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UMAC 2006: New Roads for University Museums

September 25-29, 2006, Mexico City

Participants of Conference
© Julio Antonio Contreras Juliàn, Contact

Presentations

If your presentation is missing from this list, please send it to weber@mathematik.hu-berlin.de.

Conclusions

Text (PDF)

Leaving Home: The Role of Touring Exhibitions for University Art Museums

Vincent Alessi
La Trobe University Art Museum and Collections, Australia
Full Text (PDF)

"University Art Museums have the distinct advantage of being able to engage with the wider public in ways that academic departments cannot. They act as a comfortable initial entry point for visitors who may perceive universities as insular and non-inclusive. They are able to present University research and areas of interest and importance in a manner that is less academic and more "user friendly". They are also custodians of important cultural collections that belong to and should be shared with the University community and the wider public.
However, for many University Art Museums the above aims are restricted by resources and facilities. Many museums are located within the University's campus grounds making access difficult for visitors. Many are also small in size (often with only a single-spaced gallery) limiting the scope and size of exhibitions. In addition, many art museums are faced with diminishing funding but increased expectations. The challenge for these University Art Museums is how best to reach a wider audience and how best to make available exhibitions that are just as valid and exciting as those shown at larger spaces.
Touring exhibitions in part address these challenges. They offer smaller sized spaces the opportunity to widen their audience, engage with the community and mount more comprehensive projects. In this paper I wish to present the experience of La Trobe University's commitment to hosting four external exhibitions per year; a combination of locally hosted and regional touring initiatives. This commitment has seen an increase in the University Art Museum's profile and importance and the development of more ambitious projects that aim to tour at a State, National and International level. Moreover, these touring initiatives have given rise to the opportunity to engage with academic departments on projects that promote the University's brand and core aims of teaching, learning and research.
I will also address the need of balancing touring exhibitions with those held at the University Art Museum, presenting a model employed by La Trobe University Art Museum to meet its commitment to the local on-campus community and a wider audience."

Museo Historico Hospital Nacional de Clinicas

Norma Acerbi Cremades
Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina
Full Text (PDF)

"The Museum was created on December 21st, 1995 by Resol 1541 in order to safeguard the scientific-cultural artifacts of the Faculty of Medical Sciences. Its Internal Regulations were approved on June 19th, 1997, all of the articles of which specify the working objectives and link between the Museum and its surrounding environment as a way of consolidating its heritage.
It is located inside the Hospital Nacional de Clinicas, the number one teaching hospital of the Faculty of Medical Sciences and was declared a National Historical Monument in December 1996.
It has belonged to the Network of Science Museums and Centers of the National University of Cordoba since May 5th, 199 as well as the RAMSA (Argentine Network of Health Science Museums of the University of Buenos Aires) since 2003.
The History Museum of the Hospital Nacional de Clinicas aims to fulfill the objectives of a contemporary museum, ensuring that its physical spaces are not only areas to contemplate the historical past of medicine, but also a focus for research, culture and education serving society through contact with all kinds of innovations. We want to reaffirm the concept of a "museum being less what it contains and more what it does". For this reason, its objectives include the stimulation of scientific and historical research as well as the teaching of Health Sciences.
The museum aims to bring together, preserve and exhibit instruments, apparatus and objects relating to Health Sciences from the past and present for scientific purposes (technical and teaching for the university community - lecturers and students) and for educational and cultural purposes for the general public. It also offers the services of a library and a specialized information and documentation center."

When strangers meet: Museum Professionals and Guest Curators

Linda W. Bahm
University of New Mexico Art Museum, USA

"Struggling with diminishing resources, growing and diverse audiences, and establishing relevance within the university and outside communities, university museums and collections can benefit greatly from their unique (and often no-cost) access to the academic and research community of their home institution. Indeed, the very foundation and growth of the collection may be the result of direct faculty involvement as researchers or museum staff. Courses are developed that may both support and drive the formation of the museum's collections, as well as its exhibitions. Members of the academic and research communities are logical partners to be called upon to work with museum staff to create exhibitions and outreach programs. University museums also call upon experts in the community, and often, particularly through museum studies programs, upon students, to serve as guest curators, curating and organizing exhibitions and related outreach activities.
Often, however, even with academics in the particular discipline of the museum, museum professionals and guest curators converge from widely varying interests and expertise. Expectations for the partnership can be diverse and perhaps conflicting. While the resulting programs can be innovative and rewarding, achieving a successful convergence of professional staff and outside experts can be time-consuming and challenging, even frustrating.
This session will present and discuss a variety of experiences-lessons learned and resulting exhibitions and programs-of working with a diversity of guest curators including academics, students, donors, and community members on recent exhibitions at the University of New Mexico Art Museum. Examples of interactions between guest curators and the museum's in-house curators, exhibitions design and installation staff, administration, and education staff will be discussed, along with pre-emptive strategies for managing these interactions in a positive and efficient manner."

Roles and Views; New Meanings and Directions for the Museum

Natalia Cabrera del Valle
Medical University of La Habana, Cuba

"Our aim is to show how to replace the Museum's traditional view with one from a perspective of Art Education, which will allow visitors to acquire knowledge through the enjoyment of pieces using an experiential learning method and, in turn, appropriating values which result from the activity carried out during the visit.
We are interested in transmitting this experience and exchanging opinions due to the fact that visiting the Museum from the perspective of Art Education has resulted in a valid experience in our university. This experience has been used by various disciplines as an elective course and, among our University's museums, we would like to draw attention to that of Legal Medicine which is home to pieces of great interest, not only for the discipline in question, but also for our culture, as its objects are of great socio-cultural value.
Visits have three basic objectives:
- To appreciate museum pieces from experience by means of personal research.
- To enjoy your visit to the Museum as a result of the various activities proposed.
- To appreciate the patrimonial wealth of the chosen museum.
This type of visit requires prior preparation allowing the visitor to better understand that which is exhibited in the Museum. Visits set off on the basis of the following assumption: "History told is not the same as history experienced". On this basis, students carry out activities aimed at interpreting exhibited objects and their points of reference.
Upon completing visits, activities are carried out in order to verify that which has been understood by the students and, in turn, to allow them to discuss their feelings and assessments in relation to what they have seen. This has led to an increase in visitors and interest in the activity."

Creating Tomorrow’s Curators Today: Student-curated exhibitions at the Sweet Briar Museum

Christian Carr
Sweet Briar College, USA
Full Text (PDF)

"It is clear that university museums face multiple challenges: how to make our missions relevant to new audiences in a multi-media world, how to balance accessibility and programming with a lack of staff and resources, and how to reconcile our role as teaching institutions with our responsibility to preserve and maintain our collections. The Sweet Briar Museum, under the auspices of the Arts Management department at Sweet Briar College, has implemented workable solutions to challenges in each of these areas.
Originally conceived as a shrine to the college's history, and thus of interest chiefly to our alumnae, the museum has expanded its mission to encompass the heritage of the region. It mounts exhibitions and related programs based on extant collections, but curated and interpreted in a way to draw in diverse audiences from the local communities. A change in administration for the museum, from a non-academic to an academic director, has underscored the position of the Sweet Briar Museum as a primary campus resource. As a result, students approach the museum with ideas for pre-professional projects to be carried out under the supervision of the museum director and the museum has emerged as a "learning laboratory" regarded on par with the science laboratories on the campus.
These students help run the museum on a daily basis, assuming many duties of professional museum staff in preparation for positions in museums after graduation. To insure that professional standards and practices are followed, students take a class designed by the director called "Curating, Collecting and Connoisseurship," after which they may handle collections objects and act as curators and interpreters of exhibitions developed under the director's supervision. This paper, based on examples of past and upcoming exhibitions, will present the evolution of a campus museum staffed at low cost by students who are thoroughly versed in accepted museum procedures, thus benefiting the students and the museum in many ways."

An experience in the care of mineral and lapidean rock collections, as is the case of the Applied Geology Division of the Museo de La Plata, Argentina

Silvia Carrasquero
Museum of La Plata, Argentina
Full Text in Spanish (PDF)

"The Museo de La Plata was founded in 1877 in Buenos Aires. In 1882, after the foundation of La Plata, its original site was transferred with its creator and first director, the Expert Francisco Moreno. In 1906, this Museum of Natural Sciences became the basis of the National University of La Plata, thereby becoming one of the main university museums in South America. It holds over 2.5 million pieces and is visited by some 600,000 people every year. It is organized into 15 Scientific Divisions dedicated to identifying, caring for, and maintaining the collections and the exhibitions rooms.
One of these Divisions is Applied Geology, which holds pieces from various parts of the world, which have been gathered by naturalists, researchers and faculty members of the house as well as donations. This Scientific Division is home to nearly 3,500 samples of metalliferous/non-metalliferous minerals, and implementation rocks, as well as solid/liquid fuels.
During the remodeling of the Museum in 2003, the exhibition and maintenance of the Applied Geology Division were changed in style, as per the input by experts at the Smithsonian and other institutions. The furniture was placed in external sectors of the exhibition rooms. A full re-inventory of all collections was performed as per the provisions in the Regulations for Handling the Collections of the Museo de La Plata. The samples were ordered and identified by a record number and a card including all data and, in the case of delicate or troublesome pieces (salts, carbonates, sulfur, etc.), extra preservation care was provided. Currently, a database using the WinIsis software (owned by UNESCO) is being put together. This will allow quick retrieval of the collections belonging to important sites in Argentina and other countries."

New Schemes for University Museums

Kwang-shik Choe
Korea University Museum, Korea
Full Text (PDF)

"Even though the central government has established national museums, the municipal government has established local museums and private organizations have established private museums, the status of university museums still remains unclear. Hence a new scheme for university museums ought to be devised for securing an ample budget, expanding the collection, attracting the visitors, and increasing the domestic and international exchanges among the university museums.
University museums ought to develop distinctive programs different from those of the other museums to increase attendance and to expand the public services they provide to the community. It would be necessary to strengthen the educational function of history and culture to middle school and high school students as well as university students. Moreover, educational programs for kindergarten children should be easy to access so that the children would feel the museum is more like a play space.
University museums ought to expand their collections depending on their human resources. The research materials of professors and the artifacts collected by the graduates could be used to expand collections. And, an increase in funds would strengthen the development of educational and cultural programs so that university museums function more as a social educational institution. Also, the manpower and the financial support from the central and the local governments would enable university museums to be more accessible to citizens. Especially public service programs for children from low income families would help make university museums more public-friendly. Moreover, an increase in domestic and international relationships among university museums by exchanging exhibitions and loaning artifacts would be necessary so that each university museum can share artifacts and best practices."

The Mexican Odontology Room - History Archive of Odontologists

Martha Díaz Gómez
UNAM Odontology School, UNAM, Mexico
Full Text in Spanish (PDF)

"The Mexican Odontology Room was born in response to the need of every profession to know about its history. Inaugurated during the first centenary of the Odontology School, this body takes up two rooms in the lower level of the Palacio de la Autonomía, a building that housed the institution from 1935 through 1957, and as of August the 2nd, 2004, accommodates the historical memory of the dental profession in Mexico. It is comprised of:
1. A museum - where equipment, tools, materials, instruments and drugs used by dentists in days gone by are permanently exhibited. We also have a collection of prehispanic pieces showing such dental works as ornamental fillings and inlays using turquoise, coral, conch, and hematite.
2. History Library - Here you can consult over 2,000 volumes. The oldest books in this collection date back to the mid 18th Century.
3. History Archive - to date it contains 15,000 classified documents. This historical heritage - unique in our country - has mainly been donated by collector dental surgeons and their families. Before installing the Mexican Odontology Room, all of the objects exhibited there were carefully restored and treated for preservation.
During the presentation, reference will be made to Samuel Fastlicht Ph.D., a dentist, an anthropologist and a historian who, driven by his great love for the past of Mexican odontology, dedicated 60 years of his life to obtaining all types of objects that will help us to rebuild our history. We will highlight certain important pieces of the Fastlicht collection, their value and meaning, and how they became UNAM´s patrimony. We will also mention how other private collections were gradually added until attaining what we have today."

Exhibiting Art and Anthropology: Planning the Pre-Columbian Exhibit at Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University

Miriam Doutriaux
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, USA

"Art and anthropology museums have traditionally been at odds in their collecting and exhibition practices. The former have often focused on unique or exceptional pieces with aesthetic appeal, which they present as examples of human achievement, while the latter showcased objects considered 'typical' of a given region, genre or culture and provided didactic information about contextual specificities. In the past few decades, however, these museums have begun to look more similar, as the creators of their exhibits increasingly found ways to emphasize both aesthetics and context in their displays.
Dumbarton Oaks' Pre-Columbian collection was one of the first to be exhibited as art rather than anthropological specimens, and it has long been recognized for its exceptional quality and aesthetic value. Since the 1960s, it was exhibited in a specially commissioned building whose glass walls, along with Plexiglas exhibit cases and transparent labels, aimed to create the impression that objects were floating in the air, visually accessible to the visitor, who should not be distracted by such things as labels, textures and colors.
The ongoing renovation of the galleries has provided a unique opportunity to revisit the historic exhibit and to formulate a new paradigm for presenting our Pre-Columbian collection in the 21st century. The current reconfiguration of the exhibit preserves the transparent, evanescent quality of the exhibit space that was created in the 1960s but it seeks, in a variety of ways, to integrate visual foci, contextual cues and various levels of information that will bring the objects on display to life, making them beautiful, intelligible and meaningful to a diverse audience. As a university museum and research center, Dumbarton Oaks is in a privileged position to experiment and innovate in ways to promote an interest, appreciation and scholarly study of the Pre-Columbian past."

Evolutions of University Museums in France: Different Roads for a Same Goal?

Hugues Dreysse
Mission Culture Scientifique et Technique: Université Louis Pasteur, France

"In the last decade French university museums have known various evolutions. Different workshops have improved our understanding of the situation and, at least formally, there has been increasing acknowledgement of their importance by the Ministry of Education (which in France has jurisdiction over university museums). In France, the general background is probably not very different of the rest of Europe. In this paper, I will focus on the situation in Strasbourg but other French examples will also be contemplated.
In Strasbourg, an important effort has been done in recent years and I will iscuss the project of the " Garden of Sciences". An increasingly widespread view shared by other universities is that the universities have a key role to play in our society and university museums are one important tool. Moreover, by combining this heritage with the recent developments of the scientific activities, it is possible to provide a new insight on science made today in the laboratories. Some concrete initiatives that have been recently developed will be presented, namely exhibitions and the "Fete de la Science". In Strasbourg, joint activities with the museums and the laboratories are proposed to a wide public. Another relevant example is "Kids University", organized by the LERU (Ligue of European Research Universities): during few days pupils are students at the university and the museums and collections are used to illustrate various scientific aspects. Partnerships with other local museums have also helped to change the image of university museums. All these activities require strong political support inside the university. As a positive development, one can see that an increasing number of universities have appointed chairpersons specifically to be in charge of the museums and, more generally, to work on relations between science and society. In Europe, the development of network is very strategic. For instance Universeum, which had its annual meeting in Strasbourg this year, continues to be an link between various universities. Finally, future developments will be discussed."

Bridging Knowledge Communities at the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology

Karen Duffek
University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, Canada
Full Text (PDF)

The renovation of University Museums. The case of the Ethnographic Museum of the Buenos Aires University

Marta Dujovne
Buenos Aires University, Argentina
Full Text in Spanish (PDF)

"UBA´s Ethnographic Museum, like many others, had been pushed into the background by deep transformations affecting the museum-as-institution over the last few decades. Created 100 years ago in the Philosophy and Literature School, during the 80s it was a space for archaeology research, which had neglected its duties of preserving and promoting heritage.
A renewal process was then faced in order to recover its university role of theoretical preparation and experimentation, reflecting upon its own meaning, looking after its collections and history, being open to different lines of research and an active mediator between knowledge and the community.
The promotion of historical and anthropological heritage was taken as the focal point for organization, from the point of view of social processes and the respect of cultural plurality.
It was assumed that patrimony is an area of conflicts and that the museum should not avoid them. Exhibitions also include conceptual perspectives and dominating facts which often helped to create collections.
The museum was understood to be a field of communication. Importance was given to design. An educational extension area was organized, which had an effect on the exhibitions from their inception, along with the people responsible for content. A system of room "referrers" (undergraduates) was set up - future researchers thereby educated in the promotion of knowledge from the beginning of their degree course.
Activity scheduling was increased in order to allow and encourage the use of the museum by different audiences - anywhere from children to specialists. Access was facilitated to archives - "visitable" sectors were implemented in storage. Overall, the need for critical reflection was established in all areas of the institution."

The Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Federal University of Paraná is the landmark for a program of revitalization

Ana Luisa Fayet Sallas
Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil
Full Text in Spanish (PDF)

"The Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (MAE) of the UFPR was established in 1962 in the Jesuit College of Paranaguá, which was built in the 18th century and taken over by the Service of National Artistic and Historical Patrimony in 1937. The MAE/UFPR was a point of reference for establishing the anthropology of popular traditions and Brazilian archaeology (in partnership with the Franco-Brazilian mission coordinated by Annette Laming-Emperaire). Beyond the wealth of its collections, the building that houses the temporary and permanent exhibitions is one of the first monuments constructed in Brazil for the Institute of National Artistic and Historical Patrimony - IPHAN. In the framework of UFPR's Strategic Management Planning (2002-2006), the following were undertaken: a Program of Renovation and Restoration involving the patrimonial base of the monument, the modernization of technical storage and an exhibition by the Museum in one of the university's historical buildings located in the city of Curitiba. The results of this program and its evaluation, coupled with the roles of research, education and cultural activities of the university, have led to reflection on the statute and function of UFPR's university museums. It is important to underline that this is the first time that the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of the UFPR has participated in integrated activities that not only involve the monument (the old Jesuit College, home to our permanent exhibition), but also the elaboration of a Museum Project including the reorganization of MAE from its management plan to its organizational chart, documentation standards and normalization, inventory, computerization and a modernized permanent exhibition."

Museums for the Future: Recognising new relevance for University Museums

Kate-Arnold Forster
University of Reading, UK
Full Text (PDF)

"This case study examines the process of how a small-scale collections development project led the University of Reading to adopt a coordinated development strategy for their museums and collections. Since 2001, this has resulted in the introduction of new management and governance structures and successfully attracting external capital investment and additional sources of revenue and project funding, laying the foundation for the implementation of new audience development programmes, focusing on academic users, teaching and the wider public. Lessons from this period of transformation will be considered, including success in funding development and the importance of strategic leadership, structural reform and aligning museum aims and activity to the University's corporate objectives.
The University of Reading's museums form a representative example of small and medium-sized collections, typical of a University with origins in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including fine natural science and archaeology departmental collections and a nationally recognised collection of rural history. But, in common with most museums in the university sector, they have been marked for many years by diminishing resources and declining standards of care associated with reduction in their use for teaching and research.
In less that five years this trend has been reversed: Three of the University's museums and collections have been subject to re-furbishment programmes, totalling more than £12million; more than £0.75 million has raised for collections management and interpretation projects and strategies are now being pursued to build renewed academic and public interest in the value of their collections, including new approaches to collections-based learning and research."

University Museums in Mexico: Reality and Utopia

Montserrat Gali Boadella
Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico

"The main objective of university museum collections in Mexico, as in the majority of cases throughout the world, is to support knowledge and research. Their origin is diverse and range from private collections to initiatives undertaken by parallel artistic and scientific institutions (the academic world, scientific associations, etc.). However, Mexican universities have established very unique museums and we recommend that the Mexican concept of university museums be analyzed on the basis of two basic ideas. The first refers to the development of culture and education in Mexico since the Mexican Revolution, a model which still fuels our cultural and educational policies and, as a result, museum policies. The second refers directly to the creation and development of our university museums. The educational project and cultural philosophy proposed by José Vasconcelos at the beginning of the 20th century is fundamental in both fields and, in particular, the role that universities need to play in the education of the nation through cultural extension and promotion. Even though Vasconcelos' utopia did not develop exactly as he envisioned, our paper sustains the thesis that university museums in Mexico can only be appreciated in the light of Vasconcelos' philosophy, sustained in the redeeming idea of culture."

The Mexican Odontology Room - History Archive of Odontologists

Martha Díaz Gómez
UNAM Odontology School, UNAM, Mexico
Full Text in Spanish (PDF)

"The Mexican Odontology Room was born in response to the need of every profession to know about its history. Inaugurated during the first centenary of the Odontology School, this body takes up two rooms in the lower level of the Palacio de la Autonomía, a building that housed the institution from 1935 through 1957, and as of August the 2nd, 2004, accommodates the historical memory of the dental profession in Mexico. It is comprised of:
1. A museum - where equipment, tools, materials, instruments and drugs used by dentists in days gone by are permanently exhibited. We also have a collection of prehispanic pieces showing such dental works as ornamental fillings and inlays using turquoise, coral, conch, and hematite.
2. History Library - Here you can consult over 2,000 volumes. The oldest books in this collection date back to the mid 18th Century.
3. History Archive - to date it contains 15,000 classified documents. This historical heritage - unique in our country - has mainly been donated by collector dental surgeons and their families. Before installing the Mexican Odontology Room, all of the objects exhibited there were carefully restored and treated for preservation.
During the presentation, reference will be made to Samuel Fastlicht Ph.D., a dentist, an anthropologist and a historian who, driven by his great love for the past of Mexican odontology, dedicated 60 years of his life to obtaining all types of objects that will help us to rebuild our history. We will highlight certain important pieces of the Fastlicht collection, their value and meaning, and how they became UNAM´s patrimony. We will also mention how other private collections were gradually added until attaining what we have today."

The trump card of university museums: academics from freshmen to emeriti

Kati Heinämies
Helsinki University Museum, Finland
Full Text (PDF)

"The construction of temporary exhibitions requires tremendous efforts in terms of financial resources and working hours for smaller museums.
Helsinki University Museum was established in 2003 and has since staged two temporary exhibitions per year, altogether six exhibitions.
Two of these exhibitions have been constructed by students and one has been planned and constructed by an incumbent professor and his students. In three exhibitions retired professors have either contributed with their scholarly expertise or been completely in charge of the planning of the exhibition.
Students provide enthusiasm and fresh new ideas while retired professors contribute their extensive expertise, and they are all willing to invest their valuable time and effort. I believe that it is far easier for the University Museums than for other museums to attract enthusiastic voluntary contributors and collaborators.
At present, Helsinki University consists of 11 faculties, which provide knowledge from a wide variety of science fields. This expertise has also been utilized during the construction and updating of the permanent exhibition."

New Uses for Old Archaeological Collections

Jessica M. Hupp
University of Pennsylvania, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, USA
Full Text (PDF)

"University museum collections are no longer the foundation upon which academic departments are built. Students worldwide wishing to pursue ancient Egyptian archaeology, however, still rely heavily on access to these collections for their research. In 2004, I undertook a survey of American university museums with ancient Egyptian collections in the hopes of identifying little-known collections that have rarely been studied, and assessing to what extent old archaeological collections have been incorporated into modern university curricula. Of the thirty-seven American university museums polled, eighteen responded, and among them were public and private universities with both large and small ancient Egyptian collections, some of which were well-studied and well-published, and others which were virtually unknown. This paper focuses on the results of that survey, especially the reported uses of the collections by students and researchers, the implementation of "hands-on learning," and the direct relationship between the curator's enthusiasm and the type of exposure the collection receives. In addition to requiring more staff, more space, and greater incentives for professors to use the objects in teaching, most respondents acknowledged that there is a need to more closely align the collection's uses with the university's educational goals. The new and innovative ideas put forth by the museum professionals surveyed will help to make the continued use of these old archaeological collections pertinent to all aspects of university education."

Joining the 21st Century while Remaining Honest to our Mission as University Museums

Aldona Jonaitis
University of Alaska Museum of the North, USA
Full Text (PDF)

"In September 2005, the University of Alaska Museum of the North (UAMN) opened its new wing which added 40,000 square feet to its existing 40,000 square feet. This museum, located at the farthest north American university, receives less than 35% of its support from state of Alaska, and thus must generate a substantial amount of operating funds from grants and contracts, admissions, store revenue and fund raising. Whereas better supported university museums have the luxury of focusing almost entirely on research, collections, and teaching, UAMN must balance its academic demands with need to generate income.
As a result, considerable time and energy has been devoted to marketing UAMN. To craft a viable marketing plan, we need to build on our strength as an institution dedicated to research and education, welcome our community, and remain open to the needs of our public. We must simultaneously maintain our professional standards as an academic organization while selling our museum to the general public.
In order to survive, many university museums will need to determine how significantly they must expand their missions in response to the increasing scarcity of institutional resources. And once they do so, they will have to embark on an endeavor that many of us have little or no training in, but is critical to success - marketing. This presentation will offer one an example of how this can be done, demonstrating how UAMN has been marketing itself as a tourist destination, a center for the Fairbanks community, a scientific research center, and an intellectually innovative institution."

A Simple and Necessary Proposition: Establishing the Central Role of the Art Museum in Advanced Education

Thomas W. Lentz
Harvard University Art Museums, USA

"How a collection is presented, made accessible, and then finally intersects with multiple users, both internal and external, has historically stood at the heart of an art museum's purpose. Recent decades have witnessed a variety of new and very real pressures that have tended to shift focus away from this central function toward strategies aimed at other goals, such as greater attendance or revenue generation, which often relegate permanent collections to subsidiary status. Frequently overlooked in this new environment are university art museums. Their smaller size, position within a larger academic context, and their specific audience requirements not only render them immune to many of the corrosive effects of market-driven forces, but actually constitute sheltering, liberating advantages. In theory, this should allow attention and resources to remain focused on collections, but what is the form and quality of that effort? How should university art museums use their collections and why? What distinguishes interaction between audiences and works of art in an academic context? Is it really different?
Forced with major physical change and transformation, the Harvard University Art Museums are attempting to answer these questions with a vision for its future that calls for a repositioning of the museums and their collections that brings them into closer alignment with Harvard's educational mission. It centers on the collections, making them far more accessible than in the past, and using them in new ways for students, faculty and the community."

Museums in the National University of Colombia: Between Institution and Museological Modernism

William Alfonso López Rosas
National University of Colombia, Columbia
Full Text (PDF)

"The scientific and artistic museums and collections of the National University of Colombia (UNC) have played an extremely long and silent role which probably dates back to the very origins of the Republic of Mexico. Paradoxically, the recognition and importance that the UNC itself has placed on its museum potential and on the patrimonial wealth of its scientific and artistic collections are dramatically close to zero.
If we were to put together a history of this experience, researchers in the field would almost certainly find that the UNC has, for example, played a fundamental role in the shaping of some of the most important museums in the country and that, in more recent times, it has contributed to the acceptance of modern museum thinking and to the educational renewal of processes for the social appropriation of arts and sciences, at the same time turning its back on the professors and employees who have led these processes.
During this conference, I would like to present a summary of the most contemporary events experienced by some of the UNC museums on the Bogotá campus in order to then provide a brief diagnosis of their current situation, finishing off with a presentation of the design and management process of the Master's Program in Museology and Heritage Management recently approved by the Upper University Council. In this context, this program is a strategy for opening up an academic space for the recognition and consolidation of museums within the structure and scientific proposal made by the UNC to its university communities, to Colombian museums and to the museum community of the Andean region."

The University Museum as Public Laboratory

Sally MacDonald
UCL Museums and Collections, University College London, UK
Full Text (PDF)

"University museums contain some of the richest and most extraordinary collections in the world, and can draw on an unparalleled set of specialist resources. Yet collectively we have found it difficult to communicate our distinctive role. A recent report commented that many university museums 'lack a clearly articulated role within their parent institutions…and the vision and support to engage creatively with the world beyond' (University Museums in the United Kingdom, University Museums Group 2004).
This short paper makes the case for the university museum as a public laboratory (or studio, or rehearsal space); a place of experiment and grounded research, drawing on a rich academic environment yet engaging with a range of internal and external audiences; a place that mixes academic and community rhythms.
We are exploring the notion that the ideal university museum might have a 'work in progress' feel, where questions and gaps would be highlighted, and where failed experiments would be displayed alongside those judged a success. This public laboratory would have transparent walls. In it the boundaries between staff and public would become blurred, with significant consequences for how it might be run. It would be a provocative space. It would foster interaction across disciplines, between the wider museum and heritage sector and the general public.
UCL is attempting to create a new building, incorporating some of these ideas, to house some of its great collections. This involves not only designing new types of space, but also devising new staffing structures, new attitudes to staff development, and new ways of working in the academic and public spheres to enable this vision to be realised. The overall aim is to ensure that UCL's historic collections better serve the core mission of the university, and are not seen simply as relics of its prestigious past, but as essential tools for its future academic success and sustainability."

"This talk summarises a few thoughts on what makes university museums special, and how they might remain distinctive and relevant. I will refer to examples of some of the things we are doing at UCL."

What a mess! Claiming a Space for Student Experimentation in the University Museums

Janet Marstine
Dept. of Art and Music, Seton Hall University, USA
Full Text (PDF)

"As an institution prioritizing pedagogical mission, the university museum has the potential to become a laboratory for critical thinking. Protected by intellectual freedom, the university museum can develop interdisciplinary, open-ended projects, without foregone conclusions, and can foster multi-layered connections and contradictions. To fully operate as laboratory, however - a site that assumes risk as hypotheses are challenged - the university museum must make opportunities for students to create exhibitions, not just annual shows of student art but exhibitions with diverse political viewpoints and design strategies. While it is imperative that students learn "best practice" before and while producing their exhibitions, I would argue that museum staff refrain from what often amounts to censorship in the name of "professional polishing." This paper will assert that, despite pressure from administration and alumnae to make the university museum a showpiece, museum staff must encourage the messiness that the learning process entails. Students who understand "best practice" and follow appropriate handling/care of objects but choose to take intellectual risks, for example, with unusual labels, unconventional juxtapositions, new technology, raw but original programming, or critical responses to other in-house exhibitions, need to be given a forum. It is through creating such disruptions from traditional museum narratives that emerging museum professionals and constituents imagine new possibilities for the museum and develop skills in change leadership. This talk will also propose that supervising staff and professors frame student projects, through wall texts, design and programming, in a way that helps the visitor to understand that a university museum is a laboratory for learning and that these student exhibitions are part of this mission. Embracing messiness and contradiction over unity and order is an integral part of making the university museum a venue for critical thought. Accepting this role will ensure the vitality of the university museum in the twenty-first century."

Commercial consultancy: Advocacy and industry partnerships at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne

Chris McAuliffe
The Ian Potter Museum of Art; The University of Melbourne, Australia

"Although Australian university art museums represent 25% of the national art museum sector, they have difficulty accessing its usual funding streams: the public sphere (local, state and federal governments), philanthropic grants and corporate sponsorships. University art museums are seen as the responsibility of the host university or of educational, rather than cultural, funding agencies.
In the past two decades, government funding of Australian universities (almost entirely public institutions) has declined dramatically. Universities now rely heavily on student fees and commercialisation of research. In a competitive fundraising environment, the Potter has found success in developing commercial consultancies based on its knowledge of contemporary art, cultural policy and museum procedures.
Five percent of the Potter's annual revenue is now earned through advising corporate clients. This is not a quid pro quo or sponsorship arrangement. It involves the direct provision of service (policy, curatorial advice, analysis, interpretation, education programs) and brokering of third-party services (art sales, storage, freight, framing, conservation, print, design) on commercial terms. The Potter's strategy is in keeping with the general trend towards the commercialisation of intellectual property at Australian universities. It is, however, unusual in the museum sector, representing a very direct form of advocacy while redefining the notion of the art museum as a public institution.
Commercial consultancy has been one solution to declining resources, as well positioning the art museum effectively within the University of Melbourne's Knowledge Transfer strategy and enhancing recognition of the museum in the corporate sector. The Potter is able to compete with private providers by offering the range of experience and intellectual depth of the university. It has encouraged corporations to see art acquisition within the framework of cultural policy, rather than as a 'feel-good' or interior decoration exercise. Staff of the museum have gained considerable 'real world' experience in large-scale project management, client services and communication."

University Museums in South Africa: What strategies are they adopting to cope with a changing world?

Ian McKay
Geology, Palaeontology, and Rock Art Museum, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

"South African University museums, like their overseas counterparts, are undergoing a period of stress. They are struggling to attract government funding because it is argued that maintaining and displaying collections is the domain of national (and other) museums in South Africa and not the domain of universities museums, which could be summarily closed due to a change in research focus at the university. Also, funding from cash strapped universities is scarce as university museums compete with other higher priority research and educational imperatives. The result is South African university museums are becoming increasingly under-resourced in terms of staffing, display areas and storage facilities and are finding it ever-more difficult to grow, maintain themselves or even survive. This paper analyzes strategies that South African university museums are adopting to cope with the changing conditions. It finds that strategies can described in terms of the following interlinked variables: outsourcing and management, source of funding and market focus.
Management and outsourcing: Some university museums outsourced certain museum functions e.g. management. In extreme cases, universities have relinquished control over an entire museum/collection to a museum company or government funded museum.
Source of Funding: economic sustainability: Some museums have gone the route of attempt to sustaining themselves almost entirely using funds raised from visitors this may involve a partnership with an commercial management company. Others subsist on donor funding while others scrape by on internal funding from the University itself.
Market focus on the broader community: Some university museums seek sustainability by enhancing their relevance to the broader community possibly via: exhibitions, edutainment, interactive education programmes, teacher training, adult education, and even participation in development of government policy (e.g. In curriculum development)
Market focus on the university community: Museums can also choose to focus on being relevant to the internal University community. Such museums may be more inward looking, their focus is on maintaining collections for research, and ensuring that the museum facilities and staff are integrated into every day teaching university teaching activities.
Case studies are used to critically evaluate how university museums are using these strategies or combinations of these strategies and an attempt is made to describe a "golden combination" of strategies that could best serve natural history or science museums in a university location. Such a combination of strategies could possibly be applicable to University Museums outside South Africa."

'Collective Conversations': New Approaches to Unifying the Work of a University Museum

Nicholas Merriman
Manchester Museum, United Kingdom

"The paper will begin by giving a brief overview of some of the new approaches being adopted by university museums and galleries in the UK as they re-think their missions in response to changes in the higher education sector and in the wider cultural sector. Some excellent examples are coming forward of museums and galleries which serve the teaching and research agendas of their universities, and, in particular the community engagement agendas which are becoming of increasing importance. In this way, a unique role for UK university museums is being carved out within the landscape of higher education, and within the national museum framework, based on innovation and experimentation through collections-based learning.
The main part of the paper will give a case study of the Manchester Museum, which is part of the University of Manchester, now the largest university in the UK. The Museum is currently working towards a way of working which sees all of the museum's activities as contributing to a single vision which links work on collections with community engagement and work on interpretation, which in turn feeds back to inform documentation in a virtuous circle. The 'Collective Conversations' initiative is a good example of this, where members of local communities work with museum staff on the re-interpretation of collections, which then results in new displays and new documentation. This approach, which sees the university museum as a site of dialogue between the academy and the community, is now permeating all aspects of our museum work and has resulted in the museum winning prizes for its innovation in this area."

UNAM Museums vis-à-vis the 21st century

Luisa Fernanda Rico Mansard
General Department for the Promotion of Science, UNAM, Mexico
Full Text in Spanish (PDF)

"This paper emphasizes the aims of university museums, differentiating their original intentions in relation to collection-teaching, collection-research and collection-promotion of culture in order to link them to the current development of the fundamental duties of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, from a 'university museum' point of view which, while highlighting lines of action, also allows us to be reunited with museum visitors.
The reassessment of these collections and museums means that we need to take into consideration their educational, political and social dimensions and requires the differentiation and implementation of museum categories such as: school, academic, university, closed, open, on-site, outside, etc., as well as the consideration of rapprochements with and activities for various student groups which, from an academic-chronological point of view, range from University Initiation to postgraduate studies and, from a museum point of view, range from those preparing specimens for exhibition to those who want to carry out a virtual visit of the museums.
The national renown of the UNAM not only requires a critical look at what it has to offer with regards museum activities, but also requires the proposal of new courses in order to be able to continue offering working models for the new century."

University Museums as an Incubator and Interchange for Museum Practice

Andrew Sipmson
Macquarie University, Australia

"Universities originally developed their museums to support the teaching and research activities of certain academic disciplines. A university that maintains a range of museums has great potential to develop interdisciplinary exhibition and education programs. If that same university also develops a museum studies program then its museums can support a teaching and learning function that extends beyond their original academic discipline.
Museum Studies, broadly defined, is one of the fastest growing postgraduate programs in the world today. In a globalised world many people see museums as a way of preserving and interpreting regionally specific natural and cultural heritage. As a result many education providers see expanding vocational opportunities. A majority of programs offer some work placement or professional experience component. Macquarie University's Museum Studies program has developed a Professional Experience component that is project-based and delivered either through our on campus museums or through a diverse range of external partner organizations. The nature of individual projects is negotiated prior to placement.
Given the broad ICOM definition of museums, our students have worked in large city institutions, small local government museums and galleries, National Parks and Wildlife Service and a range of volunteer run community museums. These connections operate as a two-way exchange between our campus museums and the broader museum community. Students have worked on projects involving archives, curation, exhibition development, education programs, web site development and audience studies. Some of these are briefly outlined in this presentation.
Through on-campus placements our university museums can become experimental laboratories for museum practice that can then be transferred to the broader museum community through the work of our program graduates. Conversely, challenging museum practice originating outside the university is also transferred to inform our on campus museum practice."

New Roads and Culs-de-Sacs

Ewen Smith
Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Full Text (PDF)

"Where the host institution locates its museum or gallery within its overall management structure can demonstrate a great deal about the university's ambitions for, and expectations of its collections.
The University of Glasgow will shortly (2007) celebrate the bi-centenary of its Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, as the oldest public museum in Scotland. A nationally and internationally significant collection within the cultural heritage of Scotland, the Hunterian has, over recent years, been at risk of being viewed by colleagues in academic departments as a luxury and a cost, rather than a unique institutional selling point and a fantastic resource.
Originally viewed, together with the library as a core source for teaching and learning, the use of the University's heritage collections for these purposes has suffered from a change in pedagogical necessity or fashion, with object-based teaching methods being increasingly marginalised (coincidentally, as the dream of mass education has been largely realised).
This talk will examine the recent history of the Hunterian, with a particular focus placed on how, over the last 10 years, management structures have changed in response to these and other developments. It has been a period when the host institution has struggled to identify new roles for its collections, or simply a new balance in its existing roles. The discussion will attempt to throw light upon what the structural changes say about how collections can be viewed as developing outreach and community access, about the balance of academic support and service, and about the potential for alternative income generation and fund-raising.
"

New approaches to collections-based learning: Getting students into university museums

Rhianedd Smith
Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading, UK
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"Many university staff and students never step foot inside their campus museums. However, the approaches of collections based learning and gallery teaching have a lot to offer to an undergraduate audience. At the University of Reading we are using these methods to reinvigorate the role that museums and collections play in life on campus. This paper will discuss the work being undertaken at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) to make a fascinating and unique collection relevant to new academic and undergraduate audiences.
This work is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England's (HEFCE) Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) scheme. The University of Reading's CETL in Applied Undergraduate Research Skills aims to develop student's ability to think independently and critically through engagement with primary research. One of the ways that this is being achieved is through utilising the University's outstanding museums and collections.
Through this funding the Undergraduate Learning Officer's post was created at MERL. The aim of this post is to facilitate and encourage undergraduate research and teaching in a severely underused collection. The challenge has been making a subject specific museum applicable across as wide a range of disciplines as possible. Through consultation with a range of university departments we are developing teaching which will use original artefacts to develop a range of student skills.
The CETL has also established an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme which will allow students to undertaking independent research projects. At MERL this is being used to allow students to work with original objects and archives in order to create resources that will aid future student and academic researchers.
In this way we aim to make use these exceptional resources to enrich student learning and to make museums and collections a major part of university life."

Los retos de la Inclusión Social en los Museos Universitarios Brasileños: El proyecto educativo del Museo de Arqueología y Etnología de la USP con la Favela São Remo”

Camilo Vasconcellos
Museo de Arqueología y Etnología de la Universidad de Sao Paolo, Brazil
Full Text (PDF)

Using interdisciplinary educational programs and wide ranging projects to raise the profile of university collections

Cornelia Weber
Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
Full Text (PDF)

"Usually, university collections are bound tied to a particular subject with a specific use in education and research. Most of the old universities in Europe possess various holdings of collections which represent a broad spectrum of disciplines, i.e. Anatomy, Botany, Zoology, Archaeology, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy. In the past those collections have been restricted to one discipline or educational purpose. Today, we are aware of a trend to overcome these disciplinary boundaries and pursue a new way to raise the profile of university collection.
Some universities merge their collections into a broadly based museum often located in a central building. In some cases this may be the best solution to preserve the collections, but the disadvantage of this approach is that the objects must leave their institutions and are not regularly available for teaching and research: Being without a strong institutional background often means being without a close connection to present-day research projects and inquiries. Therefore it is sometimes better to keep a collection in its traditional context and try to start projects which themselves are broadly based and do not require a long-term abandonment of objects.
This paper offers some ideas and examples from Germany on how to use non-central stored collections and objects for interdisciplinary educational programs and wide-ranging projects, e.g.: teaching students in the context of general studies, demonstrating the difference between working methods in the fields of sciences and humanities, offering exhibitions with objects from different academic spheres and stressing the network of researchers, disciplines, institutions, collections and objects in a digital museum."

Poster Presentations

Internet as a Tool for Promoting Science to a Wider Public

Alejandra Alvarado Zink
General Department for the Promotion of Science (DGDC), UNAM

"This proposal aims to present the way in which we can use internet to promote among a larger audience some of the subjects relating to biodiversity which are part of the educational and environmental communication activities offered by the museums of the General Department for the Promotion of Science of the UNAM to the general public. A web page for the Department of Press and Radio was developed throughout 2005, the main objective of which is to promote subjects relating to education and environmental communication as a result of Mexico's importance as an extremely diverse country. For this reason, thanks to our multi-disciplinary team and the new technology and tools offered by the internet, we were able to provide visitors with access to more than 450 radio capsules discussing diverse subjects relating to natural sciences. Access is also provide to interviews carried out with researchers who provide information relating to how, with what and why they work in the field of science. Interactive pages are also available which provide specific information relating to subjects such as the tremendous diversity of the organisms with which we share the planet, the importance of biodiversity, the way in which biodiversity is studied and the way in which we can contribute as individuals to maintaining it. Some of these pages include games that help to reinforce the information provided."

The University Museum - An Accessory to Creative Teaching

Berta Teresa Abrahman Jalil
Research Center of Social Studies and Humanities, UAEM, Mexico

"Since teaching, research and extension - diffusion are the main duties of a University and gathering, preserving, researching, and communication-dissemination that of a Museum, it is necessary to systemically correlate such duties as part of the analysis of the University´s curricula contents, in such a way as to establish a series of coincidental points between the museum´s collections and the contents of certain curricula, within a multidisciplinary framework.
The idea is that the Museum stops being seen as a secondary or accidental space where an exhibition or activity supporting teaching university tasks may occasionally happen, and transforms into an important and significant body in the teaching-learning process, the scope of its objectives and, even, for the development of such a process.
This implies reviewing the museum´s mission and that it sets out to become an indispensable entity, and not just a casual one, for the achievement of the objectives in the university´s curricula. This implies the exposition of new ways to relate formal and non-formal educational systems - as is the case of a Museum. During this correlation process, a key task will be in the hands of the Educational Museum Services area. This area will be in charge of the analysis of curricula content , as well as for proposals for creative activity programs to be developed together with professors within the museum´s scope including assessment systems. The main goal is for professors to re-assess the museum´s role in their teaching work- and, especially, that undergraduates re-assess the museum as a space where learning and development activities benefiting their education as future professionals is possible."

A Timeline of the Living History at Chucalissa

Wendy D. Bartlo
University of Memphis, USA

"From its discovery in 1940, administrators associated with the development of the site proposed the focus on living history through the inclusion of local Native American communities in activities at Chucalissa. Through an examination of the individuals and families who participated in the creation of tourist arts and traditional crafts, domestic industries and activities, performance events, and ceremonial life, this poster paper provides a chronology for evolving and vital Native American participation in public programs at the site.
Because of a lack of Reservations in Tennessee, the Native American populations of the region were subject to the 19th century U.S. policies for indigenous removal. This historical context created a situation where interpretive archaeology and museums were the sole connections to indigenous people within their Tennessee homelands. Therefore, administrative incorporation of native peoples offered a rational for them to connect to their cultural heritage.
The activities of native peoples at Chucalissa can be divided into four meaningful categories; arts and crafts, domestic industry, performance events and reconstructed ceremonial life. Arts and crafts included traditional southeastern crafts and more recently introduced pan-Indian arts and crafts driven by tourist demands. This also included the rediscovery, through close examination and trial and error, of Mississippian shell temper technologies and traditional decorative motifs. Domestic industry concerning site development and maintenance was available to augment the household economy. Performance events were added to the programmatic offerings at Chucalissa through the introduction of the annual powwow and other various performances. Traditional ceremonial events emerged from these as native interpreters at Chucalissa sought to reconnect to traditional social and religious ceremonies.
Contemporary inclusion of Native Americans includes site administration, creation of didactic programs and public outreach. This poster will offer an example of the sights and sounds that native peoples have contributed to living history at the Chucalissa Museum."

The Scattered Prado. History and Adventures of a Collection Not Belonging to the Santiago de Compostela University

Rosa Cacheda Barreiro
Santiago de Compostela University, Spain

"The purpose of this presentation is to present the pictorial heritage of the Santiago University originally from the Prado Museum. The origin of this collection dates back to the 1970s - a time when the Prado Museum warehouses were saturated due to its merger with the Trinity Museum or National Painting and Sculpture Museum. The works are distributed among various university buildings - the Geography and History Schools, the University´s chapel, the rector's office, the Main Lecture Hall of the Law School, etc. - with neither stylistic nor chronological criteria. A number of the paintings were brought in directly from the Prado Museum and others indirectly after having been sent to the General Technical Institute and Economic Society of Friends of the Country.
The oldest works in this collection belong to the Flemish school - which is characterized not only by the paintings, but also by the carvings that were made in Spain by Belgians as early as the 17th Century. It proves most interesting showing the influence that said pictures had on the Spanish Baroque paintings and, particularly, on the works preserved in the collection of the Santiago de Compostela University. Alongside the Flemish school, the second most important school - as far as the influence of foreign art is concerned - is the Italian style, which mixes religious themes with profane symbols (as we will see in such important paintings as Jesus at Marta and Maria´s house located in the Law School´s Meeting Hall, or The Card Players in the rector's office in San Xerome). Spanish paintings plays an important role thanks to the schools of Sevilla, Valencia, and Madrid.
The most relevant works from this collection will be analyzed, and the space and context they are in will be studied - with special reference to the influence exerted in its iconographic makeup, as well as its repercussions on figurative arts in European art.
A comparative analysis will be conducted with the remaining works of the Prado, which are scattered throughout the various museums of Spanish universities. Different genres characterizing the collection of the Madrid Museum will be identified, such as portrait, landscape, still life, hagiography or allegoric scenes related to biblical passages or historical themes. A conclusion relating to the importance of the Prado Museum collection in the configuration of the complex and vast pictorial patrimony of the Santiago University - as well as the inclusion of a series of iconographical themes, which will be useful to the school of local artists - will serve as a wrap-up."

Universum, the UNAM Science Museum and Sex Education

María Isabel Carles King
General Department for the Promotion of Science, UNAM, Mexico

"UNIVERSUM, the Science Museum of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), is presenting an exhibition dedicated to human sexuality - The Human Reproduction Encyclopedia - which is part of the Human Biology and Health room. It addresses various sexuality/reproduction-related topics. It deals with the physiological processes involved in human reproduction including: fertilization, embryo development, menstruation, menopause, intercourse, etc. The presentation is focused on a teenage audience (junior high/high school). Guides or "Hosts" are available and, as a result, the public is able to get information according to its education and age. Also, the exhibition is used as a didactic tool by UNAM and High School and Humanities teachers and students, who are oriented and sensitized along themed routes addressing basic information required. In the Human Biology and Health room, an interest in enhancing the syllabuses and training programs for hosts was manifested. Therefore, help was sought from University professors dedicated to these topics, in order for them to teach courses, seminars, workshops, and conferences. These educational activities - and assessment of same - was carried out from 1997 through 2000. The experience acquired through these activities and assessment of the same, led to the planning of the Sexual Health Promotion Diploma in which university professors took part as module coordinators. The Diploma was taught for the first time in 2001 and the educational program has opened up to include professionals engaged in the field of sexual health."

University Museums and Children - Our Experience with the MAX´s Pals Project

Florencia Carlos Cruz
Xalapa Anthropology Museum, Mexico

"Since 1957, Veracruz University´s Xalapa Antropology Museum has been home to 30 centuries of art and history from the cultures that populated Prehispanic Mexico´s Gulf Coast. The museum´s rooms currently exhibit nearly 1500 pieces. The museum´s Director is Mrs. Sara Ladrón de Guevara, Ph.D. She strives to find new ways to open up its collection to diverse audiences, based on the idea that a museum visit should be an experience triggering exploration and discovery processes instead of a mere contemplative and passive act.
On this premise, the museum´s Educational Services Department created the program "MAX´s Pals", a permanent club for children and youngsters under 16. Every Sunday, it offers a suite of recreational activities closely linked to the collection - themed tours, the narration of legends, plastic expression workshops, video projections, and chats about various topics.
A team of 20 undergraduates from plastic arts, history, anthropology, tourism and languages - which gives a multidisciplinary and formative edge to the project - were involved in the planning, operation and evaluation of the program. This team will be fully renewed at least once a year, leading to the creation of a large student practice laboratory.
The program goals are that younger visitors find out more about prehispanic cultures in a fun way; that the museum becomes a space of coexistence; and that the community has an alternative where art and science are bound together. All these are aimed at demystifying the museum, so that it will acquire a family-oriented, everyday nature.
During its first year of activities, the program has recruited about 900 children. Of these, 40% comes back each week. This allows activities to be extended over several sessions and ensures theme continuity.
This experience can already measure its impact on the community. The next stage includes evaluation and reconsideration of strategies in order to assert its basic objectives."

Braille Museographic Cards for Universum. A Path Partly Financed by PAPIME, UNAM

Leticia Ma. Del S. Chávez Martínez
General Department for the Promotion of Science, UNAM, Mexico

"In the international arena, museums have taken various routes in order to create support programs for providing assistance to disabled people. In Mexico, there are few museums that have been able to promote the inclusion of this sector.
Specifically, in the General Department for the Promotion of Science, we have taken various routes over the last five years trying to promote this type of service. The main limitation has been the lack of budget to make the necessary arrangements and to create supplementary materials - therefore, this has not yet been completed.
We have been looking for ways of financing the providing of assistance to disabled people at Universum - particularly, being able to receive blind and short-sighted people. Among other options, we incorporated the project into the Institutional Projects Support Program (PAPIME) at the General Department of Academic Staff Affairs, UNAM, the aim of which is to support university professors in their teaching. At a given time, Universum may be an aide to teaching, therefore this was our reasoning for the project. After an exhaustive review, it was approved.
By means of this project, we want to help to include short-sighted and blind people in the promotion of science; making Universum a museum working for the inclusion of disabled people, encouraging a new culture among its personnel, scholars, hosts and tour guides; creating the minimum conditions required so that short-sighted and blind people may make their visit to Universum not only a recreational experience, but also obtain information as part of their academic education through Braille cards.
This paper shows where we have gone in order to obtain financing and the way in which we have argued for the project to obtain approval."

Areas in the Universum Museum as a Support to High School Educational Syllabuses

Adrian Fuentes Vetan; Coauthor: Eduardo Piña Mendoza
General Department for the Promotion of Science, UNAM, Mexico

"The General Department for the Promotion of Science of the UNAM was created in order to support formal education in an integral and entertaining way using scientific frameworks. Aimed at innovatively promoting the subject matter on offer in Mexico's museums, the Universum Science Museum was inaugurated in December 2002 with 11 rooms including the Chemistry room. In 1995, the Astrolab and Fisilab were inaugurated in the science house: two educational laboratories aimed at promoting Astronomy and Physics. The new direction taken in order to increase visitors to the museum and to obtain recognition from formal education institutions is to learn by doing and, as a result, we have developed demonstrations and workshop courses relating to formal teaching subjects which are designed for high school students. We have realized that these demonstrations improve the performance of the room as a space for the promotion of science and institutions recognize said performance by requesting training for their teaching staff. The workshop courses are an extraordinary source of income for the museum and fulfill the function of explaining theoretical concepts."

The Intellectual Foundations for Representations and Programming at the Chucalissa Museum

Joshua Gorman
University of Memphis: Chucalissa Museum, USA

"The Chucalissa Museum and mound complex at the University of Memphis is a classic style, two mound Mississippian urban site with an associated plaza area, residential ridge and outlying village. The site was uncovered during initial construction of a state park intended for African Americans south of Memphis in 1938. From 1940 to 1985, the Chucalissa Museum served as a site for amateur archaeological investigations and systematic academic research. In this latter capacity the museum and site served as a training laboratory for anthropologists and archaeologists at the University. Throughout this scientific history, Chucalissa evolved into a popular tourist attraction with open excavations, museum exhibits and a reconstructed village complete with Native American interpreters and demonstrators.
An examination of this archaeological site as both research arena and public interpretive center provides the opportunity to isolate both its unique and consistent characteristics with respect to the museums and archaeological sites of the era. This paper demonstrates, through an investigation of the site's history, the manner in which Archaeological method and Anthropological theory informed and shaped the interpretation of objects at Chucalissa.
Chucalissa's initial manifestation as an archaeological site was dependant upon public visitation and tourist interest for its support. This profoundly influenced the scope and goals of the archaeology performed at the site and the practices for curating and exhibiting objects. The usefulness of the site and the objects placed in the repository and museum, thus, lay in their potential for public presentation in a reconstructed site and as anthropological material for describing and contextualizing the site's culture history. While this model served the site well bringing regional and local tourists it largely failed to foresee the changes in research and teaching needs of academia and representations and access by the larger public."

The Intellectual Foundations for Representations and Programming at the Chucalissa Museum

Isaías Hernández Valencia
The Museum of Light, General Department for the Promotion of Science, UNAM, Mexico

"The purpose of the presentation is to demonstrate the way how, almost ten years since its creation, the Museum of Light´s syllabus strategies have been planned and developed in order to increase the audience and the attention of the local and global public - in view of the social/cultural problem of being located in deep downtown Mexico City (amongst a vast amount of commercial establishments and informal trading - non-established vendors) and the fact that it is located in artistically relevant and historically important premises in today´s Mexico. Results, achievements, and hardship overcome due to the geographical location of the Museum will be referred to, as well as the importance of setting up inter-institutional links with other museums, and university/educational bodies, for the preparation of syllabuses.
The Museum of Light belonging to the General Department for the Promotion of Science of the UNAM is located in the Old Temple of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, built by the first Jesuit missions in the 16th Century. It is a place where the most relevant aspects of light phenomenon are experienced, observed and demonstrated. Its walls, vaults, and pilasters contain the historical and artistic legacy represented by this building. Therefore, the Museum is a space where the main ingredients of culture - science, art, and history - converge."

Aspects of University Museum, Collections & University Heritage

Christine Khor
National University of Singapore, Singapore

"In a region where institutions of higher learning are relatively young, the National University of Singapore's celebration of its Centennial is a significant event. Not only a reflection of progress in education and academia but also of its nation's socio-historical and economic developments. In line with the NUS aspiration to be a global player in research, education and entrepreneurship, the NUS Museum commemorated the University's Centennial with an exhibition The NUS Story: 100 Years of Heritage. This exhibition was put up through inter-collaborative efforts of the university departments, students, staff and alumni. In addition, visitorship has increased and resources optimised with a smaller budget than before. Economies of scale resulted when the Museum was subsumed under the Centre For the Arts (CFA) in 2005, contributing visual arts to the CFA's triple arts programming including performing and literary arts. From the exhibition, other "spikes" spun off; such as the Man of Letters musical, Girton College Choir concert and commissioning of the Chancellor's portraits. The exhibition re-enforced the museum's role in serving and preserving the university's rich heritage and being regarded as a potentially valuable resource for supporting teaching and research in the University.
Interdisciplinary exhibition projects and student projects have been organised at the new NX gallery venue in the museum. Programmes on and off-sites are now designed to interpret art & culture and to deepen visitors' understanding of and engagement with the subject - to promote art, history, culture activities and museum-going as an integral part of the student's lifestyle, ensuring that the interests of the academic community in biology, history, architecture, engineering, language, culture and art are adequately met."

University Heritage Collections: Marketing Identity

Zenobia R. Kozak
University of St Andrews, School of Art History, United Kingdom

"Following the theme of 'New Roads for University Museums' my poster addresses university heritage and heritage collections, an underdeveloped, emerging topic in the sector. The poster will outline the research I am currently carrying out regarding university heritage and identity marketing, addressing the following issues: What are the terminological/conceptual challenges surrounding 'university heritage'? What purpose can 'university heritage collections' serve beyond representing an institution's identity? and To what extent do universities use heritage objects and collections representative of academic history/tradition as institutional promotion to potential students, staff and funding-bodies? Further, what purpose does an institutional collection of academic heritage serve beyond preserving or representing the history of an higher education institution (HEI)?
Though each institution possesses a history of varied content, length and significance, the rich heritage collections kept by HEIs remain largely unknown both outside and often within their own institution for reasons I wish to explore.
By studying a core group of UK HEMGs (those funded by AHRC and SFC), surveying European projects and following a case study (The University of St Andrews Museum Project), I hope to establish how (and if) these institutions value and promote their heritage through use of heritage collections.
Introducing a new concept of 'university heritage', I will demonstrate how the relationship between heritage and marketing can be exploited by the university for promotional purpose or 'identity marketing' - where marketing and institutional promotion are key.
The research I complete concerning the University of St Andrews Museum Project can then serve as a catalyst for the re-evaluation of academic heritage collections and as a reference for new projects throughout the HEMG sector."

University Science and Art Museums - Centers for Innovation and Avant-garde, a Unique Position in Mexico

María Patricia Vázquez Langle
General Department of Film Activities, UNAM, Mexico

"The scenario offered by university museums at the National Autonomous University of México is that of an avant-garde space in the country, of quality in the pieces exhibited, of originality in their activities, including the dissemination of scientific and artistic research and knowledge, where a constant interest in rescuing and preserving architectural jewels of our historical past is manifested. Its art museums are dedicated to Contemporary Art and rely on research, production, documentation, dissemination, and didactics of contemporary art and its permanent exhibition.
Its raison d´etre has not been the housing of exhibitions, but rather that of being a space for cultural dynamization and dissemination where art, music, theater, films, photography, and research converge. For this reason, courses, symposiums, and conferences addressing such topics as museology, contemporary art and the latest artistic trends, as well as activities and university teacher/student-specific courses are organized.
The main activities of University Museums´ (either science or art) are: the dissemination of historical-artistic patrimony; the presentation of research results on campus, and the publicizing of the artistic creations of this century, as well as the latest trends and most avant-garde proposals.
Almost 50 years since the creation of the first university museum, there are 15 locations dedicated to different genres of this activity. Of these, five are dedicated to art. The purpose of this participation is to make a brief journey through that history, as well as to share some reflections on the duties of university museums."

University Museum - Meeting Point

Fernando León Valencia Vélez
University of Antioquia: University Museum, Columbia

"The lecture entails the presentation of the University Museum of the University of Antioquia with its six collections: Anthropology, Visual Arts, Natural Sciences, the Interactive Galileo Room, History and the Human Being. Since these are related to the degree courses offered by the University and since working with the general public has a positive bearing on the quality of education and the fact that it is a fourth generation museum, along with its specifically museum activities, it has developed a series of programs which make it one of the most visited museums in the city as well as a top-class cultural center giving its collections a cultural and social function.
It has also made progress in relation to the use of technology through the organization of an interactive room in order to achieve more direct contact between the visitor and the various objects on show, in such a way that the potential of those objects can be fully utilized for the education of many visitors.
By way of its services, which include guided tours, video cycles, courses, temporary and traveling exhibitions, workshops, consultancy, cultural volunteering, etc., the Museum aims to contribute to the improvement of formal and non-formal education on various levels as well as to becoming an option for those who want to get closer to the meaning of cultural and environmental wealth.
The museum is currently preparing to face the challenges of the third millennium with its complete permanent montages, which, together with their services, turn it into a "meeting point", as is its motto, not only for members of the university community but also for everyone who seeks the solace and satisfaction of culture."

The heritage of the Museum of History - the case of the "Itu Convention" Republican Museum

Anicleide Zequini
Saint Paul´s Museum of the University of São Paulo, Brazil

"The Republican Museum was inaugurated in 1923 as an extension of the Sao Paulo University Museum (Brazil). 1923 saw the first public exhibition in which objects and documents associated with the men that took part in the meeting known as the "Republican Convention" in 1873 were exhibited. That meeting was the basis for the Sao Paulo Republican Party, which came to power in the Brazilian Republic in 1889.
The museum collection is represented by objects belonging to the "Convencionais". The largest collection is the "Coleção Prudente de Moraes", the first civilian to become President of the Brazilian Republic.
During the administration of its first Director Afonso Taunay, its collection increased and diversified. This allowed for the creation of a library and a historical archive. This collection is not considered as museum documents and its only purpose is historical research and the preparation of exhibition projects.
With the growth of this collection came the diversification of services for the scientific community and the public. There was also a distancing from its initial purpose - to be just a Museum. So, in order to solve this situation, the Study Center of the Republican Museum was inaugurated in another building in order to accommodate the library, the History Archive and the Laboratories. The Museum building is only used for exhibitions."

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