Images courtesy of Portable Antiquities Scheme. For coin description and discussion see the BNS Research Blog article,  Ceolbald  of Northumbria: A New Look at an Old Moneyer, by Arthur Gran.

Currently the Warburg Institute, where the RNS/BNS Library is located, is closed in response to the government guidelines during this COVID-19 event. No date has been given for when it will reopen.  But work on re-cataloguing our library continues.  The RNS/BNS Numismatic Library holds over 19,000 items – and items are being added all the time. Our current electronic library catalogue is only accessible using an old computer in the RNS/BNS Library.  Over the past year all the books have been re-catalogued to provide more bibliographical information about each title held. Off-prints are now catalogued. New shelf marks have also been added, which are clearly labelled on the spine of each book – making it easier for you to find items on the shelves. The next step, when the library re-opens, is to get our new catalogue added to an online academic library website ( This will allow our library collection to be easily searched from the internet at any time.

As also holds the catalogues of many UK academic institutions, if we don’t hold an item you are looking for, you will be able to see who does.  The process to add our information on to is complex and will take time, so there will be an update once this has been completed.

In the meantime, a searchable spreadsheet of all the books held in the RNS/BNS Library is now available on the BNS website. Please note: It does not include the periodicals or sales catalogues, which still need re-cataloguing.  Finally, for anyone interested in looking for archived auction catalogues from the comfort of home, there are several excellent online resources:

The Newman Portal at Washington University in St. Louis, has thousands of scanned auction and sales catalogues from the U.K. and U.S.A. (

Issuu has hundreds of more recent auction catalogues from the U.K. around the world (

And, most auction houses now have archived catalogues that can be searched online from their own websites.


Although physical meetings are suspended for the present, the Society's officers and Council continue to meet virtually and work continues on several aspects of Society business.

The Society is actively investigating moves to online presentations of Society lectures, hopefully starting next month – a necessary innovation, not just because of the current situation which remains very fluid, but which will enable all those who, whether for reasons of time or distance, cannot attend physical meetings once they are allowed to resume. The Covid-19 experience has considerably boosted the use of online technologies for meeting and instruction and numismatic societies the world over are reconvening as online gatherings, which happily means that members can remain involved with their chosen groups wherever they live.

It is not anticipated that the Society will be able to physically meet until mid-2021. Alongside online developments, the Society's programme for 2021 is in active preparation. It is hoped to accommodate those speakers who were due to address the Society this year, including Sir Mark Jones, David Swan, Dr Gareth Williams and Chris Barker, in next year's schedule. In addition, government restrictions permitting, thought is being given to staging a Summer Meeting in early July 2021 on the theme of Currency Systems, offering a nod to the 50th anniversary of UK decimalisation, for which other events are in the planning stages. If a physical Summer Meeting is possible, it is hoped that it can be staged at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.


Established earlier this year, the John Casey Fund provides grants for research by individuals into coins, medals, tokens, jetons and paper money of the British Isles, the British Commonwealth and the territories that have been subject to British rule.

Financed from a generous bequest to the Society by the late John Casey (†2016), it is envisaged that two or three awards will be made annually. The first such award has now been granted to Richard Brickstock, for the analysis and publication of the Roman coin moulds from Fulford, York.

Applications are particularly welcomed from younger scholars enrolled with higher-education institutions, although applications from independent scholars and from other researchers will also be considered favourably.