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The Museum of Somerset

Taunton Castle

Castle Green




tel: +44 (0)1823 255088      




email: [email protected]

The Museum of Somerset

Contact details: Steve Minnitt

Email: scminnit @


Date of visit: 31 October 2012


Nature and extent of collection


All numbers below are estimated


Greek: 50 coins

Iron Age: 120 coins

Roman: 77,602. (Hoard: 68,800; Other 8,800)

British coins: 3,800 coins

British tokens: 3,000 tokens

European: 2,200 coins

Asian: 700 coins

Middle Eastern: 50 coins

African: 50 coins

American (USA and South America): 200 coins

Oceania: 50 coins

Modern and Paper Money: 220 notes

Medals: 900 medals (excl. military)


Library: has a numismatic library including most standard works on Roman Imperial coins, medieval coins, British trade tokens etc. (c.130 books).


Specific strengths:

- Somerset related


Database used: Open Insight (currently tendering for a new system).


Proportion of collection on database: 99% excluding the Frome hoard.


How much detail in database entries? Good.


Are images incorporated? No.


Is the database accessible to the public? Not at present.


Is the database publicly accessible online? What is the URL if so? No





Are there permanent numismatic displays? No.


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes - Iron Age coins, Roman hoards from Shapwick, Frome and West Bagborough, a selection of Somerset mint pennies and the Taunton Civil War hoard.


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? Yes.



Public engagement with numismatic collection


Is there a handling collection? A limited one used by the FLO.


Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? No.


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? Yes


Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? Coin striking is occasionally part of talks and also at public events.



ID and public enquiries


Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries? Yes, and the Somerset FLO is based at the museum.



Curatorial knowledge


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

Steve Minnitt – wide ranging knownledge of British numismatics.

Laura Burnett – Somerset FLO.

Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? Has good relations with BM Dept of Coins and Medals.


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

Yes, there is a willingness and it happens when needed. Capacity to do more than give ad hoc support is severely limited.

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