The Money & Medals Network is a group for numismatic curators in the United Kingdom. The April 2016 issue of their Money & Medals
newsletter announces a planned new visitor center for the Royal Mint. -Editor
In displaying its collection, one of the challenges the Royal Mint Museum faces is that of location. There can be very few Accredited
Museums which face the contradictory situation of engaging with the public whilst remaining located within one of the most secure sites in
the United Kingdom. As a result, historically the best way to showcase the collection has been to work with other institutions, displaying
objects through temporary and more permanent loans.
While this will remain an important part of the Museum’s future plans, the announcement made in April 2014 that a Visitor Centre was to
be constructed on The Royal Mint site marked a new chapter for how the collection could be made publicly accessible.
Although tours of the Mint were commonplace at Tower Hill and after the move to South Wales, in recent times the site has been closed to
the general public. The Visitor Centre, to be known as The Royal Mint Experience, will be the first time a designated venue will have been
open to the public, providing an opportunity to visit the factory and explore an extensive interactive exhibition. The factory experience
will no doubt prove popular with visitors as it will be the only place in the United Kingdom where coins for pockets and purses will be
seen tumbling, freshly struck, from coining presses at the rate of over 700 a minute.
The exhibition area, which will allow items from the Museum’s collection to be displayed to the public, will form an important part of
the Visitor Centre. Working with the design agency Mather & Co, The Royal Mint and the Museum have developed key exhibition messages,
content and graphics to help bring the story of the Mint to life. The large area is split into six zones, each shedding light on a
particular aspect of the Mint’s history and its current activities.
The Royal Mint Visitor Experience will also open up opportunities for the Museum to work with audiences who have previously not been
able to access the site in any meaningful way. An education service will be provided through the Museum and over the last year a learning
programme for primary school pupils in years three to six has been developed. When the Visitor Experience opens in the spring, school
groups will be able to choose from two 90-minute workshops that link The Royal Mint’s past with the present day. Designed with specific
learning outcomes in mind, one of these workshops will focus on the process of coin design, while the other will engage students with the
scientific identification of fakes and forgeries through the ages.
For more information on the Money & Medals Network, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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