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  • Tagung / Symposium

Conference: Values of the Pasts

Museums and Collections as a Resource of Knowledge, and Reflexive Self-Understanding.

Organised by:
Liba Taub and Joshua Nall (Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Cambridge) and
Achim Saupe (Leibniz-Research Alliance Value of the Past – Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam, ZZF)
With support from Ulf Hashagen (Deutsches Museum Munich).

Coordinated by:
Whipple Museum of the History of Science and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science (working with University of Cambridge Museums & Botanic Garden),
Leibniz Research Alliance ’Value of the Past’, including the Research Museums of the Leibniz Association
With support from the DAAD-University of Cambridge Research Hub for German Studies with funds from the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO), and from the Leibniz Research Alliance “Value of the Past”.

About the Conference
Toppled monuments, conflicts over the restitution of objects, debates about the epochal nature of the Anthropocene or the fundamentals of biodiversity research: All of these subjects share common questions about how societies value the past and how they use material relics to assign and compete over these values. This conference focusses on the values that museums and collections attach to the past, to their institution, their collections and exhibitions.

Museums, collections and their objects always have changing and persisting symbolic, aesthetic, scientific, historical, cultural, societal, and economic values. The conference will examine processes of value creation as well as competing values in order to gain a deeper understanding of the historicity of values. It seeks to gain an understanding of past and current practices of assessing, rethinking, resituating and harnessing the values of the past in all their complexity.


Thursday, 30 November

1:30 pm
Welcome and Introduction
Liba Taub, Whipple Museum of the History of Science Cambridge
Achim Saupe, Leibniz Research Alliance Value of the Past / Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam

2:00-3:30 pm
Fundamental questions concerning Museum Values of the Past
Sunhild Kleingärtner (German Mining Museum Bochum – Leibniz Research Museum for Georessources)
Trust in museums. The value of an institution‘s past

Ruth Schilling (German Maritime Museum Bremerhaven)
Beyond Description: Practicalities of Museum Artefacts

3:30-4:00 pm | Coffee & tea

4:00 pm | Tour of Whipple Museum

7:00 pm | Dinner: Cote Brasserie (for speakers and chairs)

Friday, 1 December

10:00 am
Leila Mukhida, Deputy Director, DAAD Cambridge Research Hub for German Studies, University of Cambridge

10:30 am – 12:00 noon
Thinking about Values of the Past for the future

Luke Syson (Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge)
The Fitzwilliam Museum: history and future

Daniel Hess (Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg)
Museum Collections under New Perspectives. From the Germanic to a European Museum

12:00 – 1:00 pm
Lunch: in HPS (for registered participants)

1:30 – 3:00 pm
Natural History collections

Willi Xylander (Senckenberg Görlitz)
Natural history collections: resource for answers on questions of the past, presence and future

Jack Ashby (Cambridge University Museum of Zoology)
Adding values: social, environmental and scientific relevance in natural history museums

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Museum visits: Sedgwick Museum, Polar Museum

7:00 pm
Dinner: The Pint Shop (for speakers and chairs)

Saturday, 2 December
9:45 – 11:15 am
Anthropological and Archaeological Collections

9:45 am
Jimena Guerrero Arenas (MAA, University of Cambridge)
Collective Voices: Rethinking and Reshaping Museum Archaeology Collections‘ Value


Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Free School Lane
Cambridge CB2 3RH

Kontakt und Anmeldung

If you would like to join the conference, please contact Thomas Banbury (tjb98@cam.ac.uk) by Friday, November 24.

Dr. Achim Saupe
Leibniz-Research Alliance Value of the Past
Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History
Am Neuen Markt 1
14467 Potsdam

Email: saupe@zzf-potsdam.de


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