A good editor makes any writer better and Barbara is one of the best
editors our hobby has seen. She envisions an exciting future for
publishing where printed and digital books and magazines comfortably
coexist and reach new audiences.
Q: What separates a good numismatic article from a great one?
A: In my experience, numismatic articles tend to fall into four
categories: “how to” features; research papers; historical overviews;
and personal experiences. A good numismatic article clearly lays out
the topic and gets to the point, without sounding like a high school
term paper. A great article brings the reader on a journey, allowing
him to experience the writer’s fascination and frustration, success
and failure. Sometimes, collectors just want to feel validated — that
another hobbyist enjoys the same coin series or has dealt with the
Connect with Coin World:
Q: What are some of the challenges of running a magazine for a
membership organization, and do any articles you’ve published stand
out for you?
A: With the ANA’s diverse membership, it is virtually impossible to
please all readers all the time. Rather, we strive to present
high-quality articles on a great variety of topics. If a reader learns
one or two things of value in each issue, I feel we have done our job.
Too often, collectors don’t look past their areas of specialty. I like
to believe The Numismatist helps expand their horizons. In the
October 1986 cover story, Numismatist Editor N. Neil Harris
wrote of his personal experiences diving on the sunken Spanish galleon
Atocha and described many of the coins salvaged from the wreck.
Along the same lines, Robert D. Evans’ article in the April 2008 issue
detailed the salvage of the SS Central America, again a
first-person report. The scholarship and photos were amazing. For the
November 1983 issue, I worked with Eric P. Newman on his fascinating
article entitled “Benjamin Franklin and the Chain Design.” It was my
first exposure to true numismatic scholarship and to the great
Q: What’s the biggest mistake that a numismatic writer can make?
A: I’ll give you three! The first is not writing about what they
know. Familiarity with the subject — either personal experience or
in-depth research — conveys a sense of confidence to the reader and
makes for a more engaging story. Second is failing to adequately
proofread the text. Errors in fact, spelling and grammar cause
reviewers to doubt the overall accuracy of a submitted manuscript. And
third is not allowing editors to do their job. A good editor makes any
Q: When you started at the ANA, did you expect to make your career there?
A: I typically don’t look very far down the road. I always have been
fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. My August 1981
hiring as a part-time editorial assistant for The Numismatist
was serendipitous. My work at the ANA has become my life, and the
employees my extended family. I am thankful for the ANA’s continued
trust and support. It’s nice to think that, perhaps, I have made a difference.