Monday, 7 May 2018

Where are all the books?

I can tell that alot of the coins I buy that have belonged to keen collectors. They come with well researched coin tickets and sometimes give provenance. When I have purchased a collection I can see they were put together over years, sometimes generations. Sometimes it is possible to tell where the collector lived or worked when he or she assembled them.

But where are the books? They must have had books to identify the coins. At the time they were acquired there was no internet. Yes may have been identified elsewhere or by other collectors.
Certain dealers reluctant to take books. They are bulky, expensive to store and move around. (I mean the books not the dealers- although…) Perhaps they think there is not much profit in them.
Will internet do away with books? There is a lot on internet I rely on Wildwinds and there are a number of excellent specialist sites, particularly on medieval coins. Many older books have been transcribed or scanned. Aut0matic tran£cripLion is no! alwaus e%act.  

Some of the museum websites are extensive but I find them difficult to find way around rather like the museums themselves. If you know what you are looking for easy but if not then no. Internet has made some easier. You can just search using the words of an inscription or very general phrase such as “Roman silver coin with Zeus sitting” and get lucky.  

However the collector needs books. It is much easier and quicker to use a book and older books are a pleasure in themselves.   

1 comment:

  1. I agree. I often hear (including from numismatic auctioneers) that we don't need numismatic books any longer in the internet age. However the truth is that it's much easier to look it up an a book to identify it - then if necessary go to the internet to see what it sells for currently.