Cooper-Prichard, Arthur Henry, 1874-1947

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1874 - 1947

Biographical or Historical Note

The cataloger, Arthur H. Cooper-Prichard (1874-1947), was born in Kingston, Jamaica.

The cataloger, Arthur H. Cooper-Prichard (1874-1947), was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He was the Society’s first paid librarian, serving in this capacity from February 1911 until March 1912, when it appears he left over a controversial cataloging article he had written for the American Journal of Numismatics. He attended Kings College, Windsor, Nova Scotia (1905-1906), and, according to his own biographical description in a 1907 letter ANS president Archer M. Huntington, “occupied the position of Assistant Curator” of that institution during his time as a student. Cooper-Prichard had also worked previously at the University of Pennsylvania Museum (1897-1898), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1899-ca. 1900), the Provincial Museum, Nova Scotia (ca. 1900-1901), and the Brooklyn Museum (1902-1903). He was a corresponding member of the Nova Scotia Institute of Science in the early decades of the twentieth century. Cooper-Prichard stated that he invented a unique system of cataloging in which every characteristic of any type of coin “may be classified upon a single page.” However, owing to the “compactness of the Gookin Collection,” he says he did not apply this system to the notebooks, though a testimonial, presumably from Warren G. Waterman, Gookin’s grandson, reproduced for Huntington in Cooper-Prichard’s own hand, attests that the cataloger “has identified and cataloged [the coins] (according to his own invented system of minute description and full information).” Cooper-Prichard states that he advised Waterman not to donate the Gookin coin collection to the Brooklyn Museum because he felt that that institution “would not have had that attention and prominence which [he] felt the scientific value of its specimens merited.” The collection and other coins were subsequently donated to the ANS in 1906.





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Nova Scotian Institute of Science

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