During the International Symposium ‘Activities of University Museums and their Significance’, organised by the University Museum Association of Kyoto, at the end of last month, Kyoto University Museum and National Cheng Kung University Museum (NCKU), Taiwan, signed their second MoU to extend cooperation for another five years.
NCKU Museum visited Kyoto University Museum unofficially in 2008 for the first time after its own establishment in 2007 in order to learn from the experience of Kyoto. The first MoU between Kyoto University Museum and NCKU Museum was signed in 2013. Since then, they have been cooperating in collection research, academic symposiums, and management experience exchange. A recent cooperation is a collection research by a curator from NCKU Museum to study the collection of Taiwan’s aboriginals at Kyoto University, which will be exhibited in Taipei with a special traveling exhibition of the 14 members of University Museum Association of Kyoto in December 2019.
With this renewed MoU, NCKU Museum and Kyoto University Museum will soon cooperate in the planning of a traveling exhibition to Taiwan in 2020.
Yesterday, a huge fire broke out at the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro. Those of you who participated in the ICOM-UMAC 2013 in Rio may remember the Museum’s beautiful building, situated in the middle of a city park.
The Museu Nacional is a university museum, part of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. It is the oldest museum in Brazil, created in 1818. It hosts one of the largest scientific collections in the world, comprising c. 20 million specimens and artefacts of natural history, anthropology, archaeology, as well as historical archives and libraries.
At this point, the full extent of the destruction remains unknown and so does the cause of the fire. Fortunately, there were no victims. UMAC hopes at least part of the collections have been saved.
There is certainly a need for a full investigation, debate and answers, but for now, this is already one of the largest catastrophes in museum history anywhere in the world. It is most important to recognize the significance of this enormous tragedy and irreplaceable loss for science, education and culture, in Brazil and the world, and to demonstrate solidarity and support to our colleagues at the Museu Nacional.
Presently, UMAC is exploring possibilities of expressing our support in more tangible ways. Meanwhile, we are compiling all supporting messages arriving from all over the world. In due time, we will forward them to the Director of Museu Nacional and to the administration of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
The vast number of documents that Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909) donated to the University of Turin are now accessible online — an incredible resource for the history of science and the history of Italy and Europe.
The Lombroso Project was established by the Museum System of the University of Turin, with the support of the CRT Foundation and the Department of History of the University of Turin.
Read about the Lombroso Project and access the documents here.
The SJTU TD Lee Fund of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) was established in 2013 with the aims of studying and exploring new scientific achievements, encouraging cooperation between scientists and artists, and creating artistic works to show the science itself or the influences that science brings to humans, society and the environment.
The Fund holds scientific symposiums and Science and Art Competitions on one specific scientific theme every year. Since 2014, four competitions have been successfully held whose themes are “Synchrotron Radiation”, “Gravity and General Relativity”, “Parity Nonconservation and Neutrino Physics” and “Quantum and Topology”. In 2018, the theme is “Time Reversal”.
This programme engages with historical and scientific concepts and practices for the interpretation, investigation and preservation of museum and archive collections. It is designed to enable you to become proficient in object-based techniques from art history, material science and conservation for the interdisciplinary study of commercial synthetic materials in applied arts and social history collections. A key strength of this programme is its focus on modern materials as common artefacts that includes fibres and colourants as well as plastics. Read more.
Published by MAST and edited by Marcus Granato, Emanuela Sousa Ribeiro and Bruno Melo de Araújo, the new publication is titled Cadernos do Patrimônio da Ciência e Tecnologia: Instituições, trajetórias e valores and includes 13 texts in Portuguese, namely the Rio de Janeiro Charter on the Heritage of Science and Technology.
We are pleased to announce that the new issue of Museum International, dedicated to the ICOM 2016 General Conference theme ‘Museums and cultural landscapes’, has just been published. The printed version is now available. We have redefined the journal’s layout and design to be more aesthetically pleasing and readable, bringing out a more dynamic, vibrant whole.