KOSMOSThe University of Bonn, with its two hundred years of history, may serve as an example of how collection and research objects have been incorporated into its own museums and collections, promoting the development of specialist disciplines. This has taken place in the spirit of Humboldt’s ideas, namely the notion of the cosmos as a networking science and the thesis that "the whole material world" (Alexander von Humboldt 1834) be reflected in the objects of the collections and museums.
In this collaborative project between seven museums and collections of the University of Bonn – including the Egyptian Museum, the Academic Art Museum, the Ancient America and Ethnography Collection, the Goldfuß Museum (Palaeontology), the Mineralogical Museum, the Collection of Pre- and Early History and a Shellac Record collection1 – and the project partner Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (Biodiversity Informatics), selected objects will be analyzed and virtualized as representations of this cosmos with the help of a database (WissKI). The project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for three years, interweaves and re-interrogates the history of objects, knowledge and science. With a view to the future, a new understanding of knowledge is to be developed in a methodical and exemplary manner by granting more space to objects in research and teaching.
The objects will be integrated experimentally into university teaching during the project and their networking history will be presented in a final exhibition. The project will thus open perspectives which come close to Alexander von Humboldt's ideal of science networking and give the objects in the university's collections and museums a unique characteristic.
Project Management: Prof. Dr. Karoline Noack, Project Coordination: Dr. Daniel Grana-Behrens, Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology, Department for the Anthropology of the Americas.