The Kreissparkasse Köln as one of the biggest savings banks in Germany, decided in 1954 to build up a Museum of History of Money. Its activities include the collection and display of all material which has connections to the history of money. This includes coins, bank notes, coin scales, money boxes and piggy banks, documents, saving bank books and, last but not least, traditional money. Today the museum stores about 40,000 items.
The permanent exhibition is situated in about 40 showcases inside the Bank hall. More than 2000 objects are on display, mostly coins from the earliest time until today, but also different themes like the history of forgeries, jewellery made of coins, strange shapes of coins, etc. Other showcases content money boxes from Roman times until today, billfolds or coin scales. Of special interest is the display of the so called traditional money, wrongly even named "Primitive Money".
Beside the permanent exhibition the bank prepared since 1954 until now 161 temporary numismatic exhibitions, called "Das Fenster" ("The Window"). Each exhibition was followed by a free journal (sorry, published only in German ...) with the same name (see list in: Veröffentlichungen, Themenliste).
Since April 2002, the temporary exhibitions "Das Fenster" will be in three smaller showcases.
For the temporary exhibitions loanes were used from private collectors as well as from museums, for example from the City Museum of Cologne, the Ethnographic Museum (Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum), or the well-known Coin Cabinet of Gotha.
The curator of the museum, Thomas Lautz, was born in 1951 in Germany. He studied history and geography and worked 5 years in an Auction Sale house for coins as a numismatist, and since 1983 in the museum as an employed curator. Beside his work he published many articles about different numismatic themes, medals and specially about the Traditional Money of the Pacific regions. In the last years he made excursions to some remote Islands of Papua New Guinea and the Solomons as well as to Micronesia (Yap) to study the use of "Traditional Money" in today's life.
The results were shown in several exhibitions.
The text of the home page of the Museum of History of Money in Köln is published by now only in German.
The application www.geldgeschichte.de offers you many interactive tools, films and animations. To watch them properly you need the recent version of the Shockwaveplayer® by Macromedia. If the program should not already be installed on your PC, you can use the free download from the homepage of the manufacturer.