Richard Schaefer’s Archive Is Now in the ANS Roman Republican Die Project

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The Roman Republican Die Project (RRDP), under the direction of Dr. Lucia Carbone (ANS) and Prof. Liv Yarrow (Brooklyn College, CUNY) aims at providing a precise quantification of the monetary production during the Roman Republic. The first two phases of this project have been generously funded by the Arete Foundation.

In early 2019 the ANS partnered with Richard Schaefer to make his archive of Roman Republican die studies – likely the largest ever conducted – available to the public. Schaefer had already been working on these die studies for decades, and his archive included more than 300,000 images.

The first part of RRDP consisted of the digital preservation of Schaefer’s archive. A specialized archivist scanned the images preserved in binders (14 binders with 200 estimated pages per binder), and photographed the 105,700 loose coin images, while preserving the original sequence. This first phase was completed in July 2019.

In this initial digitization phase, the ANS aimed to publish the binders and the clippings, assembled as TEI files of facsimile images, published the ANS archival platform, Archer and linked to CRRO. The binders, the largest part of Schaefer’s archive, are now online and available to the academic community. The ANS aims to have all further images accessible by the end of the summer.

The second phase of this project consists in the quantification of Schaefer’s die counts as recorded in these images. The whole process entails the creation of spreadsheets for each RRC type, including a listing of each obverse and reverse die, and a number of occurrences for each die. Eventually this statistical data will be published and made accessible through CRRO.

The final goal is allowing RRDP data to be integrated to CRRO and CHRR. The synergy of these three databases will provide users with an unprecedented amount of precise quantitative data for the period of time considered. This part of the project, scheduled to begin in September 2020, should be completed in one year.


For more information, visit the American Numismatic Society’s website.

Click here to access Archer.