Nicholas Jardine
Cambridge University
The bulk of the significant recent scientific heritage of universities is not to be found in accredited science museums or collections employed in research. Rather it is located in a wide variety of more informal collections, assemblages and accumulations. The selection and documentation of such materials is very often unsystematic and many of them are vulnerable to changes of staff, relocation and, above all, shortage of space. Following a survey of views on the values of the recent material heritage of the sciences, I consider the many advantages—for teaching, engagement with wider communities, enhancement of institutional identity and work experience, celebration of scientific achievements, study of the recent history of the practices and fruits of the sciences, etc.—of “multi-site museums” formed through the coordination of such varied and scattered collections. I go on to reflect on ways in which the preservation and display of scientific heritage in dispersed collections may be enhanced and protected through institutional recognition and through provision of guidance and assistance in selection, documentation and digitisation, preservation and conservation, and display. The importance of adequate documentation of the contexts of production and use of objects is stressed, as are the benefits that can result from involvement of student “taskforces” and heritage-concerned scientists.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2013.07.009
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge in Transit.James A. Secord - 2004 - Isis 95 (4):654-672.
Knowledge in Transit.James A. Secord - 2004 - Isis 95 (4):654-672.
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