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Financial problems at the ANS

       December 14, 1999

       Dear Fellows, Associate Members, and Friends,

       The ANS, founded in 1858, has a proud history in the field of numismatics. As many of you know, however, this is a difficult time for the institution. The crux of the matter is that, had we carried forward the previous year's budget, our fiscal 1999/2000 expenditures were expected to exceed revenues by $900,000 in a budget of nearly $2,000,000. The Council, which is the governing body of the Society, recognized that this state of affairs could not continue and therfore has asked me, in the short term, to cut $400,000 from the operating budget for the running year.
       For the longer term, we are taking steps to return the Society to sustainable fiscal balance. Please be assured that although many tough choices are ahead, the Council and I share the goal of maintaining the excellence in both services and research that is the basis of our Society's reputation and of its role in the numismatic community. That said, our fiscal plight forces us to re-evaluate all aspects of our operations and it is likely that painful cuts will be necessary. Despite this, the Society will absolutely continue as both a research institution and as a resource for collectors and other interested members of the general public.
       Of course, the cut-backs we face are of such a scale that they will transform the day-to-day nature of our activities. Not surprisingly, the specifics of this transformation are of concern to all our members and we have welcomed the constructive feed-back that we have received. But we have also seen that much of this correspondence has been written in response to partial or incorrect information. To ensure that all members of the Society can participate in an informed discussion, I hope to use the ANS web-site (www.amnumsoc.org) to make available answers to some of the more common questions I have received. Other relevant material will also be posted there as it appears.
       I look forward to a continuing dialog with the membership of the Society and ask for your support in working to strengthen this vital institution.

       Yours truly,

Dr. Ute Wartenberg,
Executive Director,
The American Numismatic Society,
New York City,

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