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Edmon Low Library
image of Dr. Bill F. & Jean Kelso Collection of Ancient Coins

Dr. Bill F. & Jean Kelso Collection of Ancient Coins

About the Collection

The Dr. Bill F. & Jean Kelso Collection of Ancient Coins includes approximately 125 coins from the Mediterranean and Middle East, and 30 from China. These were collected by Bill Kelso primarily during his trips to Tunisia. The collection includes not only the coins, but also a number of reference books and photographs. Dr. Kelso, a graduate of Oklahoma State University, donated the collection in hopes of expanding it use for educational activities.

The collection is noteworthy for the age and geographic diversity of the coins. Some date back to the fourth century BC with early Greek coins and coins representing the various Roman periods, which feature nearly every Roman ruler for four centuries. There are also coins from Carthage and a variety of locations that impacted the Mediterranean area.

About the Digitization Process

Most of our digital materials are paper or photographs. The three-dimensional nature of this collection offered a new challenge to our digitation team. The department explored different methods before settling on process that involved the use of a stationary camera and a small turntable to rotate the coins.

The resulting files allow visitors more control to spin and view the coins from a variety of angles. This method also showcases the thickness and wear patterns of the coins. The free open-access online collection broadens the audience who can benefit from the collection, bringing the collection into homes, labs and classrooms around the world.

Access the Physical Collection

The Kelso coins are housed in the Archives. They can be consulted by appointment in the Archives office (2nd floor) of the Edmon Low Library at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. For more information please contact the Archives at 405-744-6311 libscua@okstate.edu.

Featured Coin:

Sultan Mustapha Khan coin, 1764 AD

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