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American Numismatic Society early correspondence, 1853,1858-1908, Archives, American Numismatic Society.
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Contains the earliest official correspondence of the American Numismatic Society (known as the American Numismatic and Archeological Society from 1864 to 1907). Includes some handwritten copies from Augustus B. Sage, the first corresponding secretary (1858); some handwritten copies in other years (e.g., 1865); a letterpress copybook (1905) and other outgoing copies (1906-1909) from recording secretary Bauman Beldon (1896-1903); and two letterpress copybooks (1874-1896), which include indexes of correspondents, that were kept by recording secretaries William Poillon (1873-1886) and Henry Russell Drowne (1886-1896). The letters document the growth and activities of the Society during a period when it was governed by an unpaid volunteer staff of members and had no permanent home. (The Society moved into its Audubon Terrace headquarters in 1908 and hired its first professional staff in 1909.) Topics include the routine management of members; the issuing of medals, including the Society’s first, which commemorated Abraham Lincoln (1866-1868); the rental of rooms for the society’s business; gifts such as coin cabinets, coins, and books; the development of the numismatic collections; the purchasing of materials for the library, including some librarian’s reports; and matters pertaining to the American Journal of Numismatics. There is only a single letter from 1853, regarding Carolus or “old head” dollars, whose significance regarding the Society is not immediately apparent.