Scientific Instrument Collections in the University - An International Symposium
24 - 27 June 2004
Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
Although hundreds of universities and colleges have preserved historic scientific apparatus, many of these collections remain less than fully accessible and may even be virtually unknown outside of (and within) their home institutions. Yet these collections, taken individually, provide unique windows into the history of scientific research, pedagogy and popularization. Taken collectively, they represent a vast resource for research and teaching that is not duplicated in large national collections of historic scientific instruments.
The purpose of the Dartmouth Conference is to stimulate creative thinking about potential futures for these university collections. In particular, we hope:
1.To encourage the development of a network among these collections and their caretakers.
2. To provide a forum to discuss practical problems that pertain to such collections, including acquisition, cataloguing and documentation, storage, access, exhibitions, preservation, environmental safety, and security.
3. To explore ways to raise the profile of these collections on campus and to enhance opportunities to use them for teaching and research.
4. To share scholarly information about scientific instruments at universities, their histories and the collections in which they reside.
In addition to several invited panels and a keynote address, the conference will feature contributed papers and posters. We invite proposals for paper or posters on the following topics:
a. Practicalities of collection management, curatorial interpretation, and the relationship of the holdings and their caretakers to other university collections, departments, museums or administrative entities.
b. Uses for university instrument collections, such as undergraduate or graduate teaching, research, online or onsite exhibitions, and celebration of local heritage.
c. Histories of particular collections, collectors, or site-specific instruments; and histories of instruments or scientific practice as informed by the holdings of university collections considered collectively.
The preliminary conference program plus information concerning registration, travel stipends, and excursions to nearby instrument collections will be available in a Third Circular, to be distributed in Autumn of 2003.