As a university-owned museum we are attached to the European university heritage network, Universeum (not to be mixed up with the Universeum science center in Göteborg, Sweden), which was established in 2000, and which will hold its 10th annual meeting next year — at the Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (France), 11-13 June.
True to its general purpose, the network invites paper proposals devoted to university heritage in its broad sense, tangible and intangible, “namely the preservation, study, access and promotion of university collections, museums, archives, libraries, and buildings of historical and scientific significance”. So topics interest will include (but are not restricted to):
- Enhancing and promoting our knowledge about European university museums, collections and archives: Although awareness towards university heritage is increasing, actual research into university heritage issues — such as distinct nature, history, partnerships, best practices and roles in contemporary society — is barely starting. Enhancing our knowledge about these issues is, however, paramount both to the public visibility of university heritage in Europe and to its recognition as relevant to contemporary universities and society in general. Recent research presenting discussions of these issues, including case-studies and projects from European universities are welcome.
- Preserving and documenting contemporary science and humanities in universities: Preserving and documenting contemporary science poses new challenges for university museums, archives and others concerned. The amount of material that can be collected appears endless and tough decisions may often have to be made. Objects from contemporary science can often not be put on the shelf like material from earlier periods. Digital documentation is taking over paper files. What and how should we select and document objects and histories of contemporary science? How can we mobilise research and teaching contemporary heritage and present it in exhibitions and other outreach activities?
- European projects to study and increase access to university heritage in the 21st century, as higher education systems tend to converge in terms of degrees, funding, management and strategies, the preservation of and access to university heritage will increasingly become an issue at European levels. This interest has already been suggested by the Recommendation of the Council of Europe on University Heritage (2005). What is the impact of this European interest on university heritage? How can we raise awareness of European institutions towards university heritage, its study and access? What are the opportunities to develop projects at an European level today?
Send 200 words proposals (in English) to Catherine Gadon (firstname.lastname@example.org) before 31 March 2009, and include a short biography highlighting main research interests. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by 15 April.