Enlightenment values led to the formation of varied collections at European and American colleges and universities between the late seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries. During the nineteenth century, general collections were divided and new ones formed conforming to emergent academic disciplines. Their focus on categorization, observation, and description did not survive unchallenged during the twentieth century: university and college museums became increasingly irrelevant to scholarly enquiry.

Yet paradigms of enquiry continue to change, and tangible things are once again loci of innovative scholarly attention. Many new uses of university and college collections involve lowering the barriers that separate them, and the encouragement of connections among them in the light of new, transdiciplinary scholarship. What is to be done? This is a question that several universities and colleges in North America and Europe are addressing in various ways. This symposium examines some recent and emerging developments, and provides a forum for discussing possible future uses of university and college museums.

Peter N. Miller
Dean and Professor, Bard Graduate Center

Ivan Gaskell
Professor and Curator and Head of the Focus Gallery Project, Bard Graduate Center

David Gaimster
Professor, and Director of the Hunterian, University of Glasgow
Developing an Enlightenment Pedagogy for Museum Collections: Current Initiatives at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

Stefanie Rüther
Deputy Director of the Central Administration of the Collections, Museums, and Gardens, Georg-August University, Göttingen
Material Culture, Teaching and Public Outreach: Approaches to Establishing a University Museum in Germany
Giovanna Vitelli
Director of the University Engagement Programme, Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford
Not just a Buzzword: Knowledge Exchange as Part of the Academic Reanimation of Collections

Carol Snow
Deputy Chief Conservator and Senior Conservator of Objects, Center for Conservation and
Preservation, Yale University
Yale Collection Studies Center and Conservation Lab: If we Build it, Will they Come?

Selma Holo
Professor of Art History, and Director of the Fisher Museum of Art, and of the International Museum; Institute for Advanced Studies and Practice, University of Southern California
Universities Acquiring Museums: Look before you Leap

Jane Pickering
Executive Director of the Museums of Science and Culture, Harvard University
Harvard Museums of Science & Culture: A New Partnership

Nicholas Thomas
Professor of Historical Anthropology, and Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge
Connecting Collections: Creating a Consortium of University Museums in Cambridge

Nina Stritzler-Levine
Gallery Director, Bard Graduate Center

Made possible in part through a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and financial support from The Antioch Review.