72. Digitization Project: Chinese Banknotes at the NNM, Smithsonian

There are several digitization projects happening at the National Numismatic Museum, at the Smithsonian, including this transcription project (I’ve copied and pasted from the NNM website below). Many thanks to Wayne Holmen, editor of The E-sylum for posting info about it (E-sylum, vol. 23, no. 6, February 9, 2020).

I just checked the online collection of the National Numismatic Museum. A search for “Chinese banknote” produced 5796 records for the NMM, and 5817 records for all Smithsonian collections. All records appear to have images. This is a fantastic resource!

史密森尼国家钱币收藏集(NNC)是美国对货币和交易工具的收集。这个丰富的全球收藏集包含具有代表性的三千多年的人类历史珍贵藏品。成立于19世纪中,NNC最早的收藏来自日本,韩国和中国的文物,包括日本明治天皇赠送给美国总统尤利塞斯·格兰特的硬币和奖章,以及2025件东亚硬币、护身符和George Bunker Glover的私人收藏文物(1897年收到)。这些捐送物是NNC东亚藏品集的基础,随后又收购了2017年Howard F. Bowker系列。该收藏集继续增长。

在2017年至2018年期间,NNC将其8,000多份东亚硬币数字化,并提供在线公开访问为全球研究使用服务。 NNC现在正将明代至今的6000份中文笔记和纸质交易藏品数字化。数字化过程的主要挑战之一是将亚洲文字转录,音译和翻译。这对于NNC团队成员来说是十分困难的工作,无法有效地推进项目。为了继续快速分享这些藏品,我们需要您的帮助!

The Smithsonian’s National Numismatic Collection (NNC) is America’s collection of monetary and transactional objects. This diverse and expansive global collection contains objects that represent every inhabited continent and span more than three thousand years of human history.

Established in the mid-19th century, several of the earliest additions to the NNC were artifacts from Japan, Korea, and China, including coins and medals gifted to President Ulysses S. Grant from Japanese Emperor Meiji (received in 1881) and the 2,025 East Asian coins, amulets, and notes from George Bunker Glover’s private collection (received in 1897). These donations were the foundation of the NNC’s East Asian holdings, which continues to grow with new acquisitions, such as the Howard F. Bowker collection in 2017.

During 2017-2018, the NNC digitized more than 8,000 of its East Asian Coins, making them publicly accessible and available for research worldwide. The NNC is now working to digitize 6,000 Chinese notes and paper transactional objects that range from the Ming Dynasty to the present day.

One of the main challenges to the digitization process is the transcription of several Asian alphabets, which would increase accessibility and searchability for the many items in this collection. Sometimes this can be done quickly, but often the process is too lengthy for NNC team members to complete while moving the project forward efficiently. In order to continue to share these objects rapidly, we need your help!

The digitization of the East Asian coins and Chinese banknotes would not have been possible without the generous support of the the Howard F. Bowker family and Michael Chou.

transcribe obverse

transcribe reverse

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