National Award for Money Matters!

Matt Ball and James Arnold receive the Collections Trust Award from Alex Dawsonj

The Harris Museum & Art Gallery has won a prestigious Collections Trust Award for our innovative Money Matters project to better catalogue, display and interpret the 12,500 coins in its collection.

Funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund and the
Friends of the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, judges said that Money Matters, which won the ‘Collections Practice’ award, was ‘a solid project with creative engagement and long-term legacy’. Money Matters Project Officer, Matt Ball, and Curator of History, James Arnold, collected the award at the Collections Trust’s Annual Conference at the Natural History Museum in London.


The Money Matters project has transformed the way that the Harris uses its 12,500 item numismatics collection which includes Roman and British coin hoards, individual coins from around the world, medals, tokens and paper money.


Executive Member for Leisure & Culture at Preston City Council, Councillor Veronica Afrin said, “We are delighted that the hard work of Harris staff to develop and deliver this innovative project has been recognised with the national Collections Trust Collections Practice Award. Money Matters has successfully challenged the idea that coins are “small and boring” with a range of fascinating displays and well-attended events for adults and children, focusing on highlights of the collection such as Viking silver from the remarkable Cuerdale Hoard, mysterious Roman hoards and even money from the 1920s Weimar Republic in Germany. Staff have also been able to offer volunteering opportunities to University students in disciplines as varied as archaeology, creative writing and photography.”

Head of Arts & Heritage at Preston City Council, Alex Walker, said, “Thanks to funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund and the Friends of the Harris and the hard work of our staff, the project is on track to achieve its aims of improving the storage and condition of the coins, helping Harris staff better understand and display the coin collection, enabling young people to learn from the coin collection and supporting fellow North West museums with similar collections by sharing good practice.”

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