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Buckinghamshire County Museum

Church Street



HP20 2QP


tel: +44 (0)1296 624519




email: [email protected]



Contact details: Brett Thorn


Date of visit: 


Nature and extent of collection


5,700 pieces. The collection focuses on Buckinghamshire history and archaeology.

Collecting areas - All coins that date from before 1500 were found within the historic county. The post-1500 collection is more generic, there is no intention to build a national type series, and collecting is passive. Medals form part of our social history collection and would need to have a Buckinghamshire provenance (either made here, or used here) before we would consider adding any to our collection.



All numbers below are estimated


Greek coins: Fewer than 30 - a closed antiquarian collection

Iron Age coins: c.400

Roman coins: c.5000

British coins: c.50 Anglo Saxon; c.200 Medieval

European coins: Fewer than 30

Specific strengths: Roman hoards and other material acquired through Treasure.


Library: Around 30 volumes which form part of the archaeology library.





Database used:


Proportion of collection on database: 95%


How much detail in database entries? This varies from record to record.


Are images incorporated? Yes, around 10% of records include images.


Is the database accessible to the public? No.


Is the database publicly accessible online? No.





Are there permanent numismatic displays? No.


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes.


Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? Yes.


Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? There have been no exhibitions that focus solely on numismatics, although numismatics have featured heavily in archaeological exhibitions. We also have a changing “collections showcase” gallery, which has featured individual cases or drawers of coins.



Access to the collection


Is there a study facility? Yes.


Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided? No.



Public engagement with numismatic collection


Is there a handling collection? Yes, but it is very limited and is mostly comprised of duplicates and replicas.


Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? Yes, occasionally.


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? Yes. We have a series of lunchtime free lectures, and occasional talks to external groups. Coins feature in this series, most often Roman coins, or hoards as part of lectures on Treasure.


Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? No.



ID and public enquiries


Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries? Yes, we have both the  museum ID service and Portable Antiquities Scheme, because the Finds Liaison Officer for Buckinghamshire is based at the museum. Museum and PAS staff work closely.



Curatorial knowledge


Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas? The current Keeper of Archaeology has some expertise with Roman coins.


Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? We have limited access to external expertise via PAS.


If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums?  We have already shared our identification expertise to a limited extent with other local museums. We have no capacity to extend this further, although there is willingness to do so.