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Vol 04 No. 03 March 1990

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About This File

In this month's mailbag was a letter from a long-time reader of The Celator asking the question, "What ever happened to --- magazine?" We omit the name because we are not really sure what has happened to the publication. While the collecting of ancient coins has been a consistently strong pursuit for centuries, the publication of material related to this narrow field has been as unpredictable and erratic as the weather in Wisconsin. Countless attempts have been made to provide a viable periodical, and as many have failed. Not because of any shortcoming on the pan of their organizers, but primarily because of the economic realities. Given the meager circulation of such a specialized publication, it is nearly impossible, without a benefactor, to generate the resources necessary for a quality product to their great credit, many have tried. Just as many have failed.

It is remarkable to some that The Celator has managed to survive, even thrive, in such a market. In actuality, it is not so remarkable because the publication does have benefactors. The faithful and consistent advertisers, who month after month support this publication, provide an essential base without which the effort would be doomed. A diverse and talented group of contributing authors donate their labors of love and research, foregoing compensation, for all to enjoy and contemplate. We have been fortunate to have had contributions from some of the most prominent numismatists of our time. We have also been able to appreciate simpler expressions of joy, wonderment and satisfaction from newer collectors who want to share their experiences. From the book reviewers to the letter writers, the commentators to the critics, everyone who has taken an active part in supporting The Celator has become a benefactor. This month we wish to give a tip of the hat to those people (you know who you are) that have made The Celator possible.

Where do we go from here? Not to a glossy format with a big editorial staff! We will remain a small, family operated, publication doing what we do best. We will try to iron out some of the wrinkles and provide our readers with a constantly Changing and improving product. We've added new equipment over the past year, and plan to add some more this year, but our emphasis is on improved quality not on rapid growth. We hope you've noticed the improvement in photo quality, and believe it or not, we have reduced (certainly not eliminated) the number of typographical errors. We are producing about 85 column feet of copy each month (not counting ads) and it is all related to antiquity. In 1990 look for more of the same.

As an addition to our monthly publication, we have undertaken the annual reprint of some of our best articles in magazine style format. The project has been very successful and has encouraged us to look at other suitable subjects for this type of format. Its primary advantage is the very low cost. Anyone interested in literature about ancient coins knows a too well the sad. story. We intend to expand the production of these card cover, saddle stitched, publications to include a series of inexpensive reissues of some classic works as well as the introduction of some original material. We use the term reissue rather than reprint, since these will be entirely reset on modem equipment and in some cases illustrations and commentary will be added. The works selected will be out-of-print and generally unavailable to the average reader or collector. 'They will be uniformly priced at $9.95 plus postage.

The rust issue planned in this series is a captivating autobiography, edited by Anne Manning in 1860, of the life of Valentine Duval. Duval preceded Eckhel at Vienna and was responsible for the formation of the Royal cabinet of coins that later made Eckhel famous. Look for it in a couple of months.

Getting back to our reader's question, "What ever happened to ---?" We regret to inform you that your publication is missing in action. About all we can say with any certainty is that The Celator is here to stay. And yes, by the way, there are some things in life that you can make book on.

Thanks again to all who have shared their points of view with us in the past They are always respected, if not always agreed with. We hope the new season brings you a lot of enjoyment in your hobby. As the days get longer, how about putting pen to paper and letting us hear your point of view!


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