(Pelham, Alabama) — Whitman Publishing announces a call-to-action for collectors, dealers, and historians of obsolete paper money and 19th-century American banking to pitch in and help build the best historical and market reference ever compiled in this field: the multiple-volume Whitman Encyclopedia of Obsolete Paper Money. Collectors, researchers, dealers, students, and others in the hobby community are encouraged to get involved with this important project. Images, historical research, market analysis, and general insight are welcome for the Mid-Atlantic states, the Midwest, and territories.

In particular, volunteer state editors for the upcoming states of New York, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio are sought. Each state editor will work closely with author Q. David Bowers, Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker, and Whitman associate editor Shane Smith to track down facts, answer questions, scrutinize the historical record, gather and examine images, and otherwise act as each state’s expert. Editors have a chance to take a “co-starring role,” as C. John Ferreri did with the states in New England and others have with the Southern states. They will join contributors the likes of the American Bank Note Co., the American Numismatic Society, and the Smithsonian Institution, all of whom (among other museums and private collectors) have shared images. Dealers and collectors active in the market of buying, selling, or trading, can volunteer to analyze valuations and rarity ratings. Historians with knowledge of a particular state or region can review state, town, and bank histories—fascinating narratives that tell the hometown stories of America!

The Whitman Encyclopedia of Obsolete Paper Money debuted to enthusiasm and acclaim at the Memphis International Paper Money Show in 2014. Three years later, it continues full-steam-ahead with eight volumes published as of early 2017, weighing in at 400 to 800 pages each, and an estimated six more to round out the series. Within each volume is author Bowers’s knowledge of obsolete paper money—its history, how to collect it, and observations on the general market, including rarities, supply and demand, and pricing. Volume 1 is an introduction for collectors and historians. Volume 2 studies in detail the states of Connecticut, Maine, and New Hampshire. The two-part Massachusetts volumes, numbering 3 and 4, were released in 2014, and the last volume in the New England region arrived in spring of 2015, comprising Rhode Island and Vermont. Moving south and west, the monumental study on obsolete currency continued to unfold with volumes 6 through 8, covering the South Atlantic states.

Obsolete notes are paper currency issued from 1782 to 1866, before the modern era of National Banks and the Federal Reserve. Over the course of these decades more than 3,000 state-chartered banks released their own paper money for day-to-day commerce, in thousands of colorful and ornate varieties. In the Whitman Encyclopedia of Obsolete Paper Money, each note listed is studied in detail, and thousands are pictured in full color, with information on grading, rarity, values in multiple grades, significant auction results, advice for collectors, and other valuable guidance.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Whitman Publishing at obsoletes@whitman.com. Volunteers will be credited in the books’ acknowledgments.

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