I recently heard that Don Kelly was finishing a book on obsoletes, should be a good one.
"Busy finishing work on my new book, 'Obsolete Paper Money, A Guide With Prices'".
Any new books on obsoletes would be welcome. The Haxby catalogs from the late 1980s are still my favorites. Unfortunately, the new Bowers catalogs have been falling well short of my hopes and expectations. They are full of mistakes and misleading information although a bit new new information is presented, too.
well, as soon as it is published it is obsolete.
It looks to be a fantastic book. A greatly more sophisticated version of Criswell’ s North American Currency of old. Aimed at the new collector shown, in color, the most commonly found notes of each state and fairly accurately priced. One volume for all states you can carry around. Should be a big hit. Hopefully out by KC in June
I've waited to comment on this book, but I think I'll kick this thread back to the top. I've sent Dr. Kelly the last of my revisions for the Ohio chapter this past weekend, and I think there are only a few other states that aren't completely done, so his hope for release at Memphis Kansas City sounds reasonable. I'm excited about this book. Likening it to Criswell is probably spot on - it isn't comprehensive, because no single volume could possibly do that. But it's going to cover a lot, with great pictures in a format that should be accessible and convenient.
I spoke with a local dealer who said he got the numerous volumes on Obsoletes that someone else had put out, I'm not sure how Kelly's book compares to that.
There are certainly going to similarities between Kelly's new book and the ongoing series by Q. David Bowers, but I think the audiences are going to be different. Full disclosure here - I offered to help with the (still forthcoming) Ohio book, and didn't get a response, while I've known Dr. Kelly for almost 30 years and edited the Ohio section of his book.
That said, the Bowers series is designed to update the four-volume Haxby set, which tried to be comprehensive in the sense that it would have all issues from all "banks" from the era (so no merchant scrip, for example). I've heard from people that I trust that although the production values are great, the Bowers books don't reflect as many discoveries and new information as they would have liked - I can't say from experience, because I really don't collect the states that have been released so far. I have the first two volumes, and expect I'll eventually pick up some of the others, but it hasn't been a priority.
Kelly's book isn't going to try to be comprehensive - in some cases, a bank may have issued 40 different notes, but Kelly might only show a representative half dozen. He does include many scrip issuers that Bowers doesn't, but again, not all that are known. But it is a single volume, as opposed to a bookshelf-full. I will be curious to see, based on how different people collect, which approach they prefer.
Thanks for the rigorous overview and point by point comparisons which is hard to find these days.
Also in the interests of full disclosure, I, too, have been helping Dr. Kelly with editing and pricing for my corner of the U.S. (Northeast).
I have used Haxby for years and have been buying the new Bowers catalogs as they are released. In recent months I have used Bowers extensively. The more that I use it, the less I like it and realize that it's primary value is in the short bank history given for each bank before the listings. Although there are some surviving notes that Bowers lists where Haxby reports as SENC (unconfirmed), there are also a fair number of notes that Haxby lists and pictures that Bowers shows as unconfirmed. If Bowers is supposed to be an update, there is no excuse for this. Bowers omission of notes known to Haxby reduces known information (at least in his book) rather than increase it. This erodes the body of knowledge upon which Bowers was supposed to build.
Valuations in Haxby tended to be low and inconsistent. Values in Bowers are inconsistent, too. In Bowers, there are photo credits for each pictured note, we know who owns (or owned) each pictured note. I find that I would be a buyer of many of John Ferrari's notes at full catalog while I wouldn't be interested in most of Dave Bowers notes at 1/4 to 1/2 catalog values. This shouldn't be the case.
As John mentioned, Dr. Kelly's new book doesn't try to list everything, resulting in many volumes and thousands of pages. Instead,it give a representative overview of what is out there and what it's worth. And Dr. Kelly's book covers the much overlooked area of scrip, omitted by Haxby and Bowers.
Dr Kelly has said that he loves the fact that it will be possible to access this book by smartphone, making the information available to collectors at shows without having to carry books or a laptop. So I expect this book to be the first to offer that convenience.
Oh, good! I was hoping you were helping out with this book, Russell; one more great reason to recommend it. Do we know anyone else who's working on it? I kind of assume Wendell's handling Indiana, but I haven't talked to him recently to know.