Show Me the Money: WikiProject Numismatics
This week, we took a look at WikiProject Numismatics, a project dedicated to money and its history. Included within the project's scope are articles about coins, banknotes, cheques, credit cards, stock certificates, medals, medallions, and token coins. The project started in 2004 and has grown to include 9 featured articles and lists, 7 good and A-class articles, and over 1,000 images. WikiProject Numismatics maintains a portal, to-do list (Numitasks), and a list of helpful sources. We interviewed Searchme (Joe) and Enlil Ninlil.
What motivated you to join WikiProject Numismatics? Do you collect coins, medals, or other items covered by the project?
- Joe: As of now, I collect American coins and paper money. I joined the project to improve the articles and scope of the pages I had used to research my own collection.
- Enlil Ninlil: I collect anything that circulated as money, and information on them, from China, India to Europe and from any period.
Do you prefer working on articles pertaining to coins (etc.) from recent history or ancient history?
- Joe: I prefer reading the ancient ones for the history, buy prefer working on the modern ones because on the continuity of designs, designers, issuers and such.
- Enlil Ninlil: Any time period would be fine with me.
Have you contributed to any of the project's featured or good articles? Are you currently working on bringing an article up to FA or GA status?
- Joe: I believe I've only been a minor contributor on most of featured articles. I'm not currently working on anything in the project; my time on Wikipedia is greatly reduced for now.
- Enlil Ninlil: Now I am not working on anything. I had updated many articles on Roman coinage, Byzantine coinage, and would like to do more articles on coins from the kingdoms of India, like Punch Marked coins, but information is scarce.
How difficult has it been to find images of rare coins?
- Enlil Ninlil: Depends on the coin; I find free images of many coins, rare or common, hard to come by.
- Joe: Not difficult at all. We have a number of members that run numismatics web pages or utilize their personal collection.
The project maintains a portal that receives around 60 views per day. How much effort goes into maintaining the portal? Is it a worthwhile component of the project?
- Joe: Right now the portal gets no attention (I'm the main contributor there, and again, time issues). It is mostly on autopilot, the most neglected section being the news, which has never really been great. But the portal is featured and has a ton of interesting links; it should be the go to page for anyone interested in numismatics or the project.
Does WikiProject Numismatics maintain close connections with any other projects? Have there been any inter-project collaborations on articles?
- Joe: WikiProject Philately and WikiProject Orders, Decorations, and Medals were originally under the purview of WikiProject Numismatics and a few editors are still members of two of them. There's no current collaborations that I'm aware of; most articles have been separated into their respective projects. The best places for a collaboration would be an item such as a stamp that was also or primarily used as money.
How can a new contributor help today?
- Joe: All help is good, there's nothing too simple. There's so many articles that just need a little research to be good. And with the amount of numbers and specifications our articles have they are always vulnerable to vandalism; one person can't watch them all -- I've tried.
- Enlil Ninlil: Anything, but articles on coinage of kingdoms or empires would be good.
Anything else you'd like to add?
- Joe: I think one thing keeping this project from getting tons of help is the name, numismatics. It's kinda scary: scary to say, scary to spell, and most people don't have a clue what it is. Almost everyone collects coins, either a penny from their birth year or their first dollar. If we could highlight that numismatics is coin collecting, people's eyes would light up.
Next week, we'll visit a scary project just in time for Halloween. Until then, look for thrills and chills in the haunted archive.
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