And speaking of early U.S. medals, in a blog post British Museum curator Catherine Eagleton described a recent volunteer project to help photograph items from the Museum's American coins and medals collection. These photographs will enable researchers worldwide to study the pieces without having to travel to London. Not a perfect substitute for viewing the items in person, but still a boon to researchers.
The Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum has a collection of around a million objects – coins, paper money, tokens, credit cards, and other money-related objects, as well as medals and badges. Any objects going on display – including the more than 1,000 objects in the new Citi Money Gallery – need to have been photographed beforehand for our records. But, we’re also working to create images of as many of the objects in our collection as possible, to upload to our collection online.
Working on this database is a hugely important part of the day-to-day work of curators at the Museum, since the better the records and images available online, the more people can access and study our collection, from anywhere in the world.
Recently, we were helped in this task by some volunteers from Citi, who each gave up a day of their time to do what curators sometimes think is a rather boring task: individually photographing both sides of large numbers of objects.
Yiting Shen, co-chair of the Citi London Volunteer Council, explained that voluntary work in a museum had long been an ambition:
‘Thinking that even counting the coins (over a million objects) would be fun, we managed to land a project to photograph and scan objects from the American coins and medals collection. A total of 565 objects were scanned and catalogued over the two days between two groups of six volunteers.’
We chose the American tokens for these two days, since Citi are celebrating their 200th anniversary this year, and the bank began – in 1812 – in the then newly-formed United States of America.
To read the complete article, see:
Recording, and sharing, our money
Wayne Homren, Editor
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