By Nathan Elkins for American Numismatic Society (ANS) ……
Two weeks ago, the American Numismatic Society’s offices closed as 12 members of the curatorial and research staff descended on Warsaw, Poland—a city and country known for both its vibrant history and as an international center for numismatic research—for the XVI International Numismatic Congress.
The International Numismatic Congress occurs once every six years, but this Congress occurred seven years after the XV International Numismatic Congress in Taormina in 2015 on account of a delay prompted by the pandemic. The International Numismatic Congress is the single largest gathering dedicated to the scholarly study of numismatics from all periods and places, which attracts scholars, researchers, and students pursuing numismatic topics from every corner of the world. Each day of the Congress presented a rich roster of sessions and roundtables that were difficult to choose between, evening receptions at various museums and cultural centers in Warsaw, and ample opportunities for convivial gatherings over food and drink with friends and colleagues from around the globe.
In addition to ANS staff in attendance, there were some ANS Trustees, recent interns, and graduates of the Summer Seminar at the Congress. Indeed, the ANS presence at the International Numismatic Congress was impossible to overlook. Of the approximately 90 sessions across the five-day Congress, ANS staff organized or co-organized five sessions or roundtables and, collectively with the Trustees in attendance, delivered over 20 presentations. The number of presentations by ANS seminar graduates, fellows, and members amplifies this already-significant ANS presence. The plenary address to open the Congress was given by Dr. Alan Stahl, Curator of Numismatics at Princeton University and Curator Emeritus at the ANS, on “The Coin Finds from the Antioch Excavations Revisited.”
The Survey of Numismatic Research is published in conjunction with each International Numismatic Congress and synthesizes the preceding six years of scholarship (seven years in the most recent Survey, owing to the delay in holding the Congress). Authors are selected to survey various areas of numismatic scholarship, owing in large part to their notability in a field. Survey of Numismatic Research, 2014–2020 featured chapters authored or co-authored by five ANS staff: Dr. Nathan T. Elkins, Ethan Gruber, Dr. Jesse Kraft, Dr. Peter van Alfen, and Dr. Ute Wartenberg. Additionally, Dr. Peter van Alfen, Chief Curator at the ANS, served as a subeditor of the Survey.
During the Meeting of the General Assembly, Dr. Ute Wartenberg, ANS President and Research Curator, was elected to another term on the Committee of the International Numismatic Council and subsequently elected president of the Committee, a well-deserved accomplishment of which we are all very proud.
All in attendance were invigorated by the vibrancy of numismatic research and advances made in our discipline since the last Congress, exemplified by both the presentations in Warsaw and in the Survey of Numismatic Research, 2014–2020. After our brief hiatus from our Manhattan-based headquarters to participate in this important international event, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to our collection and library, and offering a rich array of digital programs: Long Tables, Money Talks, and our next Lyceum.
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