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.
I Love You…I Love You Not: Victorian Valentine’s Day cards
When the Uniform penny post rocked up in 1840, it completely revolutionised the way in which people communicated. Sending letters and cards, such as those celebrating Valentine’s Day, became easier and cheaper and as a result a thriving business developed in central London.
From saintly to saucy: the medieval badge that wasn’t as innocent as it seemed
Cataloguing the Museum’s collection of medieval pilgrim badges for Collections Online has been a great opportunity for me to look really closely at our objects and sometimes to find out that items are not at all what they appear to be. A great example recently has been a tiny little badge in the shape of a comb.