Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Celtic Coins and the Copyright Clearance Center

The British Museum also has a reading list for numismatists. It includes a few categories missing in the ANS' seminar list, including Celtic. It's not an academic list and even includes a category "Children's Books on Coins and Paper Money".

Not included in this list, nor in the British Museum's list of numismatic publications, is Derek F. Allen's 1987 Catalogue of the Celtic coins in the British Museum. Volume I: Silver coins of the Eastern Celts and Balkan peoples. This book is worth tracking down because it is the only book on Eastern Celtic coins in English. I can't find a copy online. I recently borrowed the ANA's copy.

(A short biography of Allen says he died in 1975, a full 12 years before the book came out!)

Usually when a book becomes as rare as Allen's that's the end of it. Maybe it will turn out once or twice in an auction. You'll bid five times what the book sold for when the author was alive and be outbid. There is usually no other legal option for getting a copy. What's different about Catalogue of the Celtic coins in the British Museum. Volume I is that it's been registered with the Copyright Clearance Center. It is completely legal to make photocopies of the book for a small fee!

This is a wonderful development and I look forward to a day when all books have this option.

The CCC page for Allen's Catalogue gives the fee as nine cents a page for classroom use and 61 cents a page for general business use. I can't recall home many page are in the book, as I recall it's only about 80 pages plus about 30 plates. So figure ten bucks for collectors/scholars and $67 for coin dealers.

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