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About NNP The story behind the Newman Numismatic Portal

How It All Began

Eric P. Newman’s first numismatic publication, on Missouri paper money, appeared in 1941. In the ensuing years, Newman published widely in the field of colonial coinage, early American paper money, and counterfeit detection. Newman’s research activities were pure “old school” — personal visits to libraries and historical societies scattered throughout the country, voluminous correspondence with archivists and fellow collectors, and the accumulation of research files on hundreds of topics. Today’s technology has revolutionized these activities. Research efforts once requiring substantial time and expense can be reduced to a few keystrokes. The Newman Numismatic Portal will extend the Newman legacy of scholarly research by making freely available the largest online archive of numismatic information in the world.

The NNP Philosophy

Louis D. Brandeis, the Supreme Court associate justice, famously observed that “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” The all-seeing eye is emblematic of the Newman Numismatic Portal, the goal of which is to freely share a vast online store of both printed and virtual numismatic resources. Books, periodicals, ephemera, as well as online forums and auction offerings will be captured in one location, freely available, and searchable from anywhere in the world. With unprecedented knowledge at their disposal, collectors and researchers will gain greater appreciation for numismatic science and more clearly discern fact from fiction.

The Eric P. Newman Story

Eric P. Newman was born in St. Louis, MO in 1911 and was introduced to numismatics as a child, when his maternal grandfather Adolph Pfeiffer presented the young boy an Indian Head cent dated 1859. Newman put the coin in a desk and thought little of it until he chanced upon another Indian cent. Newman recalled he had seen something like that before, and a collector was born. Newman was mentored by the St. Louis dealer Burdette G. Johnson, who challenged Newman to learn more about coins than merely how to form a collection. Newman was already insatiably curious, and the fortuitous relationship with Johnson steered Newman into the established numismatic literature. Along with Johnson, Newman acquired significant portions of the Colonel E. H. R. Green collection in the 1940s, and from there went on to become one of the greatest scholars in American numismatics.

Eric and Evelyn Newman were married in 1939 and supported each other in a variety of philanthropic efforts focusing on medical research, academia, and St. Louis cultural affairs. After nearly a century as a collector, Newman’s holdings were featured in a series of sales by Heritage Auctions beginning in 2013.

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