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'Notgeld' albums containing small illustrated German and Austrian notes

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Coll-1861

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of two albums containing a collection of Notgeld, or 'emergency money' printed in Germany after all the low-value coins had vanished due to a shortage in metal during the inter-war period. Most notes are dating from 1921. They are called 'vouchers' rather than actual bank notes, and have an expiration date. They have very little actual monetary value: most of them are around 50 pfennige (pennies) ; they represent the small change of daily life while the high-value notes from the Reichsbank continued to circulate. Every town and city made its own Notgeld, and as a result the illustrations on these notes are a representation of local identity and civic pride. They are all very varied and very colourful, and can depict: the town itself, legendary characters linked to the history of the city, medieval scenes, important historical and contemporary figures, local soldiers in their uniforms, farming activities, caricatures...
The album entitled 'Deutsch Notgeld' is arranged geographically. It is divided in 12 series: Bayern, Thüringen, Süddeutschland, Hannover u. Oldenburgh, Westdeutschland, Freistaat Sachsen, Schlesien, Westfalen und Hessen-Nassau, Provinz Sachsen und Braunschweig, Nordostdeutschland, Schleswig-Holstein, Brandenburg. Each page contains around 10 notes. Also included in this album is an article in Swedish on German notgeld, by Karl Bratke.
The other album, entitled 'Notgeld 1914-1924', isn't arranged in identifiable sections but tends to be arranged by town. Despite what is written on the cover, most notes date from 1921. There are about 15 notes per page. Also included in this album are actual bank notes showing the inflation in Germany at the time: for example, one of the notes is for 100 trillion marks.

Dates

  • early 1920s

Language of Materials

German (including some regional dialects), and an article in Swedish.

Physical Description

Two volumes, one with oblong folio (250 x 355 mm), 80 pages, each page with three stiffened paper strips, and the other one also with oblong folio (280 x 330 mm), 50 pages, each page with four stiffened paper strips; holding in total around 750 loose Notgeld notes and other currency of the period. Some light sunning to the margins of the leaves but the notes themselves are in excellent condition overall.

Conditions Governing Access

Open. Please contact the repository in advance.

Extent

2 albums

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased in March 2018. Accession no SC-Acc-2018-0059.

Bibliography

Neil MacGregor, Germany: Memories of a Nation (London: Penguin Books, 2014), pp. 419-422, 425.

Physical Description

Two volumes, one with oblong folio (250 x 355 mm), 80 pages, each page with three stiffened paper strips, and the other one also with oblong folio (280 x 330 mm), 50 pages, each page with four stiffened paper strips; holding in total around 750 loose Notgeld notes and other currency of the period. Some light sunning to the margins of the leaves but the notes themselves are in excellent condition overall.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Aline Brodin in April 2018.
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379