Institute of Archaeology, University of Göttingen
Nikolausberger Weg 23
37073 Göttingen

Public exhibition: no

Contact: Dr. Daniel Graepler
Tel.: +49 (0551) 39-7497
E-Mail: Dr. Daniel Graepler

Tel.: 0551 39-7502
E-Mail: Secretary's office

Consisting of more than 40,000 items, Göttingen University’s Münzkabinett, or Numismatic Collection, is Germany’s third largest academic collection of coins and medals (after those of the Universities of Leipzig and Tübingen). The collection came into being in 1773, when the specimens and artefacts belonging to the Göttingen Professor of Natural History and Chemistry Christian Wilhelm Büttner were acquired; amongst these items was a large assemblage of coins. Under the direction of Christian Gottlob Heyne (1729 – 1812), the Royal Academic Museum was set up in Göttingen as a result. A classicist himself, Heyne was particularly interested in the coins of the Roman Republic, but from the very outset the collection also contained post-antiquity coins. A series of donations by the Russian Baron Georg Thomas von Asch (up to 1807), an important benefactor of the ‘Georgia Augusta’, enriched the collection considerably. Amongst many other items was a large group of Russian medals that formed the basis for the Göttingen medal collection. Until the founding of the Museum of the Province of Hanover it was usual for coins discovered in the Kingdom of Hanover to be assigned to the Göttingen collection. In 1842, the collection was ultimately granted its own budget, which lead to its rapid growth; this came about on the initiative of Friedrich Wieseler (1811-1892), in particular. During the 20th century, in addition to the holdings saved from the former Albertus University Königsberg, several sizeable private collections were received, including more than 9,000 German coins of medieval and modern times from the collection and 15,600 coins from modern times, as well as some 1,700 medals and tokens. In addition to these, the holdings include approximately 4,000 lead copies of coins from the modern period and numerous coin casts. Rarely found items, for example in the area of Greek bronze coins, attract much attention to the Göttingen Numismatic Collection on the part of international researchers. Due to its remarkably broad thematic range, the collection also offers outstanding material resources for use in academic teaching.

Daniel Graepler

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