Netherlands goes online with national coin collection

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by Björn Schöpe
translated by Annika Backe

November 17, 2016 – Having been closed to the public, the coin collection of the Netherlands is finally accessible again, at least partially and online. This is a significant step after the disastrous cut-backs on Dutch numismatics in recent times. 

Privatization aimed at strengthening coin collections

Let’s remember: In Phase 1, the Dutch believed to do even the most important coin collections a favor through privatization. In 2007, the mint museum and the Royal coin cabinet were merged with the coin collection of the Netherland Bank into the “Geldmuseum Utrecht”. This museum was intended to become increasingly self-sufficient. That didn’t work, though. On January 1, 2014 the museum closed down because the state didn’t grant subsidies anymore. The collection was managed by the Dutch mint on a provisional basis. 

The Dutch mint is sold

Phase 2: A fatal transaction got the Dutch mint into trouble. In April 2016, the Finance Minister announced that the mint was going to be sold, thus privatized. The National Numismatic Collection (NNC) was transferred to the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank, DNB).
Although there are still no museum exhibitions on display, in the summer of 2016 the bank announced its plans to make the collection online accessible bit by bit. 

This is how the entries currently look like: in Dutch and without any images.

Today, the website of the DNB features a numismatic database, that’s true. If you click on National Numismatic Collection, you currently get almost 22,000 hits with descriptions – but, for the moment, in Dutch only. And instead of any images you look at wildcard characters. 

It is to be hoped that the complete vast treasure of Dutch numismatics will be online accessible soon. The approach is a step in the right direction. But, apparently, the dream of a new museum for the numismatic riches of the Netherlands still remains a dream. 

We reported on the closure of the Geldmuseum Utrecht.

Also in our archive you can find an article on the Dutch Mint being sold.