17 September 2021
In a special live interview, we spoke to Chris about his role at the Museum, his career in coins, and what innovations have helped inform the general public about the history of coinage.
Established in 1816 by the Master of the Royal Mint, William Wellesley Pole, the Royal Mint Museum has one of the finest collections of coins and related material in the world.
Originally intended as a source of inspiration for Royal Mint engravers, a function it retains to this day, it has grown and developed into a collection about how money is made and how the Royal Mint has evolved over the last 1100 years.
We spoke to Chris Barker, Information and Research Manager, about his role at the Museum, his career in coins, and what innovations have helped inform the general public about the history of coinage.
About Chris Barker, Information and Research Manager
Chris read History at the University of York where he also completed an MA in Cultural Heritage Management in 2011. The following year he began working as Assistant Curator at the Royal Mint Museum. He regularly gives talks on the history of the Royal Mint and has spoken on topics as varied as the Royal Mint during the First World War through to the introduction of the £1 coin. He is currently researching the role of the Sovereign in post-war Europe, which he hopes to publish sometime in the coming year.
One of his favourite objects in the Museum’s collection is not a coin or a medal, but the simple cardboard box in which the Edward VIII material was kept for many years. With the stark warning ‘Not to be opened except in the presence of two senior officers of the Royal Mint’ written across the top, the object sheds light on the controversy associated with the abdication.
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