Sunday, January 02, 2022

rNumis digital library expands has been steadily adding digital auction catalogs for several years. As of January 2, they have a database of 4565 catalogs, 1579 of which include links to digital versions of the catalog.

The site also includes a proof-of-concept provenance research tool for Greek coins of Italy and Sicily. There is no full-text search but the coins of each Greek city can be filtered by weight and metal. Best: if a coin has multiple auction apperances, such as this Akragas tetradrachm, the full auction chain is displayed.

As always, the site contines to offer numismatic literature for sale.

This site is an important resource to numismatic researchers. Merely by curating links to online coin catalogs on file sharing sites such as and research library archives such as HEIDI the site saves time by making it easy to learn if a particular catalog is online.

Even when I own a physical copy of a catalog, I find it easier to use digitized ones. My physical libary is mostly either mis-filed or in boxes in my attic! Digital copies save a very dusty trip.

The provenance tool is an interesting start. I have not used it much. The tool includes photos and metadata about 4926 ancient Greek coins of Italy and Sicily, scraped from public-domain auction catalogs. The concept is similar to the the important but sadly obscure photo-file of the American Numismatic Society. The ANS effort, which took decades of work, covers 268,000 coins. rNumis currently has only 2% of that scope. Yet that is 2% is online and growing.

I have been building a library of numismatic auction catalogs covering my areas of interest for many years. Due to limited shelf space I don't acquire catalogs that are already online in At this point rNumis is good enough that I will no longer be buying catalogs if rNumis can reveal a digital copy.

I encourage numismatic researchers to check out the site. The operator is friendly and seems to be open to suggestions. Don't miss the catalog sale section for enlarging your own literature collection.

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