Elvet Hill


County Durham



tel: +44 (0)191 334 5694



The Oriental Museum, Durham

Contact details: Craig Barclay

Email: c.p.barclay @


Date of visit: 17 March 2011


Nature and extent of collection


All numbers below are estimated:


Greek coins: Electrotypes; worn copper (ex-teaching collection)

Roman (including provincial) coins: Some Republican and imperial denarii (ex-teaching)

Byzantine coins:  A few copper coins (ex-teaching collection)

British coins: Perhaps 6-10 medieval plus special collection (below)

British tokens: c.25 trade tokens

European coins: Some 19th century Portuguese and Moroccan fals

Asian coins: Far East c.2,600; India c.200

Middle Eastern coins: Very few dinars and dirhems

Paper Money: c.12

Medals: 4

Paranumismatica: Not much


Specific strengths: Chinese coins


Library: The Curator has a personal library of many numismatic books, but the University Library is also well-stocked numismatically and these can be borrowed by the Museum.



Database used: Adlib


Proportion of collection on database: 3716 records


How much detail in database entries? Skeletal records, Chinese coins complete.


Are images incorporated? Occasionally.


Is the database accessible to the public? Unknown


Is the database publicly accessible online? What is the URL if so? Unknown





Are there permanent numismatic displays? No


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes


Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? Yes, Palace Green Library


Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? Unknown



Access to the collection

Is there a study facility? Unknown


Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided? Unknown



Public engagement with numismatic collection


Is there a handling collection? Yes, curator's personal collection for teaching purposes.


Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? Yes with undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in Archaeology, Museum Studies and Conservation.


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures?


Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? Yes, the curator runs occasional workshops for metal detectorists and a bi-annual weekend course in numismatics for students working towards NAS Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Underwater and Foreshore Archaeology.



ID and public enquiries


Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries? Unknown



Curatorial knowledge


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

Craig Barclay – generalist, ancient world

Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? Unknown


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