The Society holds over 2,000 pieces of Colonial era currency. This includes Continental printings done under the direction of the British authorities and Colonial printings often done in secret. During the Revolution, Massachusetts currency was engraved in Boston by Paul Revere and Nathaniel Hurd. Later, hundreds of private American banks sprung up, each with its own distinct note. By the Civil War, there were over 1500 individual banks. From these banks, major firms were created, such as The American Bank Note Co., and the Continental Bank Note Co. The Society has a large collection of banknote engravings. The collection is split into two groups: The first group, Colonial and Continental Currency, is sorted originating colony and by date, and is housed in twenty-three binders. The second group includes nineteenth century notes, eighteenth century and confederate specimens, and miscellaneous related material, and is arranged by date and state or type. It is housed in four boxes. Also, there are a few boxes and binders that hold Continental currency.


Currency is a Reserve collection with restricted access. Please contact our Readers' Services department or the Curator of Graphic Arts, Lauren Hewes.

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