In 1940, there was no organized regional numismatics in this country. Since 1860, most of the larger cities had formed groups of interested collectors who met together to promote their hobby. In 1891, the varied memberships of these urban clubs joined together to form the American Numismatic Association (A.N.A.) and assembled in convention once a year to take a national and, considering Canada and Mexico, an international view at the broad needs and interests of numismatics.
The gap between the national association and the city societies was regional. Its absence was recognized by the more astute numismatists concerned about the rapid develo0pment and expansion of coin collecting. Nonetheless, the gap was left unfulfilled for 50 years.
At last, Shepard Pond, a leader in national as well as Boston numismatic circles, devoted his efforts to the promotion of a regional gathering of those New Englanders having a mutual interest in numismatics. He had long advocated the ideal of such meetings and, in 1941, his efforts bore fruit. Under his chairmanship, the "First New England Numismatic Conference" was called to order on May 23rd at the City Club of Boston with 50 dedicated New England collecors present. It was an evening meeting and dinner held under the auspices of the Boston Numismatic Society and had for its objective the discussion and resolution of the many regional problems attendant upon the sudden growth of the hobby of collecting. It was, as its name indicated, a "Conference of New England Numismatists."
From this beginning sprang organized regional numismatics as we know it nationally today and, from this beginning, sprang the "New England Numismatic Association." Sadly Shepard Pond passed away unexpectedly on May 28th, 1945.
It took five years for the seed that Shepard Pond had planted to put forth its tender leaves, for Fate had decreed that other hands than his should nurture it.
On July 20, 1946, the "Second New England Conference" was sponsored by the Boston Numismatic Society at the Copley Plaza in Boston. It began at 2:00 PM Saturday afternoon and concluded with a Banquet at 6:00 PM. As an inducement to those New Englanders interested in acquiring specimens as well as knowledge, a coin auction was added to the program.
The attendees at this second conference, chaired by Henry Schumacher, recommended that such gatherings should be made an annual affair and Horace Grant invited the next one to be held in Providence.
Accordingly, in 1947, over 100 New England numismatists assembled in Rhode Island. Here, as the Third Conference, the plant so carefully nurtured through six long years at last blossomed. The New England Numismatic Association burst into bloom, was baptized and entered upon a long and beneficial growth, devoted to promoting the interests of Numismatics in New England and to holding a conference annually in some one of the various cities of New England. Officers and State Directors were elected and the location for the next year's conference chosen.
Since that time, a NENA conference has been held each year.
Worcester, Springfield, Hartford, New Haven, Northampton, Pittsfield, Boston, Manchester, N.H. and Providence have hosted their fellow New England Numismatists and in 1975 the 31st Conference was held in Boston.
Through these years, NENA has developed and matured. In 1948, at Worcester, the NENA News was established and a Course opened. In 1949, at Springfield, the first NENA Medal was struck, or rather stamped, on large cents. In 1951, at New Haven, the length of the conference was extended to two full days of activity and in 1952, at Boston, the tercentenary of the Pine Tree coinage was commemorated by our conference.Since then a medal has been struck to commemorate each conference.
from the 30th Annual Conference and Convention booklet, revised 2015
Today the New England Numismatic Association continues with Shepard Pond’s vision of promoting a regional gathering of New Englanders with a mutual interest in numismatics. During our annual conference and convention we hold a number of events including a free Young Numismatist Program where the children learn the fundamentals of coin collecting, and receive coins and other numismatic related items for their participation. Other events include Educational Talks, Club Table, Exhibits Competition and our Annual Meeting. We also participate in a second show annually where we provide a Young Numismatist Program, Club Table, Exhibits and Meeting.
Our mission is to encourage and develop the appreciation and understanding of numismatics and the collection of coins and medals; to conduct courses of study in the art and science of numismatics; to give and otherwise sponsor lectures, exhibitions, displays and functions pertaining to the appreciation and understanding of the art and science of numismatics.
Our goal is to function as a true regional numismatic association by promoting the ANA and getting members involved with their local clubs and activities such as National Coin Week.
For more information write to New England Numismatic Association, P.O. Box 2061, Woburn, MA 01888.