William Burd Numismatic Library

Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers are pleased to announce that they have been chosen to offer the outstanding numismatic library formed by Chicago coin dealer William A. Burd. The Burd Library is well known to many due to the long-standing willingness of the owner to make his library available for use by other numismatists at his Chicago Coin Company offices. With well over 10,000 items on its shelves, the library strived to be truly comprehensive, covering everything from ancient coins to modern banknotes and including material from the 16th through the 21st century.

Few libraries can be counted upon for their ability to address ancient hacksilber and modern bus tokens, United States large cents and medals of the Italian Renaissance, Chinese spade money and German notgeld. The Burd Library boasts exceptional scope as well as a depth of coverage that is truly impressive. In addition, the library includes a number of bibliophilic gems that would be the highlight of any library. A few especially noteworthy examples include:

  • An exceptional, complete set of Visconti & Mongez’s glorious Iconographie Grecque et Romaine
  • The extremely rare and virtually unknown first issue in book form of Louis XIV’s collection of ancient coins
  • Perhaps the finest extant deluxe copy of Browning on U.S. quarter dollars
  • A deluxe, large-format Bureau of Engraving and Printing vignette book featuring 223 superb engravings
  • A superlative example of Ricaud de Tiregale’s masterwork on Russian medals.

The William Burd Library is being offered in several Kolbe & Fanning sales.  Sale 147, which took place on October 7, included hundreds of lots from the Burd Library, while the highlights will form the foundation of our 2018 New York Book Auction, to be held in conjunction with the New York International Numismatic Convention on January 13, 2018. Additional items will be offered in additional mail-bid and “buy or bid” sales in the months to come.

Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers are a licensed auction firm specializing in the sale of rare and out-of-print numismatic literature. We also sell new and secondhand numismatic books on a retail basis through our website at To subscribe to our email list, please see or contact David Fanning at