Visit with ‘CoinsWeekly’ editor Kampmann|
Being retired, I have the enjoyable sideline and good fortune to spend my children’s future inheritances to travel worldwide, visiting and writing about museums, mints and central banks that have numismatic exhibitions.
A recent trip was a return to Switzerland after eight years, with stays in Zurich and Basel. While in Basel I had decided to take a day trip just across the Swiss-German border to visit Ursula Kampmann, another numismatic traveler. She is also the founder, editor, and publisher of the online numismatic English-language weekly magazine, “CoinsWeekly,” and its German-language counterpart, “MünzenWoche.”
Ground zero of her publishing and editorial group is in the little Baden-Württemberg town of Lörrach, a 15-minute S-Bahn train ride that seamlessly crosses over the German-Swiss border without any need for passport controls. For Uschi, as her friends call her, this location adjacent to the border is ideal for her to handle both her German and Swiss clients.
Kampmann started the weekly online magazine five years ago, realizing that the Internet was a fast and inexpensive means to disseminate information to many people worldwide. She feels that it is important to connect markets – such that Americans should know what is happening in Europe, or Russians know about China. Of numismatics, Kampmann also wants to connect all the various numismatic fields – coins, paper money, etc. Ideally, she envisions that “CoinsWeekly” would be the place where the reader will find the whole world of numismatics in one website.
Ursula’s interests in numismatics started about 25 years ago, getting her doctorate in ancient history, specializing on numismatics. Since then she worked for about 15 years in large auction houses, such as the Giessen Münzhandlung in Munich and then for Münzen and Medaillen AG in Basel, managing their ancient coin departments. Eventually she decided that she wanted to write about coins instead of cataloging them with prices, a change she found enjoyable.
She has authored five books on ancient coins, and frequently gives lectures before scientists and collectors and at coin shows around the world. For her activities, Kampmann was awarded the Vreneli Award in 2002 at Basel’s World Money Fair, the Otto-Paul-Wenger Award in 2012 from the Association of Swiss Professional Numismatists, and was recently made a Fellow of the American Numismatic Society.
In addition to the weekly publications, Kampmann is the editor of sister publications “MintWorld” and the “MintWorld Compendium,” a semi-annual magazine in both printed form and online, which is now entering its third year of publication. At Ursula’s request based on my travels, I recently wrote an article for the “MintWorld Compendium,” rating the best mint and central bank museums for visitors.
In 2014, Ursula will be offering the first numismatic podcasts for subscription at iTunes University and other selected websites. To be available in both German and English for the iPhone, iPad and iPad touch, all episodes will be about five minutes long. The podcasts will be produced for the MoneyMuseum in Zurich.
After arriving at her office, about a three-block walk from the city’s Stetten train station, I had some time to share with Ursula and her capable right-hand man, Björn Schöpe, who in addition to sharing the writing duties in both German and English, speaks fluent Italian and does just about whatever else needs to be done.
The actual writing of “CoinsWeekly” takes only one day after collecting the news happenings since the previous week’s edition. Both the English and German versions are usually finished for distribution to more than 6,000 subscription-free readers in 120 countries by noon on Thursday. All writing is done without using software to translate from one language to the other, like online translators by Google and Bing. Nor is there any voice recognition software used to speed up the process. Soon, the two-person staff of Ursula and Björn will add a third member to handle increased workload of providing outsourced editorial services for many numismatic auction houses which Ursula has as clients.
After enjoying some espresso coffee, some cake, and chatting about traveling, I was taken on a brief tour of the three-room suite of offices.
There is no shortage of numismatic reference material here. In both Ursula’s office, which is much neater than mine, and a temporary room, there are about 6,000 books, journals, and the ubiquitous Langenscheidt German-English dictionary on one shelf to aid in the background research for their articles.
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On May 14, 2014 P Neumann
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