Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Guest Post: Small Change Big Games

Greetings from sunny (yes, I said sunny and no it isn’t a typo) Glasgow. We’ve hijacked the ICS blog for one day only to bring you news about an exciting project we are working on up north. You may have seen our poster up in the library, some of you may even have followed us on twitter (thank you) or had a look at our website, but for those of you who have no idea who we are or what we are doing, never fear, we will give you a quick summary now. 

Here in Glasgow we are pretty excited about the upcoming Commonwealth Games, and we were especially excited to discover that the Royal Mint have commissioned a special 50p to mark the occasion. The 50p features some sporting imagery, as you might expect, but as well as the cyclist and runner, it also has a saltire, a symbol of Scottish national identity, and the writing is done in the style of famous Glaswegian artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh. 

Image courtesy of the Royal Mint:
This coin, with its sporting imagery and symbols of civic and national identity got us thinking about Roman coins, and how much they have in common with the Glasgow 2014 50p. Luckily for us The Hunterian has one of the best ancient coin collections in the UK*, so we applied to the Hunterian Associates Programme, and Small Change Big Games was born. 

Coin from The Hunterian, Glasgow (catalogue number 21182).

Our project will take the form of an online exhibition on our webpage. Using the Glasgow 50p as a springboard for thinking about coins minted to commemorate games, we have chosen a selection of Roman coins to feature in this exhibition. We have divided the coins into four broad themes: history, politics, religion and sport. Each topic has an introductory video featuring either us or a special guest, as well as some information and images of the coins. We are also planning a number of events which will take place during the commonwealth games, and which we hope will be of interest to a wide audience. 

The Small Change Big Games team are also known as Jenny and Sarah, two PhD students at Glasgow, you can contact them at smallchangebiggames@gmail.com, @smallchange2014 or www.smallchange2014.tumblr.com

* For the five volume collection 'Roman imperial coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow' go to X136H.2 in the library!

If anyone else is interested in submitting a guest post for our blog then contact us at iclass.enquiries@london.ac.uk. It doesn't have to be formal or directly related to the library. As long as it involves Classics in general we're happy to give our readers a chance to advertise, explain and vent!