Paper Money

Whitman releases first two books about obsolete notes

The first two volumes of the multivolume Whitman Encyclopedia of Obsolete Paper Money by Q. David Bowers will be available for purchase June 12 at the International Paper Money Show in Memphis, TN. The first volume is shown above.

Image courtesy of Whitman Publishing.

The International Paper Money Show in Memphis, Tenn., will be the site for the release on June 12 of the first two volumes of a planned multivolume encyclopedia on obsolete paper money.

The first volume of the Whitman Encyclopedia of Obsolete Paper Money: An Introduction for Collectors and Historians by Q. David Bowers is a 288-page overview of the hobby and a focused discussion of the topic.

The second volume is a 752-page reference discussing obsolete notes issued by banks in Connecticut, Maine, and New Hampshire. This second reference is the first of what Whitman said will be three volumes on New England states.

Future volumes will cover the Mid-Atlantic states, the American Midwest, the South Atlantic states, the District of Columbia, and territories.

The books will be available for $39.95 each after June 12 from, and from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide and online.

The books can also be borrowed for free as a benefit of membership in the American Numismatic Association through the Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library. Visit the ANA’s website,, for more information about borrowing books.

The books examine obsolete notes issued from 1782 to 1866 by more than 3,000 state-chartered banks. Source material includes 18th and 19th century bank reports, contemporary newspapers, and other primary sources.

Bowers “gives the history of every state, every town and city, and every bank that issued this uniquely American currency,” according to Whitman in discussing Volume 1. Thousands of these notes are printed in full color along with information on grading, rarity, and values; significant auction results; and advice for collectors, historians, and researchers alike. 

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