As I am having more free time, I thought I would start to write book reviews. But before I start, I thought I should put down my views of what constitutes a personal numismatic library, in general terms to make it appropriate for all collectors, but using the titles of actual books in my library to illustrate the different categories of books. I have over a thousand books in my library and more than 250 are numismatic or related to my numismatic areas of interest.
The first type of books you need are what I call Renewable Catalogs. These are books that give current prices for the areas of your collection and are published annually or so. For me there is the Red Book, Spinkâ€™s Coins of England and the United Kingdom, Searâ€™s two-volume Greek catalogue, Roman Coins (Vol. 1 and 2 is all I am interested in), Byzantine Coins, Roman Provincial Coins and the Standard Catalogs of World Coins.
The next type of catalogs is of major collections, either in museums or personal collections. This group includes Roman Imperial Coins (in the British Museum), the Weber Collection, Crawfordâ€™s Roman Republican Coins and Gruberâ€™s Roman Republican Coins (both listing British Museum collections) and the Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles (British coins from Roman times to the present in museums and collections around the world â€“ about 70 volumes in total of which I have 8).
The third type are the catalogs that try to include all coin types, regardless of where the coins are held. This group includes Hendinâ€™s Guide to Biblical Coins, Bollenderâ€™s Early US Silver Dollars, Sheldonâ€™s Penny Whimsey, Davenportâ€™s series on German Thaler and Dalton and Hamerâ€™s Provincial Tokens.
Next are the books about financial and numismatic history surrounding the coins, such as Carolingian Coinage and the Vikings and Kings, Currency and Alliances.
Then there are the general support books, such as Dictionary of Roman Coins, Dictionary of Greek Coin Inscriptions, ANA Grading Standards, and COINS (a book on coin photography).
Next on the list would be history books about the time periods of your interests. Here we have Money of Their Own (on counterfeiting), Counterfeiting in Colonial America and Who Was Who in Ancient Rome.
Then you will need some â€śCoffee Table Booksâ€ť like the 100 Greatest Ancient Coins, the 100 Greatest United States Coins and Kraayâ€™s Greek Coins.
Next you will also have to include old auction catalogs like the Brand Collection, the John Adams collection of US large cents and NGCâ€™s Triton auctions.
And last there are the books that you get as gifts or see and canâ€™t resist, even if you cannot read them. Mine are Den Svenska Mynthistorien â€“ Vikingatiden ca 995-1035 (in Swedish) and the real winner Kalkowskiâ€™s Tysiac Lat Monety Polskiej (in Polish).I hope that I have not bored you all, but thought that for the relative novice looking to start a library of coin books, this might be helpful to give an idea of the types of books to be looking for and where such a project can lead you.