During its original conception, the INHCRF focused on aiding and promoting studies and research in Indian numismatics. To achieve this status, we persevered to establish ourselves as a research resource centre for Indian numismatics globally. We now boast an exhaustive photographic database on Indian numismatics that includes coins from private and museum collections, and more importantly of coins that passed through the trade. An extensive library of Indian numismatics and other allied subjects of Indology supplements these efforts. These are being continuously collected, added, and worked on to make them easily accessible, usable, and retrievable by the scholarships.
In addition to strengthening our collection, we have been conducting various short-term training programs in Indian numismatics as well as creating awareness about the importance of coins for our history among the students and the general public through awareness workshops, museum displays, colloquium, and publications.
Further, our research journal, Numismatic Digest, backed by four decades of publication, has established itself as a journal of international repute. Other publications of newsletters and monographs too enjoy global readership.
Geared for the Future
The last decade has seen a major shift from narrow-minded individualistic granular research to a more connected method influenced by varying scholarly perspectives especially those emphasizing Indian Ocean Trade. Our resources are ideally suited for these increasing interdisciplinary interests and multifaceted academic developments.
With our extensive database and excellent library, all under one roof, we are well equipped to meet the evolving requirements of the scholarship. Scholars and students alike are welcome to use our facilities. We also welcome collaborative projects from universities, museums, and societies.
Our Numismatic Achievements
With nearly four decades of experience under our belt, we have the ability and resources to further explore the Indian subcontinent through symbiotic and mutual cooperation amongst scholars, institutions, and universities alike. In this regard, we have undertaken numerous projects, some of which are highlighted below:
Society for South Asian Studies, U.K.
In 1991, INHCRF undertook a three years’ project in collaboration with the Society for South Asian Studies, U.K. on Foreign Coins Part I Western (Roman to Venetian) found in Southern and Western India. Under this, the Roman and Venetian coins in the collection of Museums and Archaeology departments in Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Gujarat were documented. The data was sent to scholars for preparing papers for an ‘International Colloquium on Foreign Coins Found in Indian Subcontinent’ that was organized by the INHCRF in 1995.
IsMEO, Rome, Italy
INHCRF collaborated with IsMEO, Rome, Italy for organizing an exhibition in India on the theme ‘Roman Contacts with India’ in consultation with Dr. Rosa Maria Cimino and Prof. Tosi of IsMEO. For this exhibition, INHCRF subsequently prepared maps of 114 find-spots of Roman coins and 25 sites of Roman bullae found in India supported by slides and images of the coins and bullae. This project was completed in 1992.
Documentation of Coin Holdings:
Catalogues for the Museums
During the mid-1980s, we undertook a project for documenting and preparation of a catalogue of Sikh coins in the collection of Sheesh Mahal Museum, Patiala. Subsequently, the catalogue was published by the Museum. Similarly, documentation and cataloguing of a part of the Assam State Museum was done which was published as A Catalogus of Silver and Copper Coins of Sultanate, Mughal, and British Periods with Arabic and Persian inscriptions in the Collection of Assam State Museum, Guwahati.
National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities
In 2007, the Government of India launched its ambitious programme of documentation and creation of a database on built heritage and sites under "The National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities". For this, the Government commissioned the INHCRF to document coin holdings of the following museums:
1. Sheesh Mahal Museum, Patiala – 29837 coins
2. Central Antiquity Collection, Purana Quila, ASI, Delhi. – 67764 coins
3. Red Fort Museum, ASI, Delhi – 11867 coins
4. Part of Bhopal State Museum, Bhopal- 15003 coins
5. Shri Pratap Singh (SPS) Museum, Shrinagar, Jammu and Kashmir – 72476 coins
Total coins documented for the National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities were 1,96,947.
Apart from the above, the INHCRF had the privilege of documenting coin collection of the following museums/ institutions:
- Baba Saheb Ambedkar University, History Museum, Aurangabad.- 3718 coins.
- Jhansi Museum Collection (Part) – 800 coins
- Asiatic Society, Mumbai Collection, Mumbai – 11807 coins
- Patna Museum, Patna – 26934 coins
- Hinduja Foundation, Mumbai – 34973 coins
Designing of panels for the RBI Monetary Museum
In 1997-1998 Reserve Bank of India, India’s Central Bank, approached INHCRF to assist them to set the RBI Monetary Museum. For this, 19 panels, each of 15-20 coins with line drawings and brief write-ups were provided. On their request, in 2000-2001 INHCRF documented 736 coins of the Museum.