Ellen Feingold

Ellen Feingold


B.A., University of Wisconsin – Madison, History 
MSc., University of Oxford (St. Antony’s College), Economic and Social History
D.Phil., University of Oxford (Merton College), History

Research Specialties: 
  • Imperial and global history, with a focus on the history of the British Empire and process of decolonization
  • The history of money and monetary objects
  • Legal institutions and administration of justice
  • Counterfeiting and forgery
  • African history and culture
Role in Museum: 

Dr. Ellen Feingold is the curator of the National Numismatic Collection, a collection of approximately 1.6 million objects from across the globe, spanning more than 3,500 years. 


Dr. Feingold is the curator of The Value of Money and the author of the companion book of the same name.  She is also the project director and curator of Women on Money, a new display inspired by the U.S. Treasury's plans to redesign U.S. banknotes to feature historic women.  Her current research examines counterfeiting in the British Empire, with a focus on the counterfeiting of colonial currencies in Africa.  She is also working to expand the holdings of the National Numismatic Collection through the Modern Collecting Initiative. 

  • Curator of The Value of Money exhibition 
  • Project director and  curator of the Women on Money project 
  • Research project on the history of counterfeiting in the British Empire
  • Collecting contemporary currencies and documenting the development of new monetary technologies worldwide

Recent publications:

Feingold, E. The Value of Money. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2015.

Feingold, E. "How the Redesign of U.S. Money Shows the Power of Protest." Smithsonian Magazine, 2016. 

Awards, Honors, and Special Recognition: 

As a student at the University of Oxford, Dr. Feingold held the Clarendon Scholarship, John Roberts Scholarship, Beit Research Scholarship, and Designated Research Studentship in Modern History. She received numerous grants in support of her doctoral research and was awarded a special prize from the Robert Herbert Memorial Fund for her research. After completing her doctorate, Feingold joined the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum as a Project Curator for the Money in Africa project. She was a co-curator of a display on mobile money in Africa in the Citi Money Gallery in 2013.

Professional Affiliations: 
  • American Historical Association
  • African Studies Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University