ISEGRIM Project - Data base of coins

ISEGRIM (Information System of acquisition of greek coins) is a data base with about 60.000 descriptions of ancient coins minted from the seventh century b.c. to the end of the minting period of cities in Asia Minor (the present Turkey) in 276 a.c.

A project of the Ancient History Department of the University in Düsseldorf, the data base fulfills special desideratum of ancient numismatics. The acquisition brings together all important coin collections from Asia Minor, as well as from the relevant Corporae and articles in periodicals. At first the Electrum coins, the royal coinage and the Cistophores were exluded from the data pool. But now these coins are also included - as far as was possible, considering the number of publications in recent years.
The coinage issued under Alexander the Great is not catalogued, because it has been thoroughly handled by Martin Jessop Price (The Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus, Vol. 1, Zürich - London 1991). Ancient greek coins are important primary sources. They sometimes provide decisive information for inquiries in the fields of history, economic-history, art-history and theology. The material is widely scattered in published literature and work with it soon became a special branch.
In 1974, a data base was started with descriptions of ancient coins. It was meant to make detailed material accessible both to scholars and interested lay people. From the beginning the data base with its flexible index was intended to augment present publications, not to replace them. Knowledge can best be extended by using the original coins in conjunction with publications and representations. The collection of the material has been restricted to the ancient coins from Asia Minor because this area seems to represent a special desideratum for the future. Also the material of this geographic area seemed a workable unit for a department the size of that in Düsseldorf.
The project received sponsorship from the Gerda Henkel Stiftung, Düsseldorf, from 1978-1982. At the end of the International Symposion "Alphanumerische Datenverarbeitung in der Numismatik", University Düsseldorf 1981, the participants agreed to continue actively supporting the project in Düsseldorf. At that point it became clear that the data base had to be envisioned as a long-time project.
During its development the data base was presented regularly at congresses and its progress was discussed. At the present time it contains about 60.000 descriptions of mostly published greek and romans coins of Asia Minor. Each description query can demonstrate up to 99 coins. Descriptions include the place and time, the coin representation, coin legend, material, diameter, weight, die-axis, as well as detailed literature and bibliographical references.
Via internet it is accessible internationally. Technical assistance is available 40 hours weekly and there is also one programming assistant 14 hours per week.

Düsseldorf, January 2000
Otfried v. Vacano


H. Bödefeld - O.v.Vacano, Elektronische Datenverarbeitung in der Numismatik. Ein Projekt zur Erfassung griechischer Münzen am althistorischen Institut der Universität Düsseldorf, Chiron 8, 1987, 587-604.

O.v.Vacano, EDV-Forschungsprojekt Kleinasiatischer Münzkatalog, in: Actes du 9-ème, congrès international de numismatique, vol. I, Berne, Sept. 1979, Louvain-la-Neuve 1982, 341-349 pl.39.

D.Kienast, CIN News Letter 3, 1981, 5ff.

D. Kienast, Jahrb. Hist. Forschung, 1981, 39ff (= D.Kienast, Kleine Schriften, Aalen 1994, 633ff).

D. Kienast, Beil. Jahresbericht 1982 der Gerda Henkel Stiftung, Düsseldorf 1983, 37ff.

O.v.Vacano, ISEGRIM: Informations System zur Erfassung GRIechischer Münzen, in: Bollettino di Numismatica, Supplemento al N.1: La numismatica e il computer, 1984, 39-45, 75ff.

O.v.Vacano, Typenkatalog der antiken Münzen Kleinasiens, Hrsg. D. Kienast, Berlin 1986.

O.v.Vacano, ISEGRIM: Informations System zur Erfassung GRIechischer Münzen, in: Computer und Antike Bd. 2, Hrsg. Ch. Schäfer - O. Stoll, Datenbanken in der Alten Geschichte, Hrsg. M. Fell - Ch. Schäfer - L. Wierschowski, St. Katharinen 1994, 62-75.