Hi delaner. Prior to collecting c/s's, I was and remain interested in Civil War tokens. The Civil War Token Society has a website and has published journals and books for many years now. What with the sesquicentennial fast appoaching, I expect that interest in that period's exonumia will heat up. Personally, I don't much relish the modern exonumia like tax an bus tokens, but there are certainly folks out there who do. The religious medals can be most artistic in design and execution. The ANA
has a lending library, and one can certainly garner much info from articles written in the Numismatist for over a hundred years now. I'd suggest that you attend some of the larger coin shows and seek out the exonumia dealers who are among the most gregarious of collectors, themselves. They often will take the time to share knowledge and point someone in the right direction. They'll tell you where you can subscribe to exonumia pricelists and are likely to know of some organizations in the area you may want to explore. Also, there are some book dealers who set up shop at the big shows - used, out-of-print - from whom you may purchase books and monographs on particular areas of exonumia. The Atwood book on transportation tokens comes to mind, but there's no history therein to speak of. It's a well organized listing and general price guide that assigns catalogue numbers to all known transportation tokens. There is a booklet about tax tokens, but the name and author elude me. There's a new book out on school lunch tokens, books on Hard Times tokens ... the list goes on. There's ever so much that has yet to be written, and exonumia offers a vast frontier for study.