History of the SICF

Prompted by calls from the Swiss Numismatic Society (SNS) and the Swiss Association for Roman Studies (ARS) to launch a national information centre, the SAHS appointed a commission in 1988, which, after an intense phase of evaluation, led to the founding of the SICF in 1992 as a scientific service according to the «Federal Act on Research» of 1983.

Researchers actively studying and working with coin finds had already come together in 1985 to form the Swiss Association for Coin Research (SAF). The SICF was able to build on the entry criteria developed by the Association and further expand the SAF database NAUSICAA. Close links still exist between the SAF and the SICF.

In order to facilitate contact and partnership with the archaeological services of the Swiss cantons and museums, the SICF staff were initially assigned to two different branches: Zurich, which also maintained and further developed the database and Lausanne, which had the additional task of producing and publishing the monographs and bulletins. In the summer of 1999, the two offices were merged and moved to Berne. From here, the SICF works with the cantons and also at national and international level, with the objective of building as complete a record as possible of all the numismatic artefacts found on Swiss soil.

View into the library of the SICF
View into the library of the SICF. Image: © 2006 SICF, André Barmasse (CC0).