The 2002 Conference

The UMAC 2002 Conference was held in Sydney and Canberra in Australia from Sunday 29 September - Friday 4 October 2002.

The title and theme of the conference was: Exposing and Exploiting the Distinct Character of University Museums and Collections.

A Contribution to the History of University Museums and Collections in Europe

Marta C. Lourenço1


Contrary to what is commonly thought, the current meaning and origin of the word museum - and, therefore, of the International Council of Museum's definition - does not come from the Greek museion or the Roman museum or musæum but from the 18th century museum2. Both Greek and Roman terms meant a place suitable for learned discussion and study (Whitehead 1970, Lewis 1984, Hunter 2001, Taub 2001). Fr example, the Museion of Alexandria, founded c. 290 BC, included a library, a botanical garden, a menagerie, and a collection of paintings and sculpture casts to be copied by young artists (Whitehead 1970, Lewis 1984, Boylan 1999). The Museion was a small integrated academia in itself, where learning through direct observation and perhaps some forms of experiments took place. Clearly, the Museion has little to do with what we call a museum today (Lewis 1984). However, it has a lot to do with what university museums stand for.

The Ashmolean Museum is generally regarded as the first museum of a recognizable modern form - it is a university museum and opened to the public in 1683. The Ashmolean included a school of natural history with lecture and demonstration rooms, a chemistry laboratory and an exhibition on the upper floor (Bennett 1997, MacGregor 2001). The Ashmolean model was followed by thousands of university museums all over the world (Boylan 1999). From Stockholm to Sydney and Tokyo, no matter how small and specialised, university museums were equipped with class and study rooms, offices for teachers, demonstration rooms and theatres, display areas, and a library - all under the direction of a professor. The Museion in Alexandria is the university museum's model.

Both university and non-university museums have their most remote roots in ancient Greece. However, while - in essence - university museums remained faithful to the Greek model, the non-university museum adopted a new institutional and organisational paradigm in the 18th century. At the time, popular usage gave the word museum the rather unfair meaning that it still has today: a building used for the storage and exhibition of historical and natural objects (Lewis 1984).

Ironically, in recent decades, university museums began to look more and more like their non-university counterparts. This shift is due to several external and internal pressures that will not be addressed here. As Lyndel King wrote, "we are becoming less university museums and more like museums at universities" (King 2001: 23). Naturally, the metamorphosis - not fully accomplished in practice because even that costs money - has its advantages. It is good because university museums embrace a community with a long past of professional development, a deontological code, and standards. It is bad however, if in the move towards ICOM university museums abandon everything that does not perfectly fit into the ICOM world - teaching and research collections, for example.

Collections are older than museums. There are records of objects to support teaching since at least 2000 BC (with archives being even older). One of the most striking discoveries of early teaching collections was made in the early 20th century by the archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley in Ur (Iraq). Woolley found a school dating 530 BC containing a room with several antiquities pre-dating the school by up to 1,600 years. As if this discovery was not fascinating enough already, what appears to have been a 'museum' label was found accompanying the antiquities (Lewis 1984, Boylan 1999).

In universities, the history of teaching and research collections is at least as important as the history of museums. When the Ashmolean opened to the public, already a few collections were publicly displayed in European universities. In 1617, the collections of Ulisse Aldrovandi and Ferdinando Cospi were displayed to the public in the Palazzo Publico, Bologna (Laurencich-Minelli 2001). In 1662, the city of Basel bought the Basilius Amerbach's Cabinet of Curiosities and donated it to the university library - public access was granted in 1671, more than 10 years before the Ashmolean (Lepaire 1980, Lewis 1984, Ackerman 2001).

In this communication, I look at the history of university collections with the same seriousness as the history of university museums. However, this obviously means that a line will need to be drawn between a 'museum' and a 'collection'. This distinction is by no means an easy task. The modern meaning of the term 'museum' was formally defined by ICOM in 1946 and is subject to constant change, reflecting social needs and museological research3. ICOM's definition, however, does not apply to collections because in non-university museums the term 'collection' is clear: a museum is made of collections. In universities, we do find collections in museums but also outside museums, particularly those used for teaching and research.

For the purpose of this discussion the problem will be solved pragmatically. The word museum will be used with the same meaning as in the ICOM's definition - meaning that the first university museum will be the Ashmolean. The word collection will be used in the sense of an inner-logic coherent system of documented material evidence, permanently or temporarily gathered in the framework of a clear and previously established purpose. If this purpose is research, then we shall call them research collections; if it is teaching, then we shall call them teaching collections.

This paper aims at briefly presenting the origins and evolution of five historical landmarks that shaped the diversity and complexity of contemporary university museums and collections: a) the teaching collection, b) the teaching museum, c) the scholar collection, d) the research collection and e) the university museum. The paper does not include libraries, archives nor other collections gathered by universities outside their research and teaching missions.

An effort was made not to introduce new terminology, but rather to adopt terms with a long tradition both in universities and in the broader museum community.

The teaching collection: What is it and where did it appear?

The teaching collection is a long survivor - it is the Methuselah of university collections. However, where and when exactly the teaching collection did appear is not at all clear. Some authors say that there were hardly any collections in medieval Europe apart from the royal treasures and Church collections (e.g. Lewis 1984, Belk 1995). In the specific case of medieval universities, there are records of archives, commemorative objects, sacred art, manuscripts, and in due course, printed books (Gieysztor 1996).

The scholastic atmosphere and the theoretical nature of medieval teaching did not stimulate collections. On the one hand, we cannot say that direct observation and experimentation were emblematic of this period. Medieval ages venerated the rare, the unusual, the wonderful and the miraculous. Natural history was for a large part dominated by beasts like unicorns and mermaids, mostly due to a book written between the second and fifth century by the anonymous author known as Physiologus (Ritterbush 1969, Whitehead 1970). Moreover, the notion of 'research' and 'scientific progress' were ignored in medieval universities (Verger 1996). The engagement of the university in the discovery and the advancement of knowledge would only come later, with the Enlightenment and the establishment of national states (Rudy 1984)4. Neither was pedagogy what it is now. In early universities5, a typical class would begin with the reading of the official texts, followed by comments by the teacher - this was called the lectio, and its purpose was to accustom students to the "authorities". The lectio was followed by the disputatio, an oral debate when specific cases where discussed and constant reference to the authorities was required, either to establish, sustain or refute a given thesis (Verger 1973, Verger 1996). The lectio-disputatio model was universal in early universities6. Within such a framework, there is little need for collections (Boylan 1999).

However, when we learn about the contents taught in medieval universities, we become suspicious. Universities were organised under the classical model of the four faculties: Arts, Theology, Law and Medicine. The Arts were seven, grouped under the trivium and the quadrivium. The trivium included Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic, and the quadrivium comprised Music, Arithmetic, Geometry and Astronomy. Could there have been some sort of 'collections', at least in the teaching of medicine and the arts?

Actually, sources in the history of teaching do confirm this assumption. Although the term 'collection' is indeed absent7, there are records of object use in teaching at least during the late middle age period. In the first half of the 14th century the calculators in Merton College (Oxford) were pioneers in the application of mathematical laws into the study of movement and they also measured physical properties of bodies (Leff 1996). The same happened in Paris, with Nicole d'Oresme, in 1350, and earlier with both John Buridan, a professor of the Faculty of Arts, and Albert de Saxe (Leff 1996). It is certain that "the Oxford calculators and the Parisian logics created mathematical and mechanical instruments" (Leff 1996: 329) - and if so, they most likely used them for teaching. In general, physics and the quadrivium developed musical, optical and astronomical instruments that served "both for practical purposes and for research [sic]" (Rüegg 1996a: 27). Instruments like the quadrant, early models of astrolabes, solar clocks and the equatorium (for the study of Euclidean Astronomy) were used with teaching objectives. The University of Krakow is an early example because an independent Astronomy course started there as early as 1349 (North 1996).

As far as Medicine is concerned8, "practical demonstrations existed ever since the first medical schools in Salerno [Italy]" (Siraisi 1996: 366). Public dissections started in Bologna as early as in 1316, and in Montpellier dissections were statutorily established in 1340 (Siraisi 1996). Anatomy and pathology were taught in Paris since 1267 and at the time, although official dissections were not frequent, teachers regularly performed private dissections for their students (Clin 1994). The objectives of dissections were more related to the teaching of human anatomy than to the techniques of dissecting (supposedly the task of surgeons)9, therefore bones were likely to be cleaned and preserved for future use. Moreover, although the first confirmed record of a hortus medicus in universities dates to the 1450s, they probably existed earlier in some rudimentary form: a) first, herbs were cultivated for medical reasons in Europe at least since the 9th century10; b) second, the Arab treaties used in medieval university teaching explicitly considered botanical pharmacology as an independent area of treatment (Siraisi 1996), and c) medicine students had to be familiar with Aristotle's libri naturales.

In short, objects were already used in medieval universities to facilitate ideas. They were probably used repeatedly, individually and in groups - only in-depth research into primary sources can confirm this. In the Renaissance university - more open to pedagogical innovation than their medieval counterpart (Verger 1996) - models, maquettes, casts, reproductions but also real objects like specimens and instruments, continued to be assembled and used to illustrate, demonstrate and explain (Clercq & Lourenço, in press). Teaching collections are still extensively used in contemporary universities.

The hortus medicus and the theatrum anatomicum: paving the way for the teaching museum

Renaissance cabinets of curiosities and private collections have been studied in detail (e.g. Belk 1995, Impey & Macgregor 2001, Alexander 1979) and will not be addressed here. However, two remarks should be made in this connection. Firstly, it should be noted that many private cabinets of curiosities, despite their symbolic and mannerist arrangements, were considered important by university professors and scholars, who visited them regularly (Almi et al. 2001). Moreover, many wunderkämmer ended up in universities11. Secondly, the social conditions that triggered the development of Renaissance private collecting, such as the discoveries of foreign lands, European population growth following the plague, new inventions such as the clock and the printing press, and the rise of the bourgeoisie (Belk 1995). These conditions also affected university teaching, together with the humanist movement and the Reformation12.

In the Renaissance, three important landmarks should be considered in connection to the history of university collections: the botanical garden, the anatomical theatre (and the teaching museum) and the advent of the scholar collection.

As expected from the history of medieval universities, the first organised collections were undoubtedly related to the teaching of medicine: the physic garden (hortus medicus or hortus simplicium) and the anatomical theatre (theatrum anatomicum) (Schupbach 2001, Olmi 2001). The first garden was established either in Padua or Pisa in the 1540s, and the first anatomical theatre in Padua in 1594. From Italy, they quickly spread to other European universities, always with medical teaching or practice at the roots of their creation13 (cf. Annex). Physic gardens and anatomical theatres are relevant to the history of university museums and collections for two main reasons: firstly, because they originated several types of collections and the development of early preservation techniques; secondly, because they represent the first organised attempt to congregate objects in a permanent location for a specific public.

In gardens, plants were dried and mixed for medical purposes, thereby giving birth to herbaria and to pre-pharmaceutical collections - the materia medica. Even the perhaps unexpected geology specimens were collected during this time because they were considered to have healing power and symbolic meanings (Torrens 2001). Late 16th and early 17th century materia medica teaching collections at Cambridge University included a large proportion of minerals and fossils, also found in other European faculties of medicine such as in Leiden and Oxford (Torrens 2001). The first records of wax models appeared also in the 16th century, displayed along osteological material in anatomical theatres. A few of the early botanical gardens still survive today, but most anatomical theatres were destroyed or readapted for other use.

The birth of the teaching museum

Needless to say that these botanical and materia medica teaching collections required special locations in order to be easily accessed by students and scholars alike. Therefore, it was probably in the neighbourhood of botanical gardens and anatomical theatres that exhibitions were for the first time mounted in universities. Although we cannot truly speak of museums in the ICOM sense (Poulot 2001), exhibitions of teaching collections became known as 'teaching museums' - an expression still used today. In fact, the use of the term 'museum' is not completely void of sense, since the exhibitions were permanent and occasionally visited by the general public. Teaching museums exist therefore since the early 1600s and they were clear predecessors of the Ashmolean. The first record of a teaching museum comes from Pisa's Botanical Garden and was built in the 1590s (Alexander 1979). A similar one was built in Leiden in 1600 (Steven de Clercq, pers. comm., 11/08/2002). Anatomical teaching museums - located near anatomical theatres - appeared later, and the first was probably constructed in Leiden14.

The display of teaching collections was practical for obvious reasons and later the teaching museum spread to other fields - for example, the arts. The 17th century marks the beginning of the golden age of the schools of 'beaux-arts'. Painting, sculpture, and architecture were learnt by direct observation and, frequently, imitation, of famous artists. In this period, plaster casts became objects of study both in sculpture and in architecture (Mossière 1996). Similarly to their anatomical and botanical counterparts, the art teaching museums presented originals, reproductions, maquettes, and pedagogical models.

Teaching museums were also created near chemistry laboratories, astronomical observatories and physics cabinets, particularly after the mid 19th century higher education reform. Many established regular opening hours and increased public access, therefore becoming museums in the proper sense of the term. However, even after they "went public", some teaching museums maintained their "teaching appearance" and therefore only attracted highly specialised audiences. Sometimes, teaching museums were absorbed by already existing university museums. As we enter the Enlightenment, the complexity of museums and collections increases and they become more and more difficult to distinguish.

The scholar collection: What is it and when did it appear?

Still around the 16th century, a new landmark appears: the scholar collection. Just as the teaching museum is perhaps the embryo of the university museum, the scholar collection is the embryo of the research collection. Scholar collections prospered in 16th, 17th and 18th century Europe - belonging to learned societies and academies, merchants, princes, etc15. The type that interests us here, however, is the scholar collection closely associated with the university - i.e., gathered by university professors as a result of their own personal and professional interests and simultaneously used for study and teaching. The first was probably assembled by Ulisse Aldrovandi (1527-1605), professor de fossibilus, plantis et animalibus at the University of Bologna (Olmi 2001).

What was so special about these collections, and what is it that makes them embryos of modern research collections? Scholar collections probably represent the first attempt to study and document objects in an organised manner through direct observation and experiment, supported by an increasingly "natural" classification (Ritterbush 1969, Whitehead 1970). Contrary to the wunderkämmer, where reality was symbolically reconstructed, the scholar collection was seen as an instrument for the comprehension, archival and exploration of the world (Whitehead 1970, Olmi 2001, Laurencich-Minelli 2001). In Aldrovandi's collection, for example, works of art were separated from natural objects (Ritterbush 1969) and common objects - like local animals and plants - were also represented (Olmi 2001). However, most authors consider that these did not yet represent 'real' research collections. Mannerism and symmetry in display were still the prevailing organisation criterion (Olmi 2001) and most of the different classification systems16 were based on the living animal and its often amazing behaviour, a tradition that dates back to Pliny and Physiologus (George 2001, Olmi 2001). Research collections, in order to become just that, would have to surpass all symbolism, and in the case of natural history for example, this meant the acceptance of the basic presumption that specimens represented reality as they are (Ritterbush 1969).

However, we should not overlook the importance of scholar collections. Scholarly collecting continued well into the 17th and 18th centuries - with for example Olaus Worm (1588-1654) at the University of Copenhagen, Petrus van Musschenbroek (1692-1761) in Leiden, Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731) at the University of Amsterdam, Johann Heinrich Schulze (1687-1744) at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, and many others. The study of the antiquities and natural history specimens in scholar collections paved the way for the first coherent classification system by Linnaeus in the mid 18th century, the first zoogeographical glimmerings of Buffon in 1761 and 1766, the first evolutionary theory by Lamarck in 1809, and the first archaeological classification by Thomsen in 1836. In due time, the majority of these collections would become research collections and would be integrated in museums.

The invention of the university museum: the Ashmolean

The university museum in its modern form is an invention of 17th century Europe. The Ashmolean has been the object of in-depth study elsewhere (e.g. Bennett 1997, MacGregor 2001) and I will highlight only two aspects: a) the differences between the Ashmolean and the former teaching museum and b) the Ashmolean's organisational structure. The Ashmolean brought two innovations to the teaching museum. First of all, from the beginning a broader audience outside the university community was sought for the first time. Secondly, the teaching museum was merely a location were teaching collections were displayed - it had no structure, no specifically appointed staff, in short no institutional existence. The Ashmolean is the first institutional museum as we know them today.

However - and this is the second important aspect - although the Ashmolean marks indeed a new era, it does not exactly trigger a revolution in the university. The fundamental objective of the Ashmolean is still the same of earlier collections and undoubtedly of libraries and archives: in essence, an instrument to support teaching and to play an active role in explaining, describing, and archiving nature. There is a subtle continuity line that can be traced back from the Ashmolean to teaching and scholar collections and indeed to the Museion in Alexandria. With the Ashmolean, this ancient objective is simply procured in an integrated manner and with increasing access. Clearly, the concern of the Ashmolean's architect and early curators was to have everything under the same roof and easily accessible: teaching, research, display, and their users (students, professors, and public). The rest of the story is well-known: the Ashmolean model was imitated in universities throughout the world (Boylan 1999) - and in perhaps unexpected disciplines. In 1889, the Musésée Huguier, at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, included several display areas, a library and an archive, and a subsidiary anatomical museum and laboratory were human bones and articulations were prepared for teaching (Jacques 2001). The Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, established in Paris in 1794, also followed this organisational pattern, and both students and the general public were invited to attend classes and demonstrations, visit the exhibitions rooms or use the library17.

The Research Collection: What is it and when did it appear?

It is impossible to say when and where the first research collection appeared [cf. Benson (1988) and Kohlstedt (1988) for the early developments of biology in the United States]. To draw a line between scholar collections and research collections the line is extremely difficult, if not impossible,. As late as the 18th century, the Anatomy Museum at Oxford University included in its collection: "a Moor's ear cut off; a frightful large Indian Bat; the Hand of a supposed Siren, dried; a Mermaid's hand; the teat of a witch; the skeleton and stuffed skin of a woman who had eighteen husbands" (Whitehead 1970: 51). These objects are hardly typical of what we could call a research collection - and they are emblematic of the complexity of collections in the 18th century. In spite of the diversity of scholar collections, research collections only developed in disciplines that require objects in order to produce new knowledge and understanding; or, to use the expression of Martin Rudwick, in disciplines that share 'an interaction between theory-building and the accumulation of ever-richer stores of evidence' (Rudwick 1976). Research collections therefore flourished in zoology, palaeontology, botany, mineralogy and geology, archaeology, anthropology and ethnography, and medicine.

The history of these disciplines is well-documented and we will not address it here (e.g. Parr 1959, Zusi 1969, Rudwick 1971, Watson et al. 1971, Greene 1995, Farber 1997). Undoubtedly, the continuous study of scholar collections, the works of Bacon, Buffon, Cuvier, Lyell, Darwin, and Haeckel, among others, together with the development of preservation techniques, the development of scientific illustration and the great expeditions, had a major impact on the ramification and specialisation of natural history (Whitehead 1970, Farber 1997). Moreover, the Linnaean revolution delivered by Species Plantarum (1753) for botany and the 10th edition of Systema Naturae (1758) for zoology (Frängsmyr 1994) provided the framework for a coherent nomenclatural system18. Research collections in archaeology developed later19, when, in 1836, C.J. Thomsen introduced the three-age period (Stone, Bronze and Iron) and Jens Worsaae divided the Stone Age into Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic. These authors, together with Darwin and Lyell's revolutionary developments in biology and geology forged a new scientific view of human origins upon the Christian world (Greene 1995). Anthropological research collections also only appeared after natural history.

From the scholar to the research collection, the object acquires an increasingly important documentary value - it is collected to answer a particular question or to archive the answer (Clercq & Lourenço, in press). The ultimate example of the research collection is the reference collection - where objects are assembled in order to represent a qualitatively and statistically valid sample allowing a broad comparative survey of natural variation (the same idea as in contemporary political polls). The representative role of objects in collections was to a considerable extent adopted and adapted by archaeology and anthropology (Greene 1995, Boylan 1999), and even by other fields outside university museums (e.g. art collections representing particular styles or periods).

Final comments and some notes regarding the 20th century

Teaching collections were born with the first universities and remained, in essence, remarkably constant until today. Research collections were born in the mid- to late 18th century and were anticipated by late 16th century scholar collections. University museums began with the Ashmolean in 1683. Put like this, it sounds simple - but it is not.

When we reach the 19th century, the complexity of the museological panorama in universities rests before our eyes - teaching collections, research collections and museums coexisting and persisting well into the 20th century and the present day. As said before, the borders between these entities were - and still are - less than clear. Frequently, objects switched from research to teaching collections and from collections to museums. Moreover, after hundreds of years of existence, research and teaching collections have acquired different and new meanings.

In the 20th century, but especially after the Second World War, universities realised that they had accumulated objects, buildings and teaching equipments of high historical value. The acknowledgment of this heritage, together with the accumulation of donated art, and other social and academic factors, determined the birth of important different types of museums. Presenting exclusively historically relevant objects, these new museums - for example the museum of the history of science, the museum devoted to the history of the university and the art museum - are perhaps less dynamic in teaching and research but more likely to attract broader segments of the general public.

Therefore today, universities present the biggest (and probably the oldest) diversity of museological institutions in contemporary societies. Contrary to general museums and their ancestors - cabinets of curiosities - the pre-history of university museums and collections remains unstudied. The task is colossal because it requires the combination of the history of universities with the history of collections and the history of the disciplines represented in the collections. For as long as their history and singularity remain unstudied, the scientific and social roles of university museums and collections will remain undervalued, their identity will remain in crisis and their heritage will always be at risk. Therefore, although colossal, the history of university collections and museums is a most needed endeavour.


Dominique Ferriot, Steven de Clercq.
Peter Stanbury, Ireneia Melo, Bob Ursem, Silke Ackermann, Mikko Myllykoski, Kees Hazevoet.
University of Lisbon
Fundaçção Calouste Gulbenkian
Embassy of Portugal in Canberra?


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1. Marta C. Lourenço is assistant researcher at the Museum of Science of the University of Lisbon, currently doing her PhD at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (Paris) under the supervision of Dominique Ferriot and Steven de Clercq. Her research is focused on the role of objects in university museums and collections.

2. In the English language, the term museum was used for the first time with the Ashmolean; before, the term used was 'repository' (Whitehead 1970, Hunter 2001).

3. A museum is a non-profit making, permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study, education and enjoyment, material evidence of people and their environment (excerpt of ICOM's latest version of the museum definition, adopted in Barcelona, July 2001).

4. Professors should, however, obtain some progress, meaning that his formulations got closer and closer to the truth (Verger 1996) - but this progress was obtained through the study and interpretation of the Greek, Roman and Arab manuscripts. By the end of the 12th century, the majority of Aristotle works had been translated into Latin directly from the Greek and were studied in most universities (Whitehead 1970, Leff 1996, Rüegg 1996a). Albert Magnus (1206-1280) and his pupil Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), for example, were two important interpreters of Aristotle's texts. Albert Magnus wrote in 1256 an influential book on botanic: De vegetabilibus et plantis libri (Rüegg 1996a).

5. It is very difficult to point out an exact date for the creation of universities because criteria vary. Bologna is widely considered the first university in Europe. Although the date of 1088 is not fully documented, it is generally accepted as its foundation date (Rüegg 1996a). Bologna was a model for all Southern European universities (Verger 1996). The University of Paris was created between 1150 and 1170, although official recognition came in 1211 (Verger 1996). The first title of Chancellor was conferred in 1214 in the University of Oxford.

6. Universities systematically opposed other forms of intellectual expression. Both the mystical exegesis used in monastic culture and the more innovative methods of experimentation, measurement, and historical analysis were not permitted. The latter were gradually introduced in the late 15th and early 16th centuries with the humanist movement (Verger 1996). For more on the impact of humanism in universities, cf. Rüegg (1996b).

7. The use of the term 'collection' in the English language started in the 14th century (Merriam Webster On Line Dictionary).

8. For an overview of the study and practice of medicine in medieval universities, cf. Siraisi (1996) and Clin (1994) for example.

9. It is historically relevant to distinguish between physicians and surgeons because frequently medical and chirurgical collections evolved separately. In fact, physicians were taught in universities and had book-oriented training -physicians were scholars. On the contrary, surgeons were considered craftsmen, like barbers, and received only practical training (Clin 1994). Only later, in the 15th and 16th centuries did surgeons receive university training.

10. First record is the Monastery of Saint-Gall, in Switzerland, in the 9th century (Paiva 1981). No one really knows what early monastic gardens looked like, but the plan of Saint Gall survived and shows orchards, fish ponds, grape arbours, herbs and vegetables for food and medicine and decorative flowers (for the altar). For more on the history of botanical gardens, cf. Ingwersen (1978) and Morton (1981).

11. Just to mention a few: the zoology and geology material of the Cabinet of King Frederik II (1609-1670) formed the basis for the Zoology Museum and Mineralogy Museum of the University of Copenhagen, established in 1862 and 1870 (Gundestrup 2001); the 19th century sculpture cast collection of the University of Prague has its origins in the private cabinet of Count Nostitz (Dufková 1988); Sir Andrew Balfour (1630-94) cabinet of antiquities and natural history joined the University of Edinburgh in 1697 (MacGregor 2001).

12. For more on Renaissance and early modern universities, cf. A History of the University in Europe: Vol II - Universities in Early Modern Europe (1500-1800). Cambridge University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-521-36106-0.

13. The creation of Amsterdam Botanical Garden is both typical and interesting. In 1635, Amsterdam was severely stroke by an epidemic pest-disease, so severe that almost half of the population died or suffered greatly. Merchants, quackers, pseudo-medical doctors and doctors were selling all kinds of remedies etc... In order to prevent the quackery, the Municipality of Amsterdam created a test for new settling medical doctors (the keur). This decision was taken in 1636. In order to pass a test, a botanical garden was needed. Therefore, in the following year the Municipality of Amsterdam, on request of the association of medical doctors, agreed on the establishment of a hortus medicus. The Hortus Medicus was placed under the supervision of a team of physicians from the Athenaeum Illustre (the former name of University of Amsterdam) and in 1638 the first director, Johannes Snippendaal, was appointed, (Bob Ursem, pers. comm., 13/08/2002).

14. The teaching museum model was adopted outside universities. For example, societies of surgeons in Rotterdam and Delft were among the first to construct anatomical theatres where curiosities were displayed (Schupbach 2001).

15. Some private scholar collections include: Manfredo Stella in Milan, Lodovico Moscardo in Verona, Ferdinando Cospi and Antonio Giganti in Bologna (Olmi 2001); Gerolamo Cardano, Gian Battista Clarici and Pietro Antonio Tolentino in Milan (Aimi et al. 2001) - the two latter joined Aldrovandi's collections and can still be seen today at the Palazzo Poggi, University of Bologna. In Zurich, Conrad Gesner (1516-65), "the greatest naturalist of his century" (Rudwick 1985: 1) had in 1550 one of the first museums chiefly devoted to natural history (Alexander 1979); Felix Platter (1536-1614) had one of the most remarkable museums of his time, particularly rich in natural history specimens (Whitehead 1970). In France, anatomists father and son Sue had a collection of more than 1,000 items (of which the majority were wax models donated to the École des Beaux Arts), the anatomist Desault had a Museum Chirurgicum, and Fragonard had an anatomy cabinet in Alfort (Delmas 1995). In Holland, it is important to mention the scholar collections of Albert Seba (1665-1736), an apothecary and merchant in Amsterdam (Whitehead 1970), Jacob Swammerdam, also an apothecary, and Levinus Vincent, a merchant (Roseboom 1958). In Great Britain, we cannot ignore the scholar collections of the Tradescants, John Ray, Francis Willughby, Joseph Banks, John Hunter, Sir Ashton Lever, and Sir Hans Sloane, among others. As far as learned societies are concerned, the following had collections: the Accademia del Cimento (1650) in Florence; the Académie Royale des Sciences (1666) in Paris; the Royal Society (1660) in London; the Etruscan Academy (1726), which held excavations and a "galleria del publico" in Rome (Lewis 1984); the Natuurkundig Genootschap (1777) in Utrecht (S. de Clercq, pers. comm., 11/08/2002); and the Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen (1778) in Haarlem (Lewis 1984). Other academies, such as the Accademia dei Lincei (1603) and the Accademia Fisico-Matematica (1677), both in Rome; the German Academia Naturae Curiosorum (1652), in Schweinfurt, had plans for museums (Schupbach 2001) but never accomplished them. However, Torrens (2001) mentioned that the Accademia dei Lincei had geological collections.

16. Conrad Gesner developed his own groupings and Aldrovandi had also developed his own classification system (Rudwick 1985, Ray 2001). The same did John Ray and Francis Willughby (Ray 2001). John Tradescant adopted the system developed by the German Georgius Agricola (1494-1555) in 1546, at least in his mineral collection (Rudwick 1985, Torrens 2001).

17. In order to highlight even more the integrated nature of their mission, some university museums in the late 19th century and early 20th century (after the establishment of research collections), adopted the designation of 'museum-laboratory' (e.g. Museum and Laboratory of Mineralogy and Geology of the University of Lisbon). I think it is not by chance that in the 1970s Georges-Henri Rivière employed the expression museum-laboratory. He was an academic and we can read in his museum definition the he most likely got his inspiration from the Museion.

18. For a comprehensive historical account of nomenclature systems, particularly in Zoology, cf. Melville (1995).

19. We cannot speak of archaeology before the 19th century. "Before [the 19th century] what we have is amorphous antiquarianism" (S. Piggott, quoted in Greene 1995: 8).

Copyright © 2002 Marta C. Lourenço. All rights reserved.

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