More than a Token Visit

We have enjoyed a dynamic and thought-provoking week at South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, CHAC near Yeovil.

We welcomed Henry Flynn from the British Museum. Henry is the main contact for the Money and Medals Network co-funded by Arts Council England. This project has two aims. Firstly, for Henry to visit Museums across the United Kingdom to a have a ‘sample view’ of any coins, tokens and banknotes, known as Numismatics and add details to a national Museum database on the Money and Medals website (www.moneyandmedals.org.uk).  Therefore, in theory, if any Museum from Penzance to Inverness (two places Henry has visited!) wishes to know about coins in another collection, they can do so via the website. This is also useful to share knowledge and experience of the type of coins held by a collection and the types of storage used.

Secondly, Henry organises Numismatics training days, also funded by the Arts Council England for a wide variety of Museum volunteers and staff to receive the latest updates on coin, token and banknote conservation, cataloguing and documentation as well as news on new discoveries.

These are also relayed by the regular Money & Medals Newsletter – the latest copy of which was among our calendars and leaflets.

Henry was impressed with CHAC’s selection of Roman coins, Somerset Trade Tokens and the Pearson Medals, which could be expected under the Yeovil and South Somerset Collecting Policy. Rather more surprisingly was the Chinese knife money – with an index card entry of “The Pinney Collection” – early benefactors to the Museum collection.

Henry’s visit also highlighted the good level of storage at CHAC including resin cases in bespoke drawers with silica gel to indicate moisture levels and accurate documentation, which helped to locate objects quickly and enabled them to be replaced accurately as well. The one room for improvement lay with the coin envelopes as one box contained coins in non-acid free envelopes. However, a condition check revealed little deterioration and we also have 1000 acid-free coin envelopes ready to solve this issue.

Above all, on his first visit to Yeovil, Henry was impressed by the surrounding countryside on our drive from and back to Yeovil Junction Station. We aim to keep in touch as a useful network link for my AMA Course and to arrange possible numismatic training courses in the South West of England through the Somerset Museum Development Officer.

On Tuesday, our team of Yeovil College Degree Students helped us prepare for our annual exhibition – as the aim is for them to choose the objects and prepare them for exhibition! “Student’s Choice”  is the working title and will focus not only on the objects they have chosen, but also the reasons for their choices.

The students also helped us to prepare a display for National Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday 27 January 2017.

In a busy week – Wednesday was our Volunteering Day and Thursday, our first Archaeological Finds Afternoon of 2017 with the Somerset Finds Liaison Officer.

Henry created a page for the Community Heritage Access Centre on the Money and Medals website which can be found here:

http://www.moneyandmedals.org.uk/col-community-heritage-centre/4582494401

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Henry Flynn from the British Museum enjoying some of the coin, token, banknote and medal collection at CHAC. Henry is the main contact for the Money and Medals Network co-funded by Arts Council England.

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