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Welcome to the Celtic Coin Index

The index contains 37925 Iron Age coins of which 23623 are provenanced and we have 37751 examples with images attached.

The Celtic Coin Index was created in 1960 by Professor Sheppard Frere and Derek Allen. They started to collect photographs and information on the Celtic coins held in Britain's museums, creating an index card for each coin.

Early index card .
A card from the first roll of film taken for the Index, c. 1960

By the end of the 1960s some 8000 coins had been recorded in this way. Up until then Allen and Frere had been able to keep pace with new discoveries, but the developments in metal-detecting from the early 1970s left the Index far behind. The very poor relationships between the archaeological establishment and most metal detectorists didn't help, and by the end of the decade the Index was receiving very little information indeed.

In the early 1980s Professor Barry Cunliffe took over responsibility for the Index, and a succession of his research assistants began to catch up with the missing coins. In 1992 Dr Philip de Jersey was funded by Oxford University for a year to test a pilot program of computerization for the Index. This proved to be very successful, and in the following year the Leverhulme Trust generously agreed to fund the computerization project for three years. In 1996 they agreed to extend the funding for a further two years to allow images of the coins to be added to the database. Further funding has been provided by English Heritage (1999-2001) and most recently by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (2002-2004).

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