The colorful currency on display at MSOE gives you a sense of just how big the world can be.
The colorful currency on display at MSOE gives you a sense of just how big the world can be.

Around the world in a few dozen bills

When I was a kid, I had a clutch of bills and coins from around the world. Some were my grandpa's and others my dad collected while on board ships in the military. Different in size, shape and design from the money I was used to -- and of which I had basically none -- these colorful bills, especially, were fascinating and gave me a sense (cents?!) of how big the world could be.

On my travels, I usually bring home a bit of money even now, to add to that incomplete and completely informal and disorganized "collection."

So, I was interested to hear about a new collection of currency currently on display at Milwaukee School of Engineering's Walter Schroeder Library on Jefferson Street and Kilbourn Avenue, across from Cathedral Square Park Downtown.

"There are dozens of bills from around the world," MSOE's Rick Gagliano wrote me in an e-mail.

"It started out with a few bills being put on display at the bookstore as international students shared them with one of the bookstore employees, Cheryl Myers. The collection grew as more international students and alum travelers wanted to share their currency, also."

The limited-time-only display also includes a few books on the subject of currency that will interest those curious about the bills.

If the international spirit of the currency doesn't speak to you, the variety of designs and colors just may nab your attention.

"It really is awe-inspiring to see the detail that goes into something that many of us take for granted," says Sarah Rowell, who is the senior circulation coordinator at the library.

Stop by and check (sorry) it out before it disappears on Oct. 22, when it will be replaced by a display of African art.


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