US Coins

Smithsonian seeks help digitizing National Numismatic Collection

The Smithsonian Institution is digitizing items in the National Numismatic Collection, including thousands of certified proofs for paper currency. The $5 sheet proof shown, signed by Bureau of Engraving Director Joseph E. Ralph, is for Series 1902 to 1908 national bank notes for the First National Bank of Crows Landing in California.

Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, Museum of American History.

The Smithsonian Institution is seeking volunteers at its transcription center to create digital images for online illustration of items in its museums, which includes the National Numismatic Collection at the National Museum of American History.

The current focus involving the National Numismatic Collection is to digitize the thousands of certified proofs for paper currency.

According to, "Since 1863, certified proofs allowed the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to examine every intaglio printing plate before it was placed in production." 

Each certified proof is being cataloged and digitized, with appropriate descriptive information added to each image that will be posted online.

Visit the main Smithsonian Transcription Center webpage at to learn about the efforts being conducted in the Smithsonian family of museums. From the main page, access the drop-down window under the title "Browse Subjects" and click on the link to National Museum of American History.

The section on certified proofs is located at

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