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Feingold, Ellen view

Curator of the National Numismatic Collection

I am the curator of the National Numismatic Collection (NNC), a global collection of approximately 1.6 million objects that span more than 5,000 years of human history. 

My areas of expertise include:

  • History of money and monetary objects
  • History of counterfeiting and forgery
  • Imperial and global history, focusing on mechanisms of colonial rule and the process of decolonization
  • History of the common law and legal institutions
My recent exhibitions include: 


Geographic Focus

  • Global  Transnational Region

Background And Education

Education And Training

Professional Biography

  • I received my DPhil in History and MSc in Economic and Social History from the University of Oxford. After completing my doctorate I joined the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum as a Project Curator for the Money in Africa project. I was a co-curator of a display on mobile money in Africa in the Citi Money Gallery in 2013. A year later I became curator of the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection and have curated a variety of Smithsonian exhibitions including The Value of MoneyReally BIG Money, Women on Money, and Ukraine's Distinct History

    My research interests include the history of money and monetary objects, counterfeiting and forgery, and legal institutions and the administration of justice. I am passionate about making the history of money relevant and accessible to everyone. You can find my recent work featured in Politico MagazineSmithsonian Magazine, NOVA (on PBS), NPR's Marketplace, and the Sidedoor and Million Bazillion podcasts

Awards And Honors

Research And Grants


Selected Publications


Responsible Collections Areas

  • I actively collect objects that reflect the history of money globally, including contemporary currencies and new monetary technologies worldwide


Member Of