|by Sebastian Heath|
The ANS is at the forefront of using to the Internet to bring its resources to collectors and scholars around the world. Our website makes available descriptions of all our cataloged objects—over 500,000 records—and catalogues the Society’s library which holds the finest collection of numismatic books in the world. These two resources are actively used by numismatists from around the globe. The coin database is searched over 200 times each day and the library catalogue receives over 50 requests per day. Though the main page of the website, www.amnumsoc.org, receives over 50,000 hits per month, many are from automated search engines, not individual users. While we have a long way to go until our site is as popular as Yahoo or E-bay, the numbers show the Internet already plays an important part in the Society’s mission assisting both collectors and scholars.
Technology changes quickly these days and the Society is working hard to keep up with the times and can be an expensive proposition for a non-profit institution. We are pleased to announce that the Classical Numismatics Group has recently agreed to pledge $9,000 towards the upgrade and redesign of our collection’s management system. As of press time, we are in the early stages of transferring our data to FileMaker Pro from the existing DOS-based system. What we have now has served us well but it is time to take advantage of the modern user-interfaces now available. Previous work on the database received support from the Harry Bass Research Foundation.
The CNG funded improvements will also lead to a better website. In particular, the switch to FileMaker will allow for more regular updates to the online version of the database, speedier searches and improved appearance. As always, we continue to add images of our coins to the site to the over 2,000 objects illustrated.
Our goal is to continually improve our site and we welcome user feedback.
In the next issue, “Numismatics.org” will look more closely at how the website works and will explore some of its more powerful features.