Collections Online Project Assistant, Ed Johnson, shares his experiences of digitising our ancient coins and reveals the stories that they tell. As I approach the end of my first 12 months of working with the Roman coins for Collections Online, I am struck by the numbers involved. I have handled, scanned, identified and written captions for approximately 4,000 ancient coins. I can recognise the face of over a hundred different emperors, empresses, princes and usurpers, and identify many of the posturing gods, goddesses and personifications that are to be found on the reverse. However, I have taken very little time […]
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The story of London Tweed
So this is how the story goes. In 1826 a London merchant decides to buy some cloth from a weaver in Hawick, a town in the Scottish borders famous for its cloth production. Very happy with his order, he decides to get some more but – crucially – misreads the weaver’s dashed handwriting. Instead of ‘twill’ this Londoner reads ‘tweed’, and assumes this new cloth must take after the River Tweed which runs fast and clear through the textile areas of lower Scotland. ‘Tweed’ and not ’twill’ has been the term used ever since.
A starring role for the Suffragette collection
As curator of the museum’s wonderful Suffragette collection I often welcome ‘important’ visitors to the archive, captivated by the story of the women who endured imprisonment, hunger-strike and even force-feeding in their battle to win the vote.
A few weeks ago I found myself surrounded by fascists. I was on my way to the West End when at Tower Hill station a large group of French-speaking men with assorted girlfriends and wives (I presume) entered my tube carriage.