Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Essence of Numismatics

Student Conference programme
Q "At which numismatic conferences have you delivered papers?"
A "None. Numismatic conventions normally do not include presentation of formal papers. [...]  This question, I will add, reveals much regarding Mr. Barford's ignorance of numismatics.
I rather feel it shows more that thise self-styled "professional numismatist" from the US has never been to a proper conference at which real professional numismatists present the results of their research. We have them pretty frequently here in the Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, and in Cracow, Poznan, Wrocław etc etc... our numismatists hold a lot of such conferences.

UPDATE 2nd July 2015
Mr Welsh, in defence of his notion that a self-taught shopkeeper is somehow a "professional numismatist"  complains:
"There are very few academically oriented numismatic conferences held in the USA [...] . It would of course be very desirable to have more such conferences.
Yes, if this is true, it would eventually bring North American numismatics up to the same level as its European antecedent. He blames it of course on "the archaeologists" but I do not see why an alleged 50000 ancient coin collectors cannot organize themselves to put on an academic conference somewhere.

I think the problem is the definition of the words used, the confused shopkeeper plaintively enquires:
How many of those who attend or present papers at [these] conference[s] derive their livings primarily from their involvement in numismatics?
Actually if they are working in institutions, museums, education, research etc. as numismatists, I'd say they all do. They are professionally engaged in the methodological study of numismatic evidence. But they do not then sell the physical subject of their research.

In any case a self-professed polymathic polyglot like Mr Welsh does not have to restrict his attendance of numismatic conferences to a single continent. Why not engage in those person-to-person contacts coineys claim their collecting promotes and share those "professional experiences" with those working in the field abroad? 

1 comment:

Dave Welsh said...

The conferences you refer to are those which involve what might be described as "academic numismatics," and are not intended as venues for collectors and dealers.

When I refer to someone as a "professional numismatist," as I made clear in my remarks in the comment section of my blog, I am speaking of an individual who makes his or her living either as a coin dealer or as a writer on the subject of numismatics (e.g. David Sear). I am not describing academics who are employed by academic institutions, or as curators of collections, and the like.

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