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Hadrian goes online

Digitization of the Roman Coins of Hadrian in the KHM

Holding over 2,800 Roman Imperial coins from the reign of Hadrian (117–138), the Vienna Coin Cabinet is the largest public collection of this emperor in the world, larger than those in Berlin, London, New York or Paris. In 1875 there were already 1,400 coins of Hadrian, over 900 more originate from the collection of Ernst Herzfelder (1865–1923), who owned a brewery in Wiener Neudorf; parts of his collection came to the museum after his death. Another 214 specimens have been acquired from the hoard of Erla / Lower Austria, which was unearthed in 1966. The collection is completed by 80 contemporary forgeries

The 2nd volume of the Roman Imperial Coinage (RIC) covers the period from the Flavians to Hadrian and was published in 1926; a new edition is about to come out. 350 coins from our collection in Vienna will be pictured in this new RIC volume, because they are either unique or the best-preserved specimens known.

It is the goal of the Coin Cabinet to put the complete inventory onto its web-database. From this website, all coins will be linked into the portal Online Coins of the Roman Empire, where the holdings of all large coin collections in the world are brought together.

Sesterz, Hadrian, geprägt 117 n. Chr.
Denar, Sabina, gesprägt 117-136 n. Chr.
Aureus, geprägt 119-121 n. Chr.


The workflow of digitizing coins involves various different steps: each coin must be photographed, and the images processed and linked to a digital record. Next, the weight and other technical data must be taken, and also the numismatic data. This requires an individual description of each specimen as well as references to current literature. Often provenances from collections or finds of the 19th century can be restored. After thorough review, all data will go online.


Groundwork, mainly photography and image processing, commenced in 2015, but the scientific part of the numismatic data is yet to be covered. The necessary worktime is 7.5 months, and the total costs are estimated at EUR 31,000,-. We hope to raise this amount by donations and through our godparenthood-programme for coins. Your donation is helping significantly to make the largest collection of Roman coins of Hadrian available to the scientific community as well as a public audience, free of charge and accessible from any place in the world.

Please aid us in this important enterprise!
We are grateful for your support.

Sabine Haag, Director General
Klaus Vondrovec, Supervisor

It's worth it...

Your name will be displayed on our electronic roll of honour for this restoration project and on the Bruegel website.

Donate €100 and you will receive an invitation to our biannual ‘Art Patrons’ reception hosted by Director-General Sabine Haag, where you will be among the first to hear the latest about our upcoming Bruegel exhibition.

Donate €500 and you will be invited to a talk by our Bruegel experts.

Donate €1000 and your gift will be listed in the exhibition catalogue, and we will invite you and your guests to a guided tour of the Picture Gallery led by one of our experts.


Your donation is tax-deductible

account holder: KHM-Museumsverband
IBAN: AT70 6000 0005 1014 1679
reference: Bruegel hautnah

For more information, please contact us
at +43 1 52524 - 4032
or email

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