Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Online Catalogue of the Münzkabinett of the Staatliche Museen in Berlin

Since I started this webpage, there has been a link to the online catalogue of the Münzkabinett of the Staatliche Museen in Berlin.

Part of the collection of the numismatic collection of the Staatliche Museen in Berlin is available online. The quality of the images is very high and one can enlarge both obverses and reverses. Detailed descriptions and notes also accompany the images. There are multiple ways to search the collection. Previously the interface was only in German, but Dr. Karsten Dahmen of the Münzkabinett has just recently informed me that they have launched an interface in English, which can be accessed by clicking "en" on the top right corner of the start page. To visit the website and begin learning about Berlin's wonderful collection click here.
(Image: Obverse of a sestertius of Titus depicting the Colosseum flanked by the Meta Sudans and the porticus of the Baths of Titus. Münzkabinett of the Staatliche Museen in Berlin, object number 18200446.)



The site is visually impressive and the search works well although there are only 5195 coins in the database. Your post inspired me to look around the web site. The Staatliche Museen page says there are 500,000 coins in the collection including 102,000 Greek. What I hadn't noticed before is the "Adopt a coin" page. For €20 per coin a person can get the coins that aren't in the online catalog photographed and documented.

Just last month I corresponded with Dr. Bernhard Weisser about a gorgoneion coin of Krithote in Thrace I wanted an image of but he convinced me that it depicted Demeter rather than Medusa. He didn't suggest that I adopt it! Perhaps some folks will think the €20 is mercenary but it seems reasonable to me and I see many coin dealers have already contributed. Are the records of unpictured Greek coins in an internal database searchable by obverse and reverse types?


Dear Ed,

I am told that there are now 7272 records, and growing, in the database. As you point out the "adopt a coin" program is very useful. I am told there is no internal database, but you can send a message to the coin cabinet to inquire about a particular type. Contact information should be available on their website.

All best,