About Us

The coin collections of the Goethe University are located in the Institute for Archaeological Sciences, and reside partly in the Antiquities Collection of Abteilung I (Classical Archaology) and partly in the collections of Abteilung II (Archaeology and History of the Roman Provinces and the Archaeology of Coins, Money and the Economy in the Ancient World).

The Antiquities Collection of the Goethe University, based at the Classical Archaeology Department of the Institute for Archaeological Sciences includes around 250 ancient coins alongside a rich collection of ancient vases, glass, lamps, terracottas and other objects. Roman coins form the focus of the coin collection, supplemented by a small number of Greek, Jewish, medieval and modern coins. The Antiquities Collection also includes large format plaster casts of ancient sculptures, reliefs and portraits, some of which are displayed in the a dedicated exhibition room. A large stock of historical photos are currently in storage due to space restrictions, and these comprise not only common teaching material but also some rarer topographical pictures, including the as yet unevaluated bequest of photos from Felix Bölte (1863-1943).

The collections of the department for the Archaeology and History of the Roman Provinces and the Archaeology of Coins, Money and the Economy in the Ancient World (Abteilung II) are composed of a wide variety of objects, including ancient coins and plaster casts thereof, as well as roman pottery and casts of gems. Additionally the department has card indices of ancient coins and toreutic, as well as the archive of photos by Ernest Nash.

1) The collection of original coins comprises around 400 ancient coins, which includes a special collection of countermarked coins. The collection of around 20,000 plaster casts of ancient coins largely stem from the research material gathered by the numismatists and ancient historians Richard Delbrück (1874-1957), Clemens Bosch (1899-1955) and Konrad Kraft (1920-1970). The casts were collected from various collections in Germany and abroad and represent a unique form of documentation for numismatic enquiry. The c. 300 casts of ancient gems to be found in the collection were made in the second half of the 19th century in Rome, and represent a collection of particular historical value.

2) The card index of ancient coins currently contains some 400,000 cards, from the earliest electron coins to the coins of the Merovingians and Byzantine emperors, and is one of the most important such collections worldwide. The cards were put together in the 1960s as a research tool, and each consists of a photo and all relevant information regarding the coin in question. A large part of the photos originate from auction catalogues from the late 19th century onwards. The card index of ancient toreutics stems from the legacy of Aladar Radnoti (1913-1972), and contains information and photos regarding many thousands of metal vessels that were found within and outside the roman empire. Part of the index comprises a systematic photographic documentation of  bronze vessels found in Pompeii, which exists nowhere else in this form. The image archive of Ernest Nash/Ernst Nathan (1898-1974) comprises negatives and photos of ancient monuments, contemporary street scenes and portraits of famous individuals.

Project direction: Fleur Kemmers, Anja Klöckner
Editorial: George Watson
Programming: Jürgen Freundel, Ilmenau

Academic staff: George Watson

With the collaboration of various students.

Photos: George Watson (Also recorded in the datasheet of individual objects).
Layout: Goldland Media
Maps: Goldland Media, Jürgen Freundel

This project is in cooperation with the Münzkabinett der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin. The database and online catalogue are based on http://ikmk.smb.museum with shared data administration for the NUMiD-Project for the semantic web.

The digitalisation of the Frankfurt coin collections is also supported by the project "Die universitäre Sammlung als lebendes Archiv ─ Lehre und Forschung im Spannungsfeld von Materialität und Medialität".