MHS for the Media

MHS Exhibition: "Precious Metals: From Au to Zn"

MHS Exhibition will Showcase its Numismatic Treasures: 2 August through 2 October

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) is taking the opportunity to show off some of its numismatic treasures while the American Numismatic Association (ANA) is in Boston this summer hosting the World's Fair of Money. Opening on 2 August, “Precious Metals: From Au to Zn” will be on display in the Society’s building at 1154 Boylston Street.

Special guest curator John W. Adams and MHS Curator Anne E. Bentley have planned an exhibition to highlight many of the rare and unique pieces in the collection. A small sampling includes the New England three pence and shilling and the 1776 Massachusetts Pine Tree copper penny for the coin collectors. A piece of original Massachusetts Bay stock and the February 1690/1 Massachusetts Bill of Credit, along with some special colonial notes and obsolete bank bills will tempt the paper specialists.  Medal collectors will be drawn by the full set of Washington-Webster silver Comitia Americana medals, as well as what is possibly the only surviving example of an 18th century diplomatic medal, that was presented by the United States General of the Netherlands to envoy John Adams.  Medals from the Betts series, Indian Peace Medals of colonial and federal issue, school and personal medals will also be on view. The MHS will display a generous number of Washington medals from the Baker series and will feature some fascinating pieces from the Vernon medal series. As well, there will be a display of awards and badges that honor medical and military victories. There is something for everyone at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Regular public hours are from 1 to 4 PM Monday through Saturday. There will be special ANA morning hours from 9 AM to noon on August 10-14.  If convention attendees plan to research the MHS collection while in town, please contact Anne Bentley ( or call 617-646-0508) in advance to make an appointment, as time and space are limited.

About the ANA World's Fair of Money
More than1,000 of the nation's best coin dealers with the best inventory of coins, paper money, medals, tokens and other numismatic items will gather in Boston August 10-14 for the largest coin show in the world.

Sponsored by the nonprofit American Numismatic Association, the show will also feature museum-quality exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution, the ANA Edward C. Rochette Money Museum and private collectors. As many as 20 mints from around the world will give visitors an opportunity to collect coins from five continents, and a number of family activities and educational programs make this an attractive event for anyone with an interest in history and money.

The World's Fair of Money will be at the Hynes Convention Center from August 10 -14, 2010.

About the Massachusetts Historical Society
Since its founding in 1791, the MHS has fostered research, scholarship, and education. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of our nation’s past and its connection to the present. Through fellowships for scholars, meticulous research volumes, seminars, conferences, teacher training programs, as well as lectures, tours, open houses, and exhibitions, the Society demonstrates that history is not just a series of events that happened to individuals long ago but an integral part of the fabric of our daily lives.

Created as a repository and a publisher to collect, preserve, and disseminate resources for the study of American history, the Massachusetts Historical Society has been collecting numismatic material since it first opened in 1791. Coins, ancient and “modern” [i.e. colonial American], paper currency, and medals of all classes are included in the collection. The Society has enjoyed the support and guidance of several notables including earlier luminaries and MHS members William Sumner Appleton, Malcolm Storer, and Shepard Pond; and more recent numismatic collectors and authors John W. Adams, the late Douglas Ball, and Q. David Bowers.

The MHS is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 9:00 AM to 4.45 PM; Thursday 9:00 AM to 7.45 PM, and Saturday 9:00 AM to 4.00 PM.



For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Carol Knauff         
Massachusetts Historical Society   
(617) 646-0554