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Biomedicine in museums

Acquisitioning is the life-blood of museums

Soraya de Chadarevian (history of science, UCLA) came by this afternoon for a short and informal visit on her way to Lund and Gothenburg. Soraya went on a quick tour around the museum and afterwards we had a short chat in the meeting room — especially about collecting contemporary biomedicine.

Which made me think of Robert Anderson’s (former British Museum director) dictum that “acquisitioning is the life-blood of museums“. Not collections, not exhibitions, not research — but acquisitions. The active process of bringing new material stuff into museums is both the prerequisite of new interesting exhibitions and a source of new ideas and questions for research.

We used to rely on ‘garbage days’. Maybe it’s time to formulate a more comprehensive acquisitioning programme?

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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