National Portrait Gallery

St Martin’s Place




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Contact details: Paul Cox, Curator, Reference Collection


Date of visit: 22 January 2020


Nature and extent of collection


176 pieces. British Portraiture.



All numbers below are estimated


British coins: 7 in Primary Collection; 4 in Reference Collection

British tokens: 7 in Reference Collection

Modern (1700-present) and paper money: 7 in Reference Collection

Medals (commemorative or military): 68 in Primary Collection; 76 in Reference Collection

Paranumismatica: 7 tokens in Reference Collection



Specific strengths: Commemorative medals.


Library: 35,000 books and 70 periodicals with specific strengths in British portraiture.





Database used: MIMSY XG


Proportion of collection on database: 100%


How much detail in database entries? Each record contains details such as sitter, artist, size, material, etc.


Are images incorporated? Yes, 100% of records contain images.


Is the database accessible to the public? Yes.


Is the database publicly accessible online? Yes:





Are there permanent numismatic displays? There is one long-standing numismatic display, but this is not permanent.


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes.


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? No.


Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? No.


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? Yes, as necessary.


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? Relatively little.


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