MONEY & MEDALS
Archives & Heritage
tel: +44 (0)1889 869137
Facebook: Staffordshire Archives & Heritage
Contact details: Chris Copp, Helen Johnson, Melanie Richardson
Date of visit: 30 May 2017
Nature and extent of collection
900 pieces. Staffordshire Museum Service is part of Staffordshire County Council’s Archives & Heritage Services. Archives & Heritage sits within Staffordshire County Council's Place Directorate. Its mission within the Council is:
"to create opportunities for people to get the most from the arts and from museums and to support others involved in promoting museums and the arts in Staffordshire."
The museum collection covers a wide range of subjects within the fields of Staffordshire's social and agricultural history, and, to a lesser extent, crafts and industry. These include:
customs and beliefs
agriculture and forestry
communications and currency
warfare and defence
hobbies, crafts and pastimes
costume and accessories
health and infant raising
The art collection falls into two distinct categories:
i) Fine art. The fine art collections consist of the following categories:
a) Works in any medium by artists associated with Staffordshire.
b) Works in any medium of subjects located in Staffordshire or strongly associated with the County.
c) Contemporary work by significant artists who have exhibited in the County.
d) Designs and related information concerning the County Council's Public Art commissions
ii) Decorative art. The decorative art collections consist of the following categories:
a) Contemporary crafts by makers living and working within the United Kingdom with particular emphasis on jewellery, automata, textiles and toys.
b) Items which represent achievement in technique and innovation in craft skills and in the use of materials, with emphasis on items clearly associated with the County.
All numbers below are estimated
Roman coins: 20
British coins: 150
British tokens: 500, mainly Staffordshire tokens relating to trade, taverns and pea-picking (the collection also includes the die used to make these tokens used to pay seasonal workers)
European coins: 15
Asian coins: 1
Middle Eastern coins: 5
Modern and paper money: 160, including around 10 notes from local banks
Medals (commemorative or military): 160, including school attendance, jubilee, coronation, agricultural and military medals. The collection also features medals related to the Staffordshire shoe industry.
Specific strengths: British token coinage (especially Staffordshire & West Midlands), commemorative medals.
Library: 35 reference books with specific strengths in British tokens and coins.
Database used: Axiel Calm
Proportion of collection on database: 100%
How much detail in database entries? Full descriptions and dimensions.
Are images incorporated? 5% have images attached and there is a programme underway to add images of tokens.
Is the database accessible to the public? Yes.
Is the database publicly accessible online? www.museums.staffordshire.gov.uk (Gateway to the Past)
Are there permanent numismatic displays? Yes.
Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes.
Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? No, but one is under development (due to open 2021).
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 (magnifying glasses, light boxes).
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? 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.
Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas? Only as part of wider social history collection curatorship expertise.
Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? Yes. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and David Symonds.
If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums? N/A