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Stromness Museum

(Orkney Natural History Society)

52 Alfred Street


KW16 3DH



tel: +44 (0)1856850025




email: [email protected]


Twitter: @StromnessMuseum


Instagram: @stromnessmuseum



Contact details: Siobhan Cooke-Miller


Date of visit: 6 December 2018


Nature and extent of collection


825 pieces. Stromness Museum holds the primary collections of natural history, maritime and ethnography for Orkney.  Stromness Museum also holds social history, archaeology and fine art collections. Inventory and audit of the collections as part of a three-year project of collections development, staff found a large collection of uncatalogued numismatics, adding to the known collection of numismatic material.



All numbers below are estimated


Roman coins: 3

British coins: 200

British tokens: 100

European coins: 100

Middle Eastern coins: 25

African coins: 25

Modern (1700-present) and paper money: 250

Medals (commemorative or military): 100

Other: 25 (1 of which is a collection of cowrie shells on string from Africa, c. 900 cowrie shells).



Specific strengths: British coins and tokens, world coinage, commemorative medals. The medal collection features a number of Arctic medals awarded to members of the Franklin Expedition of 1845, including one thought to have been awarded to Sir John Franklin.


Library: N/A































Database used: Adlib (Basis).


Proportion of collection on database: 5%


How much detail in database entries? As per Accreditation.


Are images incorporated? As yet, no records for numismatic objects include images.


Is the database accessible to the public? See below.


Is the database publicly accessible online? Yes - our new website features a searchable catalogue:






























Are there permanent numismatic displays? Numismatic material is incorporated into displays throughout the museum.


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes – numismatic material on display is incorporated into several thematic displays e.g. Ship Wrecks; Stromness Sea Haven and Merchant Town gallery (medals, coins and other paranumismatica); Scapa Flow Gallery; Hudsons Bay and Arctic Exploration (e.g. Sir John Franklin’s Arctic medal); Ethnography; Old Orkney (commemorative medals).


Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? Yes.


Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? No, but numismatics featured in one of our recent winter exhibitions (Pow Hoard and medals awarded to a sailor lost on the Royal Oak).





























Access to the collection


Is there a study facility? No – but access to the collection can be arranged by appointment.


Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided? Specialist equipment is not provided.



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? We plan to feature numismatics in future gallery talks and lectures.


Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? Not at present.



ID and public enquiries


Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries? A Collections Development Team is in place until June 2020, the curator and museum officer aid in identifying objects and enquiries. Subject specialisms in museum are archaeology, zoology, ethnography and social history.



Curatorial knowledge


Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas? No.


Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? Yes, via the Money and Medals Network.


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

2018-9508 Frankin medal DSC_0193 Stromness Logo Stromness 1 Stromness 2 Cousins_Royal Oak