One of the first recommendations for someone getting serious about collecting coins and currency is to find some books on the subject and start reading. The deeper you read about rare and exotic pieces, the more likely you are to need information not readily available from booksellers, which is where numismatic libraries come to the rescue.
ANS and ANA Traditional Libraries
Traditional libraries with hard-copy collections are maintained by the American Numismatic Society (ANS) at its New York headquarters and the American Numismatic Association (ANA) offices in Colorado Springs.
ANS Harry W. Bass, Jr. Library
The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Library at the ANS holds 100,000 items in its collection including books, periodicals, manuscripts, photographs, pamphlets, auction catalogs, and microforms, all of which are cataloged. Staff is generally available to help with research, but calling ahead for appointments is encouraged. The library is located in Lower Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood and is open weekdays from 9:30 am-4:30 pm. Access is free to ANS members; non-members are charged $20 per day. Consultations are also available by phone or email. Visit their website for details.
ANA Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library
The ANA houses the Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library at its Colorado Springs headquarters. The library has more than 128,000 books, auction catalogs, periodicals, videos and DVDs on subjects including coins, paper money, tokens, medals, military orders and decorations, and stocks and bonds. There are also volumes on collecting in general, economics, and banks and banking. Photocopy and digital scanning services are available, and the ANA staff is available for assistance. ANA members can have many of these materials shipped on loan.
ANA Numismatic Reading Room – Virtual Collection
The ANA also operates The Numismatic Reading Room, an online collection of articles, some of which are available on their website. A larger selection is offered to subscribers of their newsletter, The Numismatist.
The Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP) – New Online Library
If you don’t want to go to New York or Colorado Springs, an exciting new online library has just been launched and is open to the public. The Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP) was funded by the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society and built with help from the ANS and Washington University of St. Louis. Over 3,000 documents, representing more than 100,000 pages, have been completed to date. The documents include auction catalogs, periodicals, reference books, and archival material. Most of this material is unique to the Newman Portal and has not been previously scanned.
We’ve said it before, knowledge is power, and nowhere is that truer than in coin collecting. There are a few books that no collector should be without. We listed some of our favorites in an earlier blog post. But when it’s time to go deep into the woods, nothing beats a good library.
Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just getting started, be sure to browse the selection of U.S. and foreign coins and banknotes available online from The Great American Coin Company®. Our inventory is constantly changing, so be sure to check back often.