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Chambers Street




tel: +44 (0)300 123 6789




email: [email protected]; [email protected]

The National Museum of Scotland

Contact details:  


Department of Scottish History & Archaeology


Nick Holmes

Retired Numismatist, current Research Associate


Dr Fraser Hunter

Principal Curator, Iron Age & Roman Collections

Responsible for Scottish numismatic collections 100 BC – AD 450


Dr Martin Goldberg

Senior Curator, Early Medieval & Viking

Responsible for Scottish numismatic collections, AD 450-1100


David S. Forsyth

Principal Curator, Medieval-Early Modern

Responsible for Scottish numismatic collections 1100-present


Lyndsay McGill

Curator, Medieval-Early Modern

Responsible for Scottish numismatic collections 1100-present and Scottish banknotes


Dr Stuart Allan

Principal Curator, Scottish Late Modern Collections

Responsible for Scottish medals 1750-present


Department of World Cultures


Rosina Buckland

Senior Curator, Japanese & Korean Collections


Qin Cao

Curator, Chinese Collections


Margaret Maitland

Senior Curator, Ancient Mediterranean

Responsible for Roman, Greek, and Egyptian Collections (south of the Alps)


Friederike Voigt

Senior Curator, Middle East & South Asian Collections


Sarah Worden

Senior Curator, African Collections


Antje Denner

Principal Curator, Oceanic & American Collections


Date of visit: 29 October 2012


Nature and extent of collection


All numbers below are estimated


Greek: Small collection.

Iron Age: Very small collection.

Roman: Substantial collection, including many finds from Scotland.

British coins: Large collection, including the largest collection of Scottish coins in  a public collection.

British tokens: Substantial collection of Scottish trade tokens; also some English. Large collection of Scottish communion tokens, with a few from other countries.

European: Substantial collection, mostly post-mediaeval, but including many continental sterlings from Scottish hoards.

Asian: Substantial collections of Chinese and Indian coins, plus some from other countries.

Middle Eastern: Small collection, mostly fairly modern.

African: Small collection, mostly fairly modern.

American: Small collection, mostly fairly modern, including some US proof issues.

Oceania: Small collection, mostly fairly modern.

Modern & Paper Money: Most recent UK commemorative issues; good collection of Scottish banknotes, and some from elsewhere.

Medals: Large collection of Scottish medals, plus some English and foreign.

Paranumismatica: Fairly small collections of jetons and coin-weights.


Library: The NMS library has a large numismatic section covering all aspects of the subject of several thousand volumes.


Specific strengths: The collections are very strong in all aspects of Scottish numismatics and paranumismatics. There are also about four thousand English Edwardian sterlings, mostly from Scottish hoards. The British collections include a substantial number of proof and pattern issues, mostly belonging to the Lindsay Carnegie bequest of 1911.


























Database used: Adlib


Proportion of collection on database: c. 99%.


How much detail in database entries? Full description, including weight and dimensions, inscriptions and designs.


Are images incorporated? No.


Is the database accessible to the public? No, except for approved researchers and volunteers.


Is the database publicly accessible online? What is the URL if so? n/a





Are there permanent numismatic displays? Yes.


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? No.



Access to the collection

Is there a study facility? Yes.


Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided? Space for only one person at a time in Coin Room. No specific provision of aids.



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? No.



Curatorial knowledge


Is there any numismatic expertise in-house. If so, who, and in what areas?

Nick Holmes – retired curator, now Research Associate

Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? No.


If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums? n/a


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