Dear ANA Member:
In 2013 the American Numismatic Association will celebrate a major milestone: the 125th anniversary of The Numismatist.
Originally published in September 1888 by Dr. George F. Heath, the publication has grown from a four-page leaflet to the 120-page, full-color, high-quality magazine we know today. While printing the first issue on a hand-operated press, now housed in the ANA's library, Heath surely couldn't have imagined that one day The Numismatist would be viewed on the Internet, complete with interactive videos and other bells and whistles.
Heath aimed to unite collectors around the country when he founded the ANA in 1891, and The Numismatist has played a pivotal role in the Association's mission since the beginning. Its articles have been authored by hobby greats and relative newcomers. It has been the Association's mouthpiece to communicate to collectors. It has educated and entertained us. And it's the one ANA benefit enjoyed by every single member.
When I took on my role on as Executive Director in June, one of my primary goals was to find as many ways as possible to enhance the value of ANA membership for members. I've met with the board, staff and members to brainstorm ways to accomplish this, and that is why I'm asking for your support and donations to make these projects successful.
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We have already implemented a number of initiatives. The Kids Zone debuted at the Money Museum in October, and every single class is nearly full for the next year. The ANA is planning on adding extra classes to educate more young collectors. In the next year, we're planning to make Kids Zone lesson plans available to clubs and members around the country, and we will continue bringing the Kids Zone to our conventions. We're continuing improvements to the ANA's website while we plan for a brand-new site.
With our ANA Road Show, we're bringing some of the coolest items from the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum and the Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library to five regional shows around the country, giving more members a chance to see them. The ANA Road Show also will make School of Numismatics classes and Money Talks available to members.
Those are just the first steps. The ANA is also looking at more long-term projects that will greatly benefit the members and the hobby as a whole.
The ANA Publications Department is exploring the possibility of making more back issues of The Numismatist available to members online. Currently, the online archives extend back to 2009; however, it is possible to digitally capture editions back to the first issue, allowing members to instantly access The Numismatist's many fantastic articles.
The Library staff continues to work on a re-launch and expansion of the Harry W. Bass Jr. Numismatic Index of Periodicals. When it's released, it will be an invaluable tool for collectors and researchers.
A group of staff and volunteers have spent months planning for the reconstruction of the ANA's website, www.money.org. When it debuts, the site will have a host of new resources and content for collectors, like online versions of Money Talks. Our aim is to create a social site that will bring together collectors around the country and let them interact in new ways, a goal that speaks to the ANA's original mission and purpose.
As Dr. Heath said, "The foundation of the ANA was not laid for today alone but for the long and distant future as well. Each member can do a little in contributing to its success."
The hobby community's dedicated effort and financial backing are needed to achieve major objectives. That is why I'm writing to ask for your help. As we undertake efforts to expand the value of ANA membership for individuals and clubs, unite collectors and grow the hobby, your tax-deductible gift of $25, $50, $100 or more to this year's Annual Giving Campaign will help the ANA bolster its role as a positive force and leader in the hobby.
To thank you for your generosity, we've arranged for a special gift. The ANA has produced a limited edition, 125th anniversary reprint of the very first issue of The Numismatist. This exclusive publication will be available only in 2013 to life members and to ANA donors who give $50 or more. Once they are gone, no more copies will be produced.
Working together, we can ensure a bright future for our hobby. Please support the ANA and the collecting community with your volunteerism and financial contributions.
Jeff Shevlin, ANA Executive Director