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The Scientific Collection

Deutsche Version

The History of Scientific Collections

University Collections in Germany: Research on their Holdings and History
Funded by the 'German Research Foundation' (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)

Conducted by Dr. Cornelia Weber
Team: Dipl.-Museol. Anja Walther, Oliver Zauzig M.A., stud. phil. Daniel Bürkner, stud. phil. Lyam Ortmeier

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Nearly every German university possesses scientific collections and museums in various departments. Their functions are manifold: on the one hand, they establish a basis for research and education; on the other hand, they often serve as mediators of science to the general public. The exploration of these collections could reveal many valuable details regarding the history of science. However, university collections have not been considered an object of research in Germany to date and neither a complete survey of holdings, nor a fundamental interdisciplinary treatise on the history of university collections exists.

The project intends to catalogue German universities' collections and to compile extensive data on the holdings and history of these collections, in order to form the basis of a specific investigation into the history of science and a historical analysis of collecting.

The university collections and museums in Germany, identified to date, are recorded in the following online-database

'University Museums and Collections in Germany'

At the moment, the database comprises collections of universities, encompassing the categories:

There is also an international database with entries:

UMAC Worldwide Database of University Museums & Collections

Further information:

Universitätssammlungen in Deutschland - Untersuchungen zu Bestand und Geschichte. In: Daniel Burckhard, Rüdiger Hohls, Claudia Prinz (Hrsg.), .hist 2006. Geschichte im Netz: Praxis, Chancen, Visionen. Teilband II: Historische Fach- und Themenportale, Reihe Historisches Forum, 2007, pp. 228-243.
http://edoc.hu-berlin.de/histfor/10_II/ (pdf) or

Universitätssammlungen und -museen in Deutschland. In: Actes du Colloque: Le musée de sciences - dialogues franco-allemands, Munich 2003 / Tagungsband: Wissenschaftsmuseen im deutsch-französischen Dialog, München 2003. Dijon 2004, pp. 33-39.

A renaissance of German university collections. In: Museologia 3, 2003, S. 45-50 (Proceedings of the First Conference of the International Committee of ICOM for University Museums and Collections, Sydney & Canberra, 29 September - 4 October 2002).

Interest in university collections and museums is not restricted to Germany. In 2001, the special committee 'University Museums and Collections' (UMAC) was founded under the auspices of the 'International Council of Museums' (ICOM).
Further information: http://umac.icom.museum

In April 2000, the EU-Project 'Academic Heritage and Universities - Responsibility and Public Access' was initiated on a European level. The project was sponsored by the 'Culture 2000' programme.
Further information: http://www.universeum.de

Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin
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