The American Numismatic Association, Part 3
By Dr. Sol Taylor
Last in a series on the American Numismatic Association.
he American Numismatic Association observed its 100th anniversary in 1991 at its original convention city of Chicago.
Every year since 1891, the ANA has held a convention except for a few periods: 1896-1900, 1905-1906, 1918, and 1945.
The annual convention was held in mid summer at sites selected years in advance to accommodate the various activities associated with the convention.
In the early days, a convention site would be a hotel with a ballroom and a dealer exhibit room (also known as the "bourse"). In early photos of some conventions before 1940, the entire attendance was about 100 persons.
Since 1978, the ANA has added a second annual convention in the spring known as the National Money Show, while the larger summer convention is known as the World's Fair of Money.
Over the past 60 to 70 years, the summer conventions grew to where attendance often topped 10,000.
The convention is the ANA's major source of operating funds. Since the public admission is free, the revenue comes from fees paid by dealers for their bourse tables, from the auction company for holding its auction on site, the sale of ANA materials and new memberships.
A typical convention provides many aspects for the public a huge exhibit area for competitive and non-competitive exhibits, exhibits from foreign mints, and usually the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing; public forums and educational seminars, board meetings, specialty club meetings, organized tours, and the major feature a large bourse filled with hundreds of dealers and their wares creating a sea of many millions of dollars' worth of gold, silver, and rarities under one roof.
Election results for the board and top positions are announced at the summer convention. In the distant past, the actual election was conducted on site. With some 30,000 members today, the election is conducted by mail several months before the convention.
The conventions I have attended include:
Presidents of the ANA since 1963:
I have had the pleasure to have met them all.
The ANA has sponsored various youth-related programs to encourage young people to pursue numismatics.
One of the Young Numismatists in my 1977 summer grading seminar was Scott Travers, now a well recognized author and coin dealer.
The YN program includes the Early American Copper Project and the David R. Cervin ancient coin project.
YNs are actively involved in the conventions as pages and assistants to the ANA staff. An auction of donated material is held at each summer seminar to raise funds for YN scholarships to enable more youngsters to attend the annual summer seminars.
For more details about the ANA, do a Google search for "American Numismatic Association."
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