Contact and Inquiries
If you have an inquiry about numismatics or the collection, please call 202-633-3854 or email NMAH-NNC@si.edu. A staff member will promptly return your message.
If you are interested in requesting an image to be used for either research or publication, please follow these steps:
Contact the department at 202-633-3854 or NMAH-NNC@si.edu and provide your contact information, describe the object(s) for which you would like an image, and explain whether the image is for research or publication purposes.
- Low-resolution images of a reasonable number of objects (<20) can be made available for research purposes at no cost.
- High-resolution images for personal use or publication are available at the cost of $100–$200 per object. This includes obverse and reverse photographs.
- Note: We are not able to provide high-resolution images of contemporary banknotes. To obtain such images, please contact the issuing bank.
Note: Images resulting from the Rapid Capture Digitization of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing proof sheets are free to use for research and publication. The images are available in the highest resolution directly from the web. If you would like to publish these images, please fill out and return the Object Photography Use Form.
Research and Photography Visits
The National Numismatic Collection welcomes visitors to the Howard F. Bowker Research Room for the purpose of research and photography. Research and photography visits are available for one- to two-hour sessions depending on staff availability. To schedule a visit please do the following:
Email NMAH-NNC@si.edu to discuss your objective and set up an appointment. A staff member will promptly return your message.
Before your visit, please review the following rules for accessing our collection:
Rules for the National Numismatic Collection Vault:
- Visitors must present a photo ID upon arrival, which will be photocopied for our records.
- No chewing gum, food, or drink of any kind is allowed within the collection space or in any space where an object is present.
- Coats and bags are to be left in the Outer Library.
- All research and viewing of collection objects must be done in the designated area.
- Ink pens are prohibited. Only pencils are permitted for note-taking near the object(s).
- A staff member must be present with the object(s) at all times. Unsupervised use of the collections is not permitted.
- Individuals requesting access to the collection must have a legitimate research purpose for using the collection, demonstrate a willingness to comply with collection procedures and security requirements, and be able to complete their work during the designated hours.
- General browsing of the collection is not permitted. A complete list of objects or types of objects must be provided to Museum staff before the visit. During a research visit, staff may not be able to provide access to objects not requested in advance.
- Gloves are available for handling coins and medals and MUST be used each time objects are handled. Paper objects do not require gloves, but they are available.
- The use of personal cameras is allowed.
- Collection documentation is provided without warranties as to its accuracy or completeness, and researchers will assume any and all risk in their use of this information.
- It is expected that all researchers who make use of the collection will adhere to any legal and ethical requirements imposed by the Smithsonian Institution, and that they will operate in accordance with the generally accepted ethical standards of the field in which they are working.
Note: There is no fee to publish images that you have taken yourself during a visit to the collection. We ask, however, that you please fill out the Object Photography Form to inform NNC staff via email or letter where the images are being published.