Solidarity with University Museums and Collections in Beirut — UPDATES

Sunday, 9 August 2020

The architects Gilbert Nicolas, Elsy Sayegh and David Chelala are mobilizing volunteers to assess damages to museums in Beirut, assist with the clean up and reporting back to ICOM-UMAC.

They will be working with ICOM-Lebanon and Elsa Urtizverea, from the Heritage Protection Department of the ICOM Secretariat in Paris.

If you are in Beirut, your help is most appreciated. Sign in here to volunteer.

Friday, 7 August 2020

For the past 48 hours, Gilbert Nicholas has been visiting museums in Beirut, talking to staff, documenting damages and helping with the clean up. Today, he gives UMAC a first-hand report on the impact, particularly to university museums and collections.

 

 

 

Treasures of Polish University Heritage

In May 2014, the first non-governmental organization in Poland dedicated to Polish museums and museum units at universities was established – the Association of University Museums. The strength of the university museum community in Poland is evident in the Association’s growth: with 13 museums on 2014, today it has 102 university museums.

The Association of University Museums makes the society aware of the importance of academic heritage as an important dimension of national identity. The most important goal of the Association is to develop university museums and preserve academic heritage through its protection, dissemination and promotion, as well as to support the collection, documentation and conservation of monuments, and develop scientific research. A wide range of information activities is carried out, promoting the idea of university museums in Poland and abroad.

Several publications have resulted from the activities of the Association: “University Museums”, ed. H. Kowalski, M. Grassmann, M. Bukowski; “University Museum in Poland”, ed. H. Kowalski, M. Grassmann, M. Bukowski, Warsaw 2016; K. Pomian, “Museums and nations in Central Europe”, Warsaw 2016; “University Museums. Catalogue” ed. H. Kowalski, M. Grassmann, M. Bukowski, M. Piszczatowska, J. Ślaga, Warsaw 2017.

In 2020, the Association of University Museums is implementing the project “TREASURES OF THE POLISH UNIVERSITY HERITAGE”. This project will publish in English a catalogue of the most valuable objects from 102 museum units of Polish universities. The project will also create a website in English. The official launch of the catalogue will take place December 16th, 2020 in the Warsaw University Museum.

The project “TREASURES OF THE POLISH UNIVERSITY HERITAGE” has been co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund.

More information about the project here.

 

UMAC Webinars

 

Since late March, universities across the world have closed, lectures were moved online and research – apart from COVID research – has suffered limitations due to safety reasons. As lockdown rules relax and museums worldwide gradually reopen, UMAC wants to have a global overview of the situation for university museums and collections.

How did the lockdown affect your university museum, collection, botanic garden or science center? How did you navigate the plethora of online platforms and social media, both internally and publicly? How did you respond to your audiences – researchers, students, general public? What lessons did you learn?

UMAC is organizing a series of five informal webinars every Friday between 5 June and 3 July 2020. The series will take place on ZOOM. Each webinar will happen twice a day to facilitate access from different time zones.

Please see below how you can participate.

The series will be made available au fur et à mesure under our resources section — webinars and in UMAC YouTube channel.

Similar initiatives are being organised by Universeum (also here) and the AAMG – check their websites for details.

WEBINAR I: Reopening for the public

5 June 2020

Has your university museum, botanic garden or science center reopened to the public or will reopen soon? What safety measures are you implementing in your exhibitions and public spaces? Will you reopen totally or partly? If you are on campus, how are you coping with the restrictions of a closed campus?

8 AM Lisbon/9 AM Pretoria/3 PM Shanghai/4 PM Tokyo/5 PM Sydney, moderated by Andrew Simpson, Australia

5 PM Lisbon/11 AM Mexico City/12 PM New York/1 PM Rio de Janeiro, moderated by Marta Lourenço, Portugal

WEBINAR II: Reopening Collections

12 June 2020

Is your university museum resuming access to collections post-lockdown? What safety measures are you implementing? Do you plan to quarantine specimens, artefacts, manuscripts and books post-access? What impact did COVID have on your collections policy? Are you collecting COVID objects?

8 AM Lisbon/9 AM Pretoria/3 PM Shanghai/4 PM Tokyo/5 PM Sydney, moderated by Akiko Fukuno, Japan

5 PM Lisbon/11 AM Mexico City/12 PM New York/1 PM Rio de Janeiro, moderated by Sébastien Soubiran, France

WEBINAR III: Lockdown Lessons: Going Digital

19 June 2020

During lockdown, did your university museum, science center, botanic garden remain active online? Was your university museum prepared? What technological, logistical, content challenges did ‘going digital’ pose? What lessons did you learn for the future?

8 AM Lisbon/9 AM Pretoria/3 PM Shanghai/4 PM Tokyo/5 PM Sydney, moderated by Roland Wittje, India

5 PM Lisbon/11 AM Mexico City/12 PM New York/1 PM Rio de Janeiro, moderated by Jill Deupi, USA

WEBINAR IV: Lockdown Lessons: Online Teaching and Students

26 June 2020

Was your university museum or collection being used for teaching? Were you teaching material culture or collections-based courses at graduate or post-graduate levels when the lockdown started? What were the challenges of moving object-based teaching online? Which platforms did you use? Did you create specific resources? How did students cope? How can we prepare for a future where online teaching appears to be predominant?

8 AM Lisbon/9 AM Pretoria/3 PM Shanghai/4 PM Tokyo/5 PM Sydney, moderated by Alistair Kwan, New Zealand

5 PM Lisbon/11 AM Mexico City/12 PM New York/1 PM Rio de Janeiro, moderated by Kirsten Vincenz, Germany

WEBINAR V: Lockdown Lessons: The Near Future

3 July 2020

What is the immediate and mid-term impact of COVID in your university museum and collection? What consequences do you anticipate in terms of audiences, logistics, finances, access, even mission and strategy?

8 AM Lisbon/9 AM Pretoria/3 PM Shanghai/4 PM Tokyo/5 PM Sydney, moderated by David Ellis, Australia

5 PM Lisbon/11 AM Mexico City/12 PM New York/1 PM Rio de Janeiro, moderated by Steph Scholten, UK

Contributions (limited slots)

We are now inviting informal contributions from all over the world. Each contribution consists of a 5 min presentation (max. 3 powerpoint slides, these are optional). Slots are limited and will be accepted on a first come first served basis.

If you want to contribute, please send an email to UMAC Secretary Wenjia Qiu, indicating name, institution, and which date and hour you want to intervene. You will be asked to provide your three slides 24 h before the webinar.

Attendance

Everyone can attend but registration is required.

Please send an email to UMAC Secretary Wenjia Qiu, indicating name and institution. You will be given the access link and password.

 

Survey of University Museums and Collections Professionals

Do you work with university museums and collections anywhere in the world? Then help us complete the first ever Global Systematic Survey of professionals.

It’s anonymous and it should take no more than 10 min to answer.

Global Systematic Survey.

The results will be published in a book in 2022.

The survey is part of the project P-MUS, involving ICOM-UMAC, ICOM-ICTOP, Universeum (Europe) and the AAMG (USA).

 

 

ICOM-UMAC Global Systematic Survey of University Museums and Collections Professionals

Who works in university museums and collections worldwide? What are the expectations of professionals? How do they divide their time? What is their background training? Do they like their work or would they prefer to work elsewhere?

ICOM-UMAC wants to know the answers to these questions.

If you work — formally or informally, active or retired — in a higher education museum or collection anywhere in the world, we would be grateful if you could spare 10 minutes of your time to answer our Global Systematic Survey. The results will be published in a book in 2022.

The survey is part of the project P-MUS, involving ICOM-UMAC, ICOM-ICTOP, Universeum (Europe) and the AAMG (USA).

 

 

I Meeting of Western China University Museums

UMAC is delighted to announce that the I Meeting of University Museums from Western China took place  in Chengdu, last July 19.

The I Meeting was hosted by the Electronic Science and Technology Museum of the University of Electronic Science and Technology (UESTC). University museum directors of all disciplines in the arts, sciences and humanities attended, presented their museums and committed to continue to work together in the future.

UMAC Chair Marta C. Lourenço with university museum directors from Western China, UESTC, 19 July 2019.

Congratulations to this very new regional network of university museums!

Cuba has a new network of university museums!

 

Last week, on International Museum Day — 18 May 2019 — the Cuban community of university museums and collections came together and created a national network.

The Network of Cuban University Museums will be led by the Heritage Unit of the University of Havana, under the chairmanship of Professor Claudia Filipe.

UMAC is delighted and entirely supports this initiative. There should be even more local and national networks of university museums and collections. See here the ones we know about.

Congratulations to our Cuban colleagues!

UMTWS 2019 edition was a success

Last week, university museum professionals from all over China gathered at the Qian Xuesen Library and Museum, Shanghai Jiao Tong University for another edition of the UMTWS.

This year, the course counted with the presence of Marta Lourenço (UMAC Chair), Jill Hartz (President Emeritus of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries USA), Sébastien Soubiran (President of Universeum, the European Academic Heritage Network) and Andrew Simpson (UMAC Board). Moreover, from China, and apart from Laishun AN (Vice-President of ICOM), high officials from the cultural sector attended, namely Qiang GUAN and Xiaobo CHU, respectively responsible for the cultural heritage of China and Shanghai.

Kai Zhang and Hu Hao were our kind hosts at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Xiaobo CHU, Qiang GUAN, Marta Lourenço, Laishun AN and Kai ZHANG.

UMAC and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have agreed to continue their partnership, diversifying the training offer to suit different types of professionals and creating new initiatives to promote university museums in China.