The Groves Forum

The fifth annual Groves Forum in American Numismatics was held at the Harvard Club of New York, 27 West 44th Street, on May 9, 2002, with renowned researcher Robert W. Julian as the featured guest speaker. A.N.S. President Donald G. Partrick opened the program, welcoming attendees to the Groves Forum and introducing Mr. Julian. President Partrick noted the prodigious extent and high quality of the speaker’s publications in the field.

Mr. Julian’s address, entitled “Treasures from the Archive,” presented a variety of his experiences in collecting data on historic American coins and medals. Julian’s observations identified some of the vagaries of preservation and personality encountered in the course of working for over 35 years with governmental agencies. He discussed permissions and access, identifying record groups, recording and transcribing documents and the differential survival rates of archival materials. In reporting his experiences, he explained his actual methods of conducting research and the tools he has used.

Among the specific topics mentioned were the following:

  • Documenting the status of the Gobrecht dollars.
  • The date and distribution of the $4 gold “stellas.”
  • Production of the 1792 half dismes.
  • Survival of specific mint records.
  • Kinds of record groups.
  • The government’s wanton destruction of various mint records.
  • Investigating the 1933 Double Eagle.

The Groves Forum was well-attended, and was followed by a lively discussion of archival documents and their impact on numismatics, particularly the highly-heralded 1933 $20 gold piece.