About the department
The Heberden Coin Room houses a systematic and comprehensive collection of some three hundred thousand coins and medals. It has an academic staff of seven and is a leading international centre for teaching and research in numismatics and monetary history.
The collection goes back to the seventeenth century, although the Coin Room itself was opened only in 1922. It has been formed by combining the original holdings of the Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum with over sixty former private and college collections.
Since the re-opening of the Museum in late 2009 the Coin Room includes a major new Money Gallery, an environmentally controlled and highly secure Coin Store, a well-appointed Coin Study Room for visitors, and a Seminar Room for numismatic teaching.
Please use the link to the following document to download information on the History of the Department (PDF).
The Heberden Coin Room is now one of the leading international coin cabinets, with particular strengths in the fields of Greek, Roman, Celtic, Byzantine, Medieval, Islamic, Indian, and Chinese coinages. It also holds collections of paper money, tokens, jetons, and commemorative and art medals. Highlights from the collection are featured in Highlights of the Ashmolean and Objects Speak.
The Coin Room enjoys a dual role as a major international cabinet and as a department of the University of Oxford. This fruitful conjunction has helped us to develop the Coin Room into a centre for the teaching of numismatics and monetary history of worldwide significance. Three of the curatorial staff hold lectureships within the University, and all are involved in teaching. We supervise research degrees and teach courses for those undertaking masters' degrees in Classics, Byzantine Studies, Oriental Studies, History, and Archaeology, and the undergraduate degree in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. For information about studying at the University, see http://www.ox.ac.uk/.
The departmental archives include material relating to the collections formerly in the Bodleian and in the Colleges, as well as to the Ashmolean's own collection. The archives also contain material important for the history of numismatics, including the papers of a number of eminent scholars (for example Sir John Evans, Sir Edward (Stanley) Robinson, Derek Allen, J M F May, and Colin Kraay).
The Coin Library is administered by the Sackler Library. The holdings of books and periodicals may be searched online at http://www.lib.ox.ac.uk/olis/. The Library also contains extensive collections of pamphlets and auction and sales catalogues.