 1912 - Robinson

    • 1912 - Royal Numismatic Society

    • 1912 - Salles

    • 1912 - Schulman

    • 1912 - Spink and Son

    • 1912 - Tilden

    • 1912 - United States Coin Co.

    • 1912 - Valentino

    • 1912 - Whitehead

    • 1912 - Wright

    • 1912 - Zerbe, Farran

  • Box 2 of 4

    • 1913 - Miscellaneous

    • 1913 - Adams, Edgar H.

    • 1913 - American Numismatic Association

    • 1913 - American Numismatic Society

    • 1913 - Clerici carlo-clerici cesare

    • 1913 - Comparette, T. Louis.

    • 1913 - Geuthner, Paul

    • 1913 - Grate, Martin

    • 1913 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1913 - Heffer

    • 1913 - Numismatic Society of India

    • 1913 - Quaritch, Bernard

    • 1913 - Robinson

    • 1913 - Royal Numismatic Society

    • 1913 - Tilden

    • 1913 - U.S. Coin Co.

    • 1913 - Valentino

    • 1913 - Webb, Percy H.

    • 1914 - American Numismatic Society

    • 1914 - Direction de la bibliotheque khediviale

    • 1914 - Geuthner, Paul

    • 1914 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1914 - Kinghoe berkhamsted herts

    • 1914 - Numismatic Society of India

    • 1914 - Peabody Academy of Science

    • 1914 - Salles

    • 1914 - Spink and Son

    • 1914 - U.S. Post Office

    • 1915 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1915 - Royal Numismatic Society

    • 1915 - U.S. Post Office

    • 1915 - Valentino

    • 1916 - Adams, Edgar H.

    • 1916 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1916 - Numismatic Society of India

    • 1916 - Royal Numismatic Society

    • 1916 - Salles

    • 1916 - Schulman

    • 1917 - British Museum

    • 1918 - The Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia

    • 1919 - British Museum

    • 1919 - Salles

    • 1919 - University of Pennsylvania

    • 1920 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1924 - New York State Treasury Department

    • 1926 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1927 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1928 - Heal, S.S.

    • 1928 - McLean and McLean

    • 1929 - Heal, S.S

    • 1930 - Brown University Club

    • 1930 - Chase and Co.

    • 1933 - Gaines, Ruth – Huntington Free Library

    • 1935 - Miscellaneous

    • 1936 - Granberg

    • 1937 - Miscellaneous

    • 1937 - Whitehead

    • Other Correspondence

    • Undated

    • Uncle George, 1908-1915

    • Outgoing: Uncle George

    • 1904 - Outgoing

    • 1905 - Outgoing

    • 1906 - Outgoing

    • 1907 - Outgoing

    • 1908 - Outgoing

    • 1909 - Outgoing

    • 1910 - Outgoing

    • 1912 - Outgoing

    • 1913 - Outgoing

    • 1914 - Outgoing

    • 1915 - Outgoing

    • 1916 - Outgoing

    • 1917 - Outgoing

    • 1929 - Outgoing

    • 1936 - Outgoing

    • 1937 - Outgoing

    • Notes

  • Box 3 of 4

    • Correspondence with Henry A. Ramsden of Jun Kobayagawa Co., Japan

    • 1908

    • 1909

    • 1910

    • 1911

    • 1912

    • 1913

    • 1914

  • Box 4 of 4

    • Account book, 1912-1915

    • Portfolio of miscellaneous notes, clippings, and letters, including text of speech and ANA certificate