BNTA to sponsor Heberden Coin Room

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Posted date: 29 October 2015

The British Numismatic Trade Association has agreed to fund five internships for students to work on the Heberden coin collection, with one internship per year for the next five years. The museum is in the process of digitizing it’s collection to make it freely available to all online.
The coin room have a world-leading smart data-capture system for coins. The system not only produces high quality images, but also automatically captures weight, diameter, die-axis, and images of the tickets, the printed elements of which are then read using optical character recognition. All this data is fed directly into a customized database. They have now installed 3 capture systems in the Coin Study Room, and are using teams of volunteers for data capture. Last year the team captured data on 53,000 coins.
The capture system provides all the data which a scholar visiting the collection would normally record for further cataloguing. Filling out the descriptions of the coins so that the professional numismatist, researcher, interested amateur, and members of the general public can search and analyse this data effectively, and understand what they are seeing, is a major challenge for 300,000 objects. The team at the museum are currently developing a web application to facilitate this process. This should be ready by Christmas. The next step is for them to engage the help of student interns in the process of transcribing existing published catalogues into the web application. This will have the additional benefits of giving the student interns an introduction into what it takes to catalogue coins fully, as well as offering museum experience to help build their CVs.
As the grant comes from the British Numismatic Trade Association the museum would propose to commence in 2016 at the beginning of our British series with the Anglo-Saxon material, brilliantly published by Michael Metcalf.
The British Numismatic Trade Association is proud to aid this work in the field of British numismatics