The "Search the EMC" form lets you choose which coins or kinds of coins you want to find from the database. The initial form pops up with some standard search criteria, but you can also click "Redesign form" in the top right corner to see all the available search criteria and choose which ones you want to use, including some advanced features not in the default search form.
The default form allows you to set as criteria the date range (e.g. 750-800), the kingdom (e.g. "Mercia", "Norman England"), the ruler (e.g. "Alfred the Great"), the mint (e.g. "Canterbury"), the county where the coin was discovered, and the findspot (usually not the actual findspot, but the parish or the nearest large settlement). You can set criteria in just one of these fields, or in as many of them as you like: you can do a general search for the coins of King Alfred the Great, or a specific search for coins from the York mint in the first three years of the reign of Æthelred II.
In the cases of kingdom, ruler, mint, and county, you can make multiple selections from the box of choices on the left, and click the "add" button to add them to the box on the right, which shows your search criteria. If you wish to cancel some of your selections, highlight them in the list on the right and click the "remove" button. The "Clear form" button at the top and bottom of the form clears all the selections.
If you choose a kingdom or kingdoms, the contents of the "rulers" box will be limited to the rulers of the selected kingdoms. This makes finding specific kings or groups of kings easier. If you then remove all selected kingdoms from the right-hand box, the "rulers" list goes back to all the rulers in the database. (In the case of earlier anonymous issues, the "ruler" field contains the kingdom and denomination instead.)
There are scanned images of almost all of the coins in the database. You can click the "See images?" checkbox to include the images with your search results. This defaults to "no images" because it is quite possible to get several hundred coins from a query, and downloading obverse and reverse images of each coin would then take a very long time. If you click "See images?" and get more than 40 coins as a result, a prompt screen comes up warning you that you are about to download a large number of images and giving you the option of returning the results without images.
Other optional search criteria are coin type (e.g. "William I, BMC viii"), moneyer (e.g. "Wulfstan"), current location (if a public collection, e.g. "Fitzwilliam Museum"), and provenance. There is much more information in the database, and we are happy to add functions as they are suggested to us: one such addition is the final field in the form, which enables you to find coins pierced, mounted, looped, or otherwise fashioned into ornaments. (As the database/web interface is being rebuilt, not all of the criteria in this paragraph are now available, but they will be added back in soon.)
Results can be displayed in several formats: a summary list with three lines per coin, a more detailed version with about half a page of information per coin, and a third version intended to get as many images on the screen as possible, which just gives the images and a link to a full-page account of each coin. (In all three versions, the underlined coin number is a link to fuller details on the coin.) From the results screen, you can also call up a distribution map of the findspots of the coins, where the red dots on the map are links to full-screen descriptions of the coins, or a histogram plotting coin production over time.
Please email us if you have any questions, or if there is something else you would like the database to do.
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