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The Money and Medals Network: A New Era

By Campbell Orchard & Suzanne Frey-Kupper

The Money and Medals Network was established in 2009 with funding from Arts Council England (ACE) to support and advise museums and other institutions in the care, use and interpretation of numismatic collections. ACE funding for the project ended in September 2021.

Here you can see all partner collections of the Money and Medals Network.

Here you can see all partner collections of the Money and Medals Network.

Located since its creation at the British Museum, the Money and Medals Network moved in September 2022 to the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick, marking the start of an exciting new chapter for the Network. On the international stage, Warwick’s Department of Classics and Ancient History is one of the strongest numismatic research hubs and is well-placed to host this important resource for museums.

The Warwick Department of Classics and Ancient History is home to three full-time members of staff (Prof. Kevin Butcher, Prof. Suzanne Frey-Kupper, and Associate Prof. Clare Rowan) and several postdoctoral researchers who specialise in numismatics (currently Dr Eleni Papaephthymiou). In addition to this, the department benefits from the expertise of Emeritus Reader Stanley Ireland and Honorary Associate Fellows Dr Marguerite Spoerri Butcher, and Professor Chris Howgego of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, as well as a range of international Associate Fellows. The department hosts a specialist numismatic library, teaching collection, and spaces dedicated to working and training within the numismatic hub. The department covers all aspects of ancient numismatics, including studies of iconography, metallurgy and scientific analysis, metrology, finds, the economy, numismatics in the Renaissance, and paranumismatics.

The new Project Officer for the Money and Medals Network is Campbell Orchard, who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role. Campbell is pursuing a PhD on the Roman Mint of Tarsus at Warwick University (2021 – 2025), focusing on the production, circulation, and use of Roman coins from Tarsus, shedding light on the city’s economic and political history. He has also worked with Paul Grigsby for the WCN Public Engagement with Museums Project, photographing a Roman denarii coin hoard. Before beginning his PhD, Campbell completed a Master’s degree at Warwick University in 2020- 2021, where he studied epigraphy and numismatics, focusing on modern collecting practices and coin hoards. Campbell has also been heavily involved with undergraduate classics courses, taking seminars and workshops. Before his Warwick studies, Campbell completed a Master’s degree at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, where he examined the personification of Roma on Roman Republic coins. He worked on the Victoria University of Wellington antiquities collection, and was also a summer scholar at the RD Milns Antiquities Museum, where he worked on digitising the museum’s collection. Campbell is deeply passionate about making numismatics more accessible and engaging for general audiences, particularly through museums and exhibitions. His experience managing and curating the Warwick Classics department coin collection has given him a solid understanding of best practices in numismatic display and interpretation. Campbell brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Money and Medals network and is excited to contribute to its mission of promoting the study and appreciation of numismatics. Campbell is supervised by Prof. Suzanne Frey-Kupper, who is line managing Campbell and has joined the steering committee.

Suzanne Frey-Kupper is a distinguished scholar and professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick, where she teaches Numismatics, Classical Archaeology, and various topics related to Ancient History and Ancient Visual and Material Culture. Her groundbreaking research primarily focuses on coin finds from the Western Mediterranean and the north-western provinces of the Roman Empire.

With a vast array of published works on coins from excavations in Rome, Sicily, Carthage, Aventicum, and many other sites, Frey-Kupper has reconstructed monetary history and assessed coins in their historical, economic, and wider cultural contexts. Her contributions to the field of numismatics are invaluable.

Frey-Kupper chaired the foundation of the Swiss Working Group for the Study of Coin Finds, which led to the creation of the Swiss Inventory of Coin Finds (SICF) hosted at the Swiss Academy for Human and Social Sciences, equivalent to the Portable Antiquities Scheme in the UK. As part of her duties, she has created and edited the SICF’s volumes IFS on coin finds and the Bulletin IFS, based on the SICF database.

Additionally, Frey-Kupper has worked as a coin expert for various museums and archaeological services. She currently serves as the curator of Warwick’s Classics Department’s Antiquities and Coin collection. She began lecturing at the University of Zurich in 2007 before joining the University of Warwick in 2011.

The Money and Medals Network aims to uphold Henry Flynn’s exceptional work, who gained extensive knowledge about each collection and offered practical advice on matters such as collection care and display, where appropriate. In-person communication was critical in establishing lasting partnerships and gaining a tangible understanding of each collection. Henry’s visits often inspired subsequent numismatic projects, including cataloguing and identification, storage enhancements, or integrating collections into other public engagement activities. The Network intends to revive these visits and collaborate with members to create training programs that benefit them while providing much-needed support to museums needing assistance.

Our first training day is being hosted in conjunction with the Warwick Numismatics Day on the 15th and 16th of June. The MMN training day on the 15th will allow professionals within the industry to Network and soundboard their experiences with numismatics, whilst also offering practical training sessions on coin identification and cataloguing, storage and display. These sessions will be led by experts in the field and will provide participants with hands-on experience in working with numismatic objects. The day will close with a talk by our keynote speaker, Clive Stannard, Brussels, who will present a paper evaluating monetary supply and whether dies were reproduced manually in antiquity, illustrating how close observation of coins contributes to understanding ancient technologies, coin production and economy. The 16th is dedicated to the Warwick Numismatics Day, which is being reintroduced after several years of hiatus. The theme of the day is imitation coinage. This day will interest members as it will potentially shed light on imitation coinage present in UK museum collections and the stories that can be told with them.

The Money and Medals Network is excited to embark on this new chapter and looks forward to continuing its work in supporting and advising museums and other member institutions.

For all future enquiries, or to be included in Network emails, please contact Campbell Orchard via email.

This article was first published in the Money&Medals Network Newsletter 85, April 2023, p. 4–5. Courtesy of MMN.

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