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Reflections on science and medical collections in universities

Posted Jan 15 2009 5:53pm

I’ve already mentioned the launch of the new University Museums and Collections Journal. The first issue has just been released online — there are two articles of potential interest for reflecting medical museums:

In one of them, Sébastien Soubiran asks  “What makes scientific communities think the preservation of their heritage is important?”, and answers the question through a historical analysis of the various role that were conferred to university collections and museums within the University Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg for the last thirty years.

In the other,  “‘The Sound of Silver’: Collaborating art, science and technology at Queen’s University, Belfast”, Karen Brown presents an interesting exhibition approach, viz., an exhibition of silverware and sonic art; she is using technology developed by the University’s Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) to display and interpret the University’s silver collection by letting a number of sound artists compose short soundscapes based on individual items from the collection. The artists’ approaches are based on the history and provenance of the items, and on materials, techniques, and the aesthetic qualities or emotions attached to to the objects.

Other, shorter and more descriptive, medical museum articles include Christa Kletter on ”The Drug Collection of the University of Vienna” and “The Collection of Pharmaceutical Objects of the University of Vienna” and Helmut Gröger and Manfred Skopec on ”Medical history collections of the Medical University Vienna in transition”.

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