Guide to the Research Collections

- Numismatics (Billings *KM)

Numismatics (Billings *KM)

This classmark represents actual coins and medals. The library has occasionally received coins, medals, tokens, and paper money. Books on the subject of numismatics are not in the Rare Book Division unless qualified to be there through rarity or imprint date, but are classified in the general collections. The division's holdings of paper money are notable, particularly for colonial and Confederate currency, and include some 270 pieces received with the Myers collection, mounted in eight folio volumes and titled "A Complete Series of the Paper Money Issued by the Continental Congress during the Revolution, with Specimens of Colonial and State Issues." A Chinese mulberry-bark banknote of the Ming dynasty is an isolated rarity.26

About 1,100 coins in the holdings include examples of European, British, colonial American, and Latin American coins, as well as U.S. copper, silver, and gold coinage. There are about 800 medals classified into such categories as Americana, U.S. historical and presidential, New York history, medallion portraits of the kings of France, etc. There is a collection of C. C. Wright's early American work and some 365 copper and brass tokens of the U.S. Civil War period. The paper money collection, numbering an estimated 10,500 pieces, is enumerated below:

 United States (estimated 3,350 pieces)

American colonies1,250
U.S. state banks (counterfeits)50
U.S. college banks (specie currency, mostly from New York State in the 1860s)20
U.S. scrip (mostly of the 1930s) Foreign (estimated 7,150 pieces)20
Belgium (World War I, local currency issued during the German occupation)80
Austria ("Notgeld," emergency paper currency issued in the 1920s)2,800
Germany ("Notgeld," issued 1914-20s)3,350
(scrip, issued early 1930s)620
Miscellaneous (currency from 15 countries)300