Library News (Spring 2004)

by Francis Campbell

Having dedicated the new Harry W. Bass, Jr. Library on December 2nd, 2003, in the Society’s new building at 140 William Street, we will soon be ready to house the ANS Library collection. While we await the completion of some ceiling work and the installation of shelving on the sixth floor, library staff at the Audubon Terrace building are busy tying or boxing materials for the trip to Lower Manhattan. Normand Pepin and Kary Collado, our part-time library assistants, have been especially helpful in this regard. Before long, the boxed materials will be unpacked and placed on either the 5th or 6th floor of the new building. As one might expect, with the move in progress, it is not business as usual in the library. Therefore, I thank all of those who have requested information by phone, e-mail, or regular mail for their patience and understanding during this difficult period. Bear with us a bit longer and conditions should be returning to normal.

Although the move is our main focus at the moment, the Library and its Library Committee have been involved in other matters. Within a few months, we should be able to present finalized versions of the first item to be offered in the Library’s facsimile series. This is a broadside of an auction held in 1828, conducted by George Nichols, and consisting of the Estate of Benjamin Watkins. Paper selection for a lay-flat version has already been made and as soon as the proper paper for a leather-folder version is selected, there are plans to produce some 50 lay-flat versions and 10 to 12 leather-folder versions. Committee member, Dan Hamelberg deserves full credit for both funding and producing this first selection. It is our hope to continue the series in the future.

Acquisitions have decreased somewhat during this period but I am happy to report that, through a generous donation from Q. David Bowers, the Library has been able to purchase five bound volumes of the “San Francisco Daily Herald,” covering the years 1853-1855. The volumes acquired should prove a valuable source of information for those carrying out research on the Gold Rush Era. The “Herald” commenced operation in 1850.

The Francis D. Campbell Library Chair: — Benefit Auction

Fundraising for the Library Chair has been progressing favorably, with the full support of both ANS Trustees and Library Committee members. A number of naming opportunities have been sold and response from clubs and individuals has been heartening. However, your participation is needed for an upcoming event that will generate funds for the Francis D. Campbell Library Chair at the American Numismatic Society. Donations for a Book Auction are being solicited.

A benefit auction will be held during the American Numismatic Association Convention, which will take place this year in Pittsburgh. Lots with a value of $300 or more are respectfully solicited to help fund the $2,000,000 Library Chair endowment. All donations will be tax deductible to the full extent of the law. If you would like to ensure the future of the American Numismatic Society Library, please consider making a donation. Those making lot donations should contact George Kolbe. Lot donations should arrive in Crestline no later than June 1, 2004. Send lots to George Frederick Kolbe — Fine Numismatic Books, P.O. Drawer 3100, Crestline, CA 92325-3100. George can also be contacted at: Tel: (909)338-6527 — email: GFK@numislit.com — http://www.numislit.com — Fax: (909)338-6980.

Plan to attend the Dinner/Auction, Thursday, August 19, 2004, at Tambellini’s Restaurant, Pittsburgh. The restaurant is just a few blocks away from the Convention Center. Seating is limited and there is a charge of $50.00 per person. Reservations may be sent to John W. Adams, NBS Vice-President and Chairman of the Library Committee. Address reservations to John W. Adams, 60 State Street, 12th Floor, Boston, MA 02109.

I should also alert our readers to the fact that several auction firms have agreed to publicize our Library Chair fundraising efforts by distributing brochures and announcements with their auction catalogs. The firms are Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles (Beverly Hills, CA), Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc. (Dallas, TX), Stack’s (New York, NY), and Superior Galleries (Beverly Hills, CA). When you receive these catalogs, please consider using the enclosed materials to send a donation to the Library Chair.

As can be seen, the Society is fortunate in having a Library Committee that demonstrates its interest through sound advice, energetic encouragement, and thoughtful generosity. Much of the Library’s growth over the years can be traced to the active involvement of committee members, who despite the demands of their own careers and their other numismatic interests, have always found time to assist the Library. The efforts of the Committee and especially its Chairman, John W. Adams, have resulted in the naming of many areas in the Library. On May 13th, we look forward to naming the 5th floor Reading Room after John J. Ford, Jr., to whom we extend a most appreciative thank you. (See below)

Randolph Zander, 1913-2004

Sadly, one of our Library Committee members passed away on January 21st. Randolph Zander, who for years resided in Alexandria, VA, joined the Society in 1946, became a Fellow in 1991, and was honored as a fifty-year member in 1996. Ran was a graduate of Columbia College (1936). Following a period of military service, during which he rose to the rank of Major, Ran served as an intelligence programs analyst in the office of the Secretary of Defense. He is best known to the numismatic community for his editorship of the Journal of the Russian Numismatic Society. He became editor in 1981 and produced a succession of issues of high quality until relinquishing the post in 1998. In addition, he translated into English, many Russian-language publications issued by The Russian Numismatic Society. The Numismatic Bibliomania Society’s Writer’s Award for 1998 was presented to Ran for his wonderful series of articles on the hobby’s history that appeared in The Asylum.

Ran was unable to attend the ceremony honoring him as a fifty-year member in 1996. Instead he sent a letter in which he expressed regrets at not being able to visit the Society as frequently as he did in the 1930’s when he was attending Columbia College and would occasionally skip a Lab class in order to visit the Library and its then librarian, Sawyer Mosser. He said it was a “memorable moment” when the “saturnine and even then legendary Howland Wood once walked into the room to check out some fact or other.” I corresponded with Ran often during the 1980’s and 90’s and was able to send him a needed reference from time to time. He, in turn, kept the library abreast of Russian numismatic publications and donated a number of such publications to the library. He ended his 1996 letter with the words, “I grant you all thanks for the cherished years of association, and most earnestly wish our Society well during many generations to come. With affection and respect.” I’m sure he would express similar sentiments were he still with us.