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Central States grants benefit all of us

There is good news for writers from the Central States Numismatic Society.

Five writing grants of $5,000 each have been awarded to support the publication of books and articles.

The money was given to William Bierly, Kevin Flynn, Peter Huntoon, Allan Schein, and Gerald Tebben and John Roberts.

It is not easy being a writer these days.

Sources of income are drying up as old-line newspapers decline and the Internet expectation of free or nearly so doesn’t cover the bills.

We can romanticize this situation, but it is anything but romantic.

As I recall, Albert Einstein developed his theory of relativity while working in the Swiss patent office. Revolutionizing physics was not a paying proposition for him at the beginning of the 20th century. Obviously, doors opened for him when he became famous.

Writers are another group of people who must struggle to earn income, numismatic writers especially. They are not exactly famous.

Q. David Bowers is probably the most widely recognized numismatic writer, but he supported himself as a coin dealer.

That is why it is important to recognize what Central States is doing. It helps writers be writers.

Bierly, whose exhibits on the evolution of the national “In God We Trust” motto have placed highly at American Numismatic Association and Central States Numismatic Society conventions, is taking his research a step further with the planned publication of a book, CSNS said.

Flynn’s CSNS stipend will aid in the publication of two books, One about Seated Liberty quarters and the other about rare dates and die varieties of other series.

Huntoon’s financial support will lead to articles on Treasury signatures on large-size National Bank Notes.

Schein plans a book about Bela Lyon Pratt’s $2.50 and $5 incuse Indian Head gold coin design.

Tebbens and Roberts are teaming up to build on an original 1998 Tebben monograph on merchants who issued Civil War tokens in Columbus, Ohio.

CSNS Education Directory Ray Lockwood said, “Central States prides itself on its many education programs and the collectors, clubs and dealers that benefit from our efforts.”

As well they should.

The CSNS program is in its fifth year and grants have gone to 26 numismatic researchers.

The result has been the publication of 15 books and more are in the works.

These works will not revolutionize our understanding of the universe, but they will aid in our understanding of the much smaller numismatic universe that every collector is operating in.

Collectors ask a never ending stream of questions.

Thanks to Central States, more of them will be answered.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."