MONEY & MEDALS
tel: +44 (0)1242 387488
Contact details: Benedict Sayers – Assistant Producer (Collections & Interpretation); Ann-Rachael Harwood – Cultural Producer (Human History)
Date of visit: 6 March 2020
Nature and extent of collection
5,000 pieces. The museum’s statement of purpose is: “To preserve and develop Cheltenham’s unique collections for the future – and to make them accessible to an increasingly broad public in a way that communicates, educates and inspires.”
Our full collections development policy is available to read on our website: https://www.cheltenhammuseum.org.uk/collection/how-acquisitions-are-made/
In relation to numismatics the collection currently holds British and foreign coins from the Roman Empire to the 21st century; British tokens, medals and military decorations from the 17th century onwards with a direct relationship to Cheltenham. Currently the only additions to the collections for consideration would be tokens, medals and military decorations relating to Cheltenham and its inhabitants. Although some numismatics enter the collection via archaeological depositions from the local area.
All numbers below are estimated
Greek coins: 5
Iron Age coins: 5
Roman coins: 1200
British coins: 1,000
British tokens: 1,000
European coins: around 1,800 for all world coins, not currently divided by continent
Modern (1700-present) and paper money: 25
Medals (commemorative or military): 200
Other: badges, toys and money boxes are currently stored within the social history collections
Specific strengths: Roman, British and world coinage; locally relevant commemorative medals.
Library: we have a small number of numismatic volumes including a few copies of Medal Yearbook circa 2010 as well as Seaby’s catalogue of British coins, and Roman Coins and their Values both circa1960s.
Database used: Adlib.
Proportion of collection on database: around 17%
How much detail in database entries? This varies.
Are images incorporated? Yes where possible, approximately 100 currently have photographs.
Is the database accessible to the public? Yes, through our website.
Is the database publicly accessible online? Yes, part of the database is online (So far 22 coins and 20 medals have been made accessible online although we aim to add to it each week) and you can find it through the collections section of the website: http://agmlib.cheltenham.gov.uk/home; you can find the page via https://www.cheltenhammuseum.org.uk/collections/
Are there permanent numismatic displays? There are no permanent money-focused displays, numismatics instead feature as small parts of larger displays alongside other material sucha as Roman coins in our Roman Britain case, medals in a military case and so on.
Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes, in small quantities throughout the galleries as explained above.
Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? Yes, we have one temporary exhibition gallery for touring exhibitions, and one gallery for yearlong collections exhibitions.
Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? No, but we have had money-themed case in our Treasures from the Archives exhibition running from June 2019-June 2020.
Access to the collection
Is there a study facility? No.
Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided? No equipment other than lighting is provided by the museum.
Public engagement with numismatic collection
Is there a handling collection? Yes.
Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? Yes, soome coins are used in our Anglo-Saxon education sessions.
Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? Yes – the Willersey Hoard and the Winchcombe Hoard (both on currently on display) have recently featured in object talks.
Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? Yes - our education team have a number of loan boxes that go out to schools which include both real and replica coins.
ID and public enquiries
Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries? No.
Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas? Yes, our Assistant Producer (Collections & Interpretation) has a good working knowledge of identifying and cataloguing Roman coins, but little of other time periods. Our Cultural Producer (Human History) has similar experience with Roman and medieval.
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