National Numismatic Collection - Chinese Coins

About the Project

Ready for a new challenge volunpeers? Help us transcribe these newly digitized Chinese coins from the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection (NNC). 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 transcription, transliteration and translation of several Asian alphabets. 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 50 coins here are a pilot project that will help our team (and you!) figure out how best to make these objects available and more easily searchable online. Please visit the special instructions for this project before beginning transcription.

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