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National Media Museum





tel: +44 (0)844 856 3797




email: [email protected]



Contact details: Michael Terwey (Head of Collections and Exhibitions); Rebecca Smith (Collections Enquiries)


Date of visit: 19 May 2014


Nature and extent of collection


200 pieces. Collection of medals related to the subject of photography. They are mostly awards given for photographic competitions but the collection also includes medals related to the Kodak company such as awards for long service. The museum's main collecting areas are the history, technology and art of visual media – photography, cinematography and television.


All numbers below are estimated


Medals: 200, including the Kodak collection

Specific strengths: Photography competition medals.


Library: A collection of books, journals and ephemera relating to the areas collected by the museum (Photography, Cinematography, Television).





Database used: Mimsy XG for collections, and i-base as an image database.


Proportion of collection on database: Around 90%


How much detail in database entries? This varies - there are some comprehensive records and some that are skeletal.


Are images incorporated? Images are available, but most numismatic records do not contain them.


Is the database accessible to the public? See below – in addition to this,  information from the database can be supplied on enquiry.


Is the database publicly accessible online? Parts of the database are available via





Are there permanent numismatic displays? No.


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes, medals are displayed in the Kodak Gallery detailing the history of photography.


Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? Yes. It is unlikely that a temporary exhibition would focus on numismatics although items may feature within a broader story.


Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? No.



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? No.


Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? No.


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? No.


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, when staff resource is available. This service is provided by appointment.



Curatorial knowledge


Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas? No – though we have specialist knowledge of the context of photographic organisations and competitions that the medals collection relates to.


Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? N/A


If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums? NMeM’s expertise is in photography, cinematography and television, rather than numismatics.