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Roman coin with head of Nero. Latin inscription says NERO CAESAR AUGUSTUSFurman’s Richard Prior Coin Collection is now available online thanks to Furman summer research fellows Rebecca Fulford (’21) and Allyson Stevens (’21). The two fellows, under the direction of Chiara Palladino, Assistant Professor of Classics, collaborated with the Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives and the Digital Collections Center to complete their project.

First, they described each of the 26 coins, including painstakingly measuring/weighing them, and describing the words and imagery on each side of the coin. Then they used the Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) website to identify each one. This was a challenging task considering the poor condition of some of the coins.

Each coin was then digitized by the Digital Collections Center, and the digital photos were married with the robust descriptions. The coins and descriptions are now available on a brand new website showcasing all of Furman’s online coin collections.

Explore Furman’s Coin Collections website.

As a final step, the descriptions were converted to a Linked Open Data (LOD) format and uploaded onto Nomisma, an online database that, using LOD technology, collects coins housed in various collections worldwide, including the British Museum, Harvard, etc. (View a complete list of partners here: http://nomisma.org/datasets).

View examples of Furman’s coins in Nomisma:

This small collection, and the high level of collaboration, is expected to be a model for future digital humanities and digital scholarship projects with the Libraries’ coin collections and other materials.