For decades, University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries has had the largest and most important academic coin collection in Canada, the Nickle Numismatic Collection. This rich teaching and research resource comprises over 16,000 ancient Greek and Roman coins, 7,000 medieval coins as well as early modern coins, bank notes and non-Western currencies. It also includes significant holdings of related artifacts dating from the 7th century BCE.
Now, Nickle Galleries is also home to an extensive library curated by the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) and consisting of more than 5,000 items. The collection includes reference and rare books, manuscripts, periodicals, and ephemera relating to coins, medals, tokens, and bank notes. It covers ancient and modern historic periods, countries and continents, in a number of different languages.
Many of the Nickle’s existing holdings were donated by the Nickle’s founder, Carl Nickle, and local collectors and numismatists Lionel Conn and Paul De Groot. With the addition of the RCNA collection, University of Calgary is now home to the largest, most comprehensive and wide-ranging numismatic library in the country.
“The currency collection and its library augment the students’ in-class learning experience,” says Marina Fischer, curator of numismatics at Nickle Galleries. “They provide an alternative approach to the development of critical thinking and research skills. The collection makes UCalgary a hub for numismatics expertise and the study of money.”
This acquisition was possible because of a generous donation from the Calgary Numismatic Society (CNS), an important community partner.
Earlier this year, the CNS also donated $50,000 to create an annual scholarship for a student studying numismatics at University of Calgary.