Centre for Collection Development

Knowledge Research

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'Research' section of the exhibition 'Objects of Knowledge'

For many subjects and disciplines, academic collections constitute an indispensable basis for teaching and research. The purpose of the Knowledge Research department at the Centre for Collection Development is to determine the academic and educational value of collections from a historical point of view, to describe the theoretical basis for this and to illustrate it using up-to-date examples.

In classical academic contexts, such as lecture series, conferences, workshops, object seminars and summer schools, students and junior researchers are to develop expertise in working on and with objects. Such events are also intended to raise awareness among a broad public of the historical and current importance of the material culture for scientific and scholarly thought and work.

By repeatedly consulting the individual collections and their objects afresh with regard to overarching theoretical and content-related aspects, by reflecting on current work with and on the objects and by informing people using historical examples, the Centre for Collection Development aims to prevent the collections from being kept and presented as exhibitions merely for their own sake.

Instead, the Knowledge Research department aims to initiate a process of productive self-reflection on the roles and significance of collections and their objects for research and teaching. Only in this way can university collections be preserved and utilised for the long term for future research questions and contexts.

Besides the above-mentioned activities, the Knowledge Research department is responsible for attracting and implementing third-party-funded research projects and for extensive networking and cooperation with other centres of collection research and interdisciplinary scientific and scholarly research.