ANS Launches online catalog with Dar al-Kutub, the Egyptian National Library

Reference information includes pre-Islamic Sasanian coinage to the modern Egyptian coinage of Anwar Sadat
Published : 10/19/15
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The following news release was issued by the American Numismatic Society

The American Numismatic Society (ANS) is pleased to announce, in collaboration with Dr. Jere Bacharach, Department of History at the University of Washington, and Dr. Sherif Anwar, College of Archaeology, Cairo University, the digital publication of the non-hoard numismatic collection of the Egyptian National Library (

The catalogue consists of more than 6,500 objects, ranging from late Roman glassware and pre-Islamic Sasanian coinage to the modern Egyptian coinage of Anwar Sadat. The collection is particularly strong in Medieval Islamic coinage across all major dynasties. The catalogue differs from its predecessors in a number of ways. The collection has been photographed in color, with inscriptions read and transcribed from these images. The database includes references to the 1982 catalogue of the collection undertaken by Dr. Norman D. Nicol.

The interface is available in both English and Arabic, owing to translations provided by Dr. Sherif Anwar. The multilingual interface is driven by numismatic concepts defined by Over the course of this project, more than 700 Islamic entities—people, dynasties, corporate entities, mints, etc.—were created in Nomisma, with labels in English, Arabic, and other languages, forming the technical foundation for the aggregation of other Islamic numismatic collections. Geographic coordinates have been included for the majority of Islamic mints, permitting the mapping of the Egyptian National Library collection.

According to Ethan Gruber, the ANS Director of Data Science, "the effort undertaken in defining Islamic entities in a Linked Open Data environment will make it possible to improve the Islamic department in the ANS database, and may make Islamic type corpora similar to Online Coins of the Roman Empire ( possible in the future." Like other ANS digital projects, the data are freely available with an Open Database License, and are published in the Numishare framework.

The ANS acknowledges the contributions of the individuals who are named at For further information contact Joanne Isaac at 212-571-4470 ext. 112.

The American Numismatic Society, organized in 1858 and incorporated in 1865 in New York State, operates as a research museum under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is recognized as a publicly supported organization under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) as confirmed on November 1, 1970.

American Numismatic Society
75 Varick St., Floor 11, New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 571-4470 Fax: 212-571-4479


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