University of Nottingham Museum

Nottingham Lakeside Arts

University Park




tel: +44 (0)115 951 4815







Contact details: Clare Pickersgill (Keeper);

Anja Rohde (Collections Assistant with particular numismatic knowledge); Mark Laurie (Collections Manager)


Date of visit: 30 July 2015


Nature and extent of collection


2800 pieces. The University of Nottingham Museum holds collections of regional archaeology dating from the Palaeolithic to the Post Medieval period.  The collections are mainly from Nottinghamshire but also other counties in the East Midlands and wider parts of Britain.


The Museum was established in 1933 when Felix Oswald donated his collections of Samian pottery and finds from the Roman site of Margidunum at Bingham, Nottinghamshire but following a long period of closure was reopened in 2008.


Particular strengths include the Palaeolithic and Neolithic collections; Iron Age ceramics (pottery and salterns) from East Midlands sites; Roman collections  including material from Ancaster, the Felix Oswald reference collection of Samian pottery and his excavation archives from Margidunum in Nottinghamshire; Early Mediaeval pottery from the kilns at Torksey, Lincolnshire; pottery reference collections and fabric type series of pottery.

The Museum also has smaller collections of objects from other countries including South Africa, Egypt, Cyprus and Italy.



All numbers below are estimated


Greek coins: c.75 coins, including silver and copper alloy coins of various denominations, issued by a variety of Hellenistic and Alexandrian states

Iron Age coins: c.50 coins, including 2 gold coins, a number of silver units, copper alloy stater cores etc.; coins represent a number of different Iron Age tribes

Roman coins: c.2300 coins, including:

- Coins which have been identified as probably parts of 2 hoards: 1228 coins of the Calverton (1959 and/or 1960) hoard of 3rd century copper alloy radiates, mostly contemporary copies; 358 coins of the Besthorpe (1964) hoard of 4th century copper alloy nummi

- Site finds from Margidunum, Notts and Ancaster, Lincs (there are probably more site finds as yet unidentified within the excavation archives)

- A single aes rude segment

- A nice collection of c.25 republican denarii

- A good representative collection of imperial silver and copper alloy coinage

British coins: c.140 coins, including:

- 12 pennies of Cnut of York, probably from the Cuerdale hoard

- A handful of high mediaeval hammered pennies, including 30 short cross coins of John and Henry III, and c.15 Edwardian long cross coins; Also an Irish penny of John, a penny of William I of Scotland and 2 Irish pennies of Edward I

- A handful of post-mediaeval and modern coins, up to Victoria

British tokens: c.80 tokens, including

- A single 17th century trade token

- A nice collection of xxx 18th century trade tokens, commemorative medals and 19th century advertising tokens

European coins: Very little – 5 silver deniers of the Crusader state of Cyprus; a Danish 2 skilling of Christian V, some Swiss tokens

Asian coins: A collection of small denomination Indian coins from the British Imperial era

Middle Eastern coins: A silver crusader denier of Amaury I of Anjou, king of Jerusalem

American coins: Very little – one or two colonial British coins of America

Modern money: See note under ‘British coins’ above

Medals (commemorative or military): 2 c ommemorative medals

Other: Some fragments of Iron Age pellet moulds from Old Sleaford in Lincolnshire


Specific strengths: Roman coinage.


Library: A small range of books covering general numismatic subjects.





Database used: MODES.xml


Proportion of collection on database: 100% on database, thanks to a documentation and curation project over the summer of 2014.


How much detail in database entries? Most are identified to type.


Are images incorporated? Each coin has been photographed (obverse and reverse) as part of photographs of full trays of coins. These photographs are of sufficient resolution to allow details of individual coins to be seen. The photographs are not yet incorporated onto the database records but can be easily accessed by museum staff.


Is the database accessible to the public? Not at present; staff are happy to help with enquiries.


Is the database publicly accessible online? Not at present.





Are there permanent numismatic displays? There are currently no dedicated numismatic displays.


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Numismatic material is incorporated into almost all displays: Iron Age, Roman (personal adornment and religion), Early Mediaeval, Mediaeval and Post-Mediaeval.


Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? Yes.


Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? None so far.



Access to the collection


Is there a study facility? Appointments can be made by arrangement.


Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided? Yes, measuring callipers, scales and illuminated magnifiers are available.



Public engagement with numismatic collection


Is there a handling collection? Yes, there are a number of replicas and casts of coins; original items are also used for handling.


Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? Coins are used for teaching within the Classics Department of the University; handling sessions on the Romans usually include one or two coins.


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? Yes, coins have recently been included in a number of public events, including ‘behind the scenes’ tours and coin-specific events run by Anja Rohde.


Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? Not at present.



ID and public enquiries


Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries? Yes, museum staff are happy to help with public enquiries, where in-house expertise allows.



Curatorial knowledge


Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas? Anja Rohde is an ex-Finds Liaison Officer so has experience of identifying British coin finds, as well as a more developed knowledge and personal interest, particularly in the broad flan pennies of the late Saxon and early Norman periods.


Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? Yes, Anja has contacts through the PAS network for British coin finds; members of the Numismatic Society for Nottinghamshire have also been happy to help in the past.


If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums? Yes, we are happy to share expertise with other museums.

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