The Harris Museum has a nationally important 12,500 item strong numismatic collection which was formerly underused. The Money Matters Project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation started in 2014 has transformed how this fantastic collection is used. As well as repacking and cataloguing the collection, the project has allowed the Harris to network with other museums and share expertise.
As this project draws to a close, a brand new creative teaching and learning resource commissioned by the Harris Museum’s Money Matters project and Curious Minds has been made available to download from Museum Development North West’s (MDNW) blog, providing a link between museums and those who would like to know more about how to use their collections creatively. To help explain how this new resource can help teachers and those working in learning environments, James Arnold, History Curator at the Harris, introduces it:
“The resource is aimed at museum practitioners and teachers who want to find out more about the numismatic (coin and medal) collections in the North West and how to bring them to life to inspire pupil learning and engagement. The resource contains:
- An introduction to numismatic (coin and medal) collections and what they are
- Ideas for creative learning using numismatic collections
- Creative ideas and a curriculum map
- Arts Award using coins and medals
- In practice examples in the North West
- Links to other resources
In 2013 MDNW carried out a small consultation with museums. The results were clear – there was a huge willingness by museums to use their numismatic collections if they could, but holding them back was their lack of confidence in knowing what they had and how to use it. In recent years museum staff and volunteers have struggled with how to make collections relevant and accessible against a backdrop of ever diminishing resources and expert knowledge leaving the sector. Yet the mapping work undertaken by the Money & Medals Network has shown the large number of numismatic collections held by the region’s museums, some of them being part of the founding collections of museums with their roots in the 19th century.
To download a copy from MDNW’s blog, Click Here.