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Special Collections, University of Leeds Library

Special Collections

The Brotherton Library

University of Leeds




tel: +44 (0)113 343 5518




email: [email protected]


Twitter: @LULGalleries




Instagram: @lulgalleries



Contact details: Joanne Fitton (Head of Special Collections);

Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis


Date of visit: 12 August 2019


Nature and extent of collection


15,000 pieces. Not actively collecting. The Collection contains coins from three main sources: 1. the Winchester Cabinet of c. 4,000 coins (Greek, Roman, English) collected in the 1700s and purchased by the University in 1953. 2. The Thackray Collection of c. 13,000 coins (Greek, Roman (Imperial and Provincial), British, East Asian, British tokens donated by Mr Paul Thackray 1980s–1990s. 3. University Collection, purchased and donated. Strengths in medieval and early modern English coins.


To learn more about the Winchester Cabinet, please click here:



All numbers below are estimated


Greek coins: 1,600

Iron Age coins: 415

Roman coins: 6,000

British coins: 2,000

British tokens: 1,500

European coins: 1,300

Asian coins: 2,000

Middle Eastern coins: 500

Modern and paper money: 500

Medals (commemorative or military): 260 (mainly held separately from the Coin Collection in the Liddle Collection)

Paranumismatica: 10


Specific strengths: The collection has strengths in the Classical period, particularly Roman, and seventeenth-century Yorkshire tokens.


Library: Numismatics book stock not held within Special Collections but within the main University Library (Brotherton Library site). It features a large, general numismatic collection which includes 1,000 monographs and 27 journals runs, with specific strengths in medieval Europe and the Tudor period.





Database used: EMu


Proportion of collection on database: 25%


How much detail in database entries? N/A


Are images incorporated? Yes, around 2,000 coin records include images.


Is the database accessible to the public? Yes, many coin records are available through the online catalogue.


Is the database publicly accessible online? Yes:






















Are there permanent numismatic displays? No.


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes. Coins are integrated into the general displays in the ‘Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery.’


Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? Yes.


Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? Yes, there have been previous numismatic displays in the 1970s, including one on Tudor coins, and another on Ming banknotes.



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? N/A


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? N/A


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? Numismatic expertise has recently been provided by our Numismatics Project Officer, Simon Glenn, who has now left the Library. Dr Jonathan Jarrett, a lecturer at the University, has previously provided his expertise on later Roman and medieval coins.


Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? Yes – we have received very helpful assistance from York Museums Trust and Leeds Museums and Galleries. Academics with numismatic expertise work within the University.


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

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