It is great when images and collections go online but using them outside your native language and when search terms are non-obvious to a specialist can be a real bear.
I decided to try to come up with some basic guidelines for myself for the Paris collection.
The best default search term for republican coins is MonnRoRep. This returns 22,752 specimens. That’s not all of them but its a really good start. The cataloguing just isn’t uniform.
Then, limit your search returns on the left hand menu by Date de Publication. This lets you limit your results first by century and then by decade. (See image below)
Once you’ve done this, you’re almost at a manageable number of returns. Sort your results by date and select 100 résultats/page.
The bad news is that of those with the MonnRoRep label, only 8,957 specimens have dates attached. That leave another 13,795 specimens that need visual review. That is only 138 internet pages to browse. So after you check the dated specimens, go back to your MonnRoRep search and sort results by date (croissant) to put the undated specimens first. Then add to your search term the denomination of the specimen you’re looking for, this will reduce your work a little.
Let’s say you want to use the BnF catalogue for other coins, not republican. The best starting point is to limit your search to ET Localistion: Richelieu (the coin cabinet) and select under Nature de document: Objets monétiformes. For the Roman empire they seem pretty good about adding the the emperor.
Once you find the entry you want it may not be immediately obvious how to view the whole coin at the highest digital resolution. This image should help you figure out where to click (see where I’ve circled in blue):