Contact and Inquiries


If you have an inquiry about numismatics or the collection, please call 202-633-3854 or email A staff member will promptly return your message.

Image Requests

Please email Kay Peterson ( to request images from the National Numismatic Collection.

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 and are usually scheduled at least two weeks in advance of the visit. To schedule a visit please do the following:

Email 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 visiting the National Numismatic Collection:

  1. Upon arrival, visitors consulting the collection must fill out the Researcher Registration Form.
  2. Visitors must present a photo ID upon arrival, which will be recorded on the Researcher Registration Form.
  3. No chewing gum, food, or drink of any kind is allowed within the collection space or in any space where an object is present.
  4. Visitors may not bring personal items or objects for comparison into the research room.
  5. Coats and bags are to be left in the Outer Library.
  6. All research and viewing of collection objects must be done in the designated area.
  7. Ink pens are prohibited. Only pencils are permitted for note-taking near the object(s).
  8. A staff member must be present with the object(s) at all times. Unsupervised use of the collections is not permitted.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. The use of personal cameras is allowed. 
  13. All other personal equipment must be approved by a staff member before it can be used. Use of personal scanners is prohibited.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.