MONEY & MEDALS
St. Mary’s Lodge
tel: +44 (0)1904 687687
Contact details: Andrew Woods
Date of visit: 22 January 2016
Nature and extent of collection
45,000 pieces. York Museums Trust was established in 2002 to run the accredited museums and galleries owned by the City of York Council. The Trust runs five sites; York Castle Museum, Yorkshire Museum, York Art Gallery, York St Mary's and the Museum Gardens. The Trust’s Mission is to cherish and enhance the collections, buildings and gardens entrusted to us, presenting and interpreting them as a stimulus for learning, a provocation to curiosity and a source of inspiration and enjoyment for all.
All numbers below are estimated
Greek coins: 50
Iron Age coins: 50
Roman coins: 15,000
British coins (Early Medieval (410-1066)): 6,200
British coins (Medieval (1066-1485)): 3,000
British coins (Post Medieval (1485-1660)): 4,000
British coins (Modern (1660-present)): 6,000
European coins: 2,000
Asian coins: 300
Middle Eastern coins: 100
African coins: 200
American coins: 600
British tokens: 5,000
Paper money: 300
Military medals: 850
Commemorative medals: 650
Credit cards: Fewer than 50
Other: Fewer than 50
Specific strengths: The coin collection is largely formed of material which is well provenanced. It comprises a very significant holding of Roman coinage, most of which comes from excavations in York or from hoards around the county. The Early Medieval coinage includes the reference collection of stycas and a strong holding of material struck in York. This is matched in the Medieval and Tudor periods where coinage of the York mint is well represented. In addition, the coinage of the Civil War period is strongly represented with several sizable hoards forming the bulk of the material.
The collection of 17th, 18th and 19th century tokens is exceptional in being close to comprehensive for Yorkshire and very widely representative of material across the rest of the country.
The medal collection is comprised of military, commemorative and fine art medals. The military medals are a small but very important collection which includes some early nineteenth-century medals in addition to three Victoria Crosses. The commemorative and fine art medals reflect the social history and artistic output of York.
Library: Around 600 books. The library’s strengths are as a reference library for the identification of British material. Major reference works for all coins found in this country are present but books covering numismatics from other periods (e.g. Greek) or other parts of the world are largely absent.
We have some exceptional books within the collection including a number of nineteenth-century works of some importance. There is also a small seventeenth-century pamphlet written by Archbishop Sharp about English money.
Database used: ADLIB
Proportion of collection on database: 55%
How much detail in database entries? Normally a fairly high level of detail, incorporating the following:
Are images incorporated? Yes, 8000 records (20%) include images.
Is the database accessible to the public? Yes, via our website.
Is the database publicly accessible online? Yes, http://www.yorkmuseumstrust.org.uk/collections/
Are there permanent numismatic displays? There are no numismatic galleries or specific numismatic exhibitions.
Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes, numismatics is incorporated into most permanent displays.
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? Equipment can be provided with advance notification.
Public engagement with numismatic collection
Is there a handling collection? Yes, collections are a part of our ‘Hands on Here!’ volunteer sessions which are run on gallery. Medals and coins are an important part of these.
Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? Yes, they are part of most of our school workshops.
Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? There are a regular series of gallery talks with normally one numismatic talk per month.
Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? There is coin-rubbing in our roman gallery.
ID and public enquiries
Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries? Yes, we host the PAS scheme but will also accept other enquiries for identification.
Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas? Yes, Andrew Woods is curator of numismatics. His role is to work with a wide range of numismatic materials.
Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? There are connections with local specialists. There is formal support through the Money and Medals network and informal advice can be sought from colleagues in other institutions with a wider range of expertise (Particularly the British Museum and Fitzwilliam museum).
If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums? Very much so, anyone from across Yorkshire is more than welcome to seek support or advice.