Numismatics collections

The total collection of nearly 18,000 items includes Greek, Roman, British, European, United States and world coins as well as a substantial collection of medals and tokens. At present very few items are on display, although a documentation project is in progress as preparation for new displays and an online catalogue.

Range of the collection

  • Ancient Greek and Roman (c.3550 items)
  • Early British, including Anglo-Saxon and Viking (c. 1500 items)
  • Later British, European and International (c.6000 items)
  • American (c.1150 items)
  • Liverpool (c. 350 items)
  • Isle of Man (c.300 items)
  • Medals (c.1400 items)
  • Tokens, Tallies, and Miscellaneous (c.3000 items)

The Jackson Collection

The numismatic collection was founded in 1865 with the purchase of 900 British coins and tokens from a local collector, Robert Gibbs Jackson. In 1889 Jackson further enhanced the collection by donating an impressive selection of United States coins and bank notes.

The Nelson Collection

During the May Blitz of 1941, the collection was seriously damaged by the destruction of the main museum building. The collections were rebuilt in 1953 by the purchase of Philip Nelson's collection, an eminent Liverpool antiquarian and collector. This included over 800 Anglo-Saxon and Norman coins, mainly from the York Mint, and part of the massive 'Cuerdale Hoard' of Viking silver discovered on the banks of the River Ribble at Cuerdale, Lancashire in 1840.