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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.

Sestertius, Hadrian, minted in 117 AD
Denar, Sabina, minted in 117–136 AD
Aureus, minted in 119–121 AD

Digitization

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.

Sponsoring

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, General Director

Klaus Vondrovec, Supervisor

Information

Donations to the Kunsthistorisches Museum are tax-deductible.

Recipient: KHM-Museumsverband
IBAN: AT70 6000 0005 1014 1679
BIC: BAWAATWW
Payment reference:
Bruegel unter der Lupe

For more information please contact Bärbel Holaus:
+43 1 52524 - 4035 oder unter spenden@khm.at.

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