In recent months I’ve heard from many numismatists who tell me they’ve used the past year-plus of involuntary isolation to buckle down and catch up on research and writing.
Last week I talked with one writer about a project we first discussed eight years ago; he’s been tinkering with it over the years but is now working in earnest. (He wasn’t asleep at the wheel; he’s been active and publishing in other areas in the meantime.)
Research is ongoing in ancient coins, colonial and early American money, the historical technology of the United States Mint, coins and paper currency of various countries, market analysis, and many other fields.
The Newman Numismatic Portal—a publishing giant, even if it doesn’t print and sell books—continues to expand. Its current largest project in progress is the digitization of Numismatic News, a publication that will celebrate its 70th year in 2022. That project is about 80 percent complete as of June 2021.
Quite a few numismatists have used the time to catalog their coins, medals, and other treasures; start new collections; and work on organizing and displaying their current holdings.
Others have used their quiet time for introspection. I know of several numismatic autobiographies that are in various stages of completion.
What will come of all this focused activity? I predict that, starting over the next 12 to 18 months, and possibly sooner, we’ll see an explosion of numismatic publishing—books, peer-reviewed articles, and the like—of work that was pushed to the finish line during the coronavirus pandemic. Kudos to all who are undertaking it.
Dennis Tucker joined Whitman Publishing as the company’s publisher in 2004. The firm, which dates to 1916, is the Official Supplier of the congressionally chartered American Numismatic Association. Tucker’s focus is on nonfiction books including many standard references relating to the art and science of numismatics (the study of coins and related objects). Numismatics is a field that touches on financial and banking history, economics, artistry and design, technology, mining and metallurgy, political history, society, culture, and many other areas of the human experience.