MONEY & MEDALS
University of Oxford
tel: +44 (0)1865 / 278058
email: roz.britton-strong @ ashmus.ox.ac.uk
Contact details: Roz Britton-Strong
Date of visit: 8 January 2012
Nature and extent of collection
All numbers below are estimated
Greek coins: 18,500
Iron Age coins: 1,500
Roman coins: 68,500
British coins: 16,000
British tokens: 10,000
European coins: 12,000 Continental European coins
Asian coins: 40,000 (Indian subcontinent: 25,000, East Asia: 15,000)
Middle Eastern coins: 13,000 Islamic coins
African coins: 2,000
American coins: 2,000
Modern and paper money: 2,000 bank notes
Paranumismatica: 100 (dies etc)
Other: Byzantine (including Axumite): 3,000
Reserve collections: Colleges, Bodleian, etc.
Specific strengths: Greek, Roman, Iron Age, Byzantine, Medieval, Islamic, Indian, and Chinese coinages.
Library: 1,300 books. Standard works required for working with Coin Room objects only; the main numismatic library is now housed in the Sackler Library.
Specific strengths:The content of both the Ashmolean Coin Study Library and the numismatic collection of the Sackler Library can be searched online under at http://www.lib.ox.ac.uk/olis
Database used: MuseumPlus
Proportion of collection on database? c. 5% in Museum collections management system; however, additional data are held in external databases some of which are available online
How much detail in database entries? Entries of varied quality
Are images incorporated? Yes, on around 50% of records.
Is the database accessible to the public? Yes, volunteers at the Ashmolean Museum Information Desk have access to MuseumPlus and can give information to visitors to the museum. See also external databases below.
Is the database publicly accessible online? What is the URL if so?
• Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum: The SNG is a British Academy Research Project, the purpose of which is to publish illustrated catalogues of Greek coins in public and private collections in the British Isles. Volume V is devoted to the collection in the Ashmolean. While the output of the Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum project has traditionally been volumes of text and plates, in recent years digital recording of this material has begun to take place. Currently some 25,000 coins from the Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum volumes are online in the form of a searchable database. LINK
• Roman Provincial Coinage Online: LINK
• The Oxford Celtic Coin Index: LINK
• Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles: The Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles has been publishing coins in British museums and many important collections abroad since 1958. It is composed of 56 volumes that can now be searched online, with full descriptions and images of over 50,000 coins. This is the primary vehicle for the publication of the Ashmolean's British coinage. LINK
Are there permanent numismatic displays? Yes
Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes. There are Coin Room objects in 25 out of 39 new Ashmolean galleries
Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? Yes
Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? Britannia, Oxfordshire Gold, The Olympic Games, English Gold.
Access to the collection
Is there a study facility? Yes
Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided? Yes
Public engagement with numismatic collection
Is there a handling collection? Yes
Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? Yes
Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? Yes
Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? Yes; every Saturday coin handling through volunteers
ID and public enquiries
Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries? Yes, a drop-in identification service for coins and archaeological objects runs in the Ashmolean Museum on the first Wednesday of every month from 12 – 3pm. It is located in ‘Exploring the Past’ on the Lower Ground Floor. http://www.ashmolean.org/services/identification/
Greek and Roman Provincial coins: Volker Heuchert
Roman coins: Chris Howgego
Islamic coins: Luke Treadwell
Medieval and Modern coins, medals: Julian Baker
South Asian and oriental coins, banknotes: Shailendra Bhandare
Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? Oxford University (including Computing Services and Oxford Learning Institute)
If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums. Shailendra Bhandare is already sharing his expertise in Indian numismatics with the British Museum and has also done some work for the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge; the Ashmolean Museum is also supporting other museums as part of the Oxford ASPIRE initiative within the ACE framework.