"Down and deep the rabbit hole. Behind the scenes, the production of knowledge" - is the theme of this year's event "Day of wealth university museums," which will be held November 18, 2013 for the tenth time. This event was founded by the International Association of University Museums of Europe "Universeum" (European Network of academic heritage). In Europe, considered to be the legacy of academic different collections - universities, museums, archives, libraries, botanical gardens, astronomical observatories, universities buildings of historical, artistic and scientific value. Academic heritage embodies the 900-year-old university's contribution to the development of science and knowledge, and is a major component of European identity and culture. Traditionally, most of the museum's collections and library archives remain hidden from the general public, so the task of the "Day of university museums" is wide open them to the public. The last three years our museum actively cooperates with international organizations of ICOM (International Council of Museums) and "Universeum".
Our museum was invited to participate in the Conference of European museum community in Italy, Norway and Turkey, and to participate in the museum's program of the University of Opole in Poland. In turn, we have been co-organizer of the International scientific-practical conference "University museums: the European experience and Ukrainian practice", which took place in Kiev. Participants in the conference are the University of Regensburg (Germany), University of Rome "La Sapienza" (Italy), University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg (France), University "Paris-Sud" (France), Yerevan State University (Armenia), Moscow Architectural State Academy (Russia). For the first time in the museum conferences in Ukraine president of the International Committee of University Museums and Collections (UMAC), a member of the World Council of Museums came to us.
Through this dialogue, we were able to get acquainted with the work of the European university museums and compare with our own. Most interested is the question of opening a museum for visitors, and in this sense our museum in many ways ahead of their European counterparts.
So what is possible to see "behind the scenes of the production of knowledge"? What collections are part of the museums in Europe - the oldest university equal our age and one of the young? Let's try to answer this question.
A significant part of all university collections is occupied by tools, mechanisms and devices that do not exist in nature, and which are made for the implementation of human cognitive processes, production and service of non-production needs of society. Each of these tools was made in a single copy, it is embedded as a technical skill, as well as decoration. Therefore, they are characterized by the definition of "art and skill."
In the XVIII century physicists held lectures on such instruments, which often presented as theater performances and were extremely popular. Courses in physics setting out in accessible language, were demonstrated in the aristocratic salons and in the courts. Extremely fashionable were "electric" party, which made it possible to experience the phenomena of electric attraction, repulsion, and strike sparks.
Instruments for such demonstrations are presented in university museums in Italy, France, England, Germany, that is where the story begins with the universities of the past. These collections can be roughly related to the history of science and the contribution of universities to its development.
A relatively young university, which 100 years or less, owning other collections associated with the development of energy, communications, computer technology. A variety of unique collections, which are going to last 50-30 years, form the basis of new museums and continue to grow.
One of the oldest universities in Europe was founded in the Italian city of Padua in 1222 Renaissance University, which was one of the centers of science of astronomy, medicine and law. Support for the Republic of Venice defended the spirit of independence of the University from the dogmatists and the influence of Rome. The names of the great scholars of the Renaissance, such as Copernicus, Galileo, Scorina and others related to the appearance of a collection of technique. Basically these are instruments for Physical and Chemical Research, made according to their calculations. Integral part of the heritage of the University of Padua is the Botanical Garden which is created in 1545, the oldest in Europe, operates to this day. In general, the university has 11 museums, which are combined and coordinated by the Museum Center (CAM - Centro Ateneo Museum) Museum of Anthropology, the collection of which dates from the beginning of the XIX century; Botanical museum with samples of dried plants collected in 1835, a collection of algae, fungi, mosses, lichens, seeds and fruits; Museum of Education, founded in 1987, the exhibition consists of items collected in the library of the Ministry of Education, kindergardens, schools and universities (textbooks, notebooks, photographs, toys, furniture); one of the oldest - the Museum of Geology and Paleontology as an independent part of Vallisneri museum (1734), which has an excellent collection of rocks and stones north-east of Italy; Cars Museum "Enrico Bernardi," which includes museum houses relics and documents, reflecting the development of engineering sciences (among its exhibits are even three-wheeled vehicle, 1894); Mineral Museum - collection of minerals, which are classified according to their origin: thematic, systematic, genetic and mineral deposits. In museums Padua university there is also archaeological Museum of Arts and Sciences, which contains ancient artifacts and plaster models; Asiago Astrophysical Observatory Museum and Museum of Zoology with XVIII-XX centuries collections.
Let us regard on the Museum of the History of Physics. It contains a fine collection of historic scientific instruments XVI- XX centuries. It is an evidence to the lively research activities at the University of Padua in this period. Among them, the astrolabe of the XVI century, Galileo telescope, microscopes XVII century. The collection has been laid by Giovanni Poleni, scholar and philologist, who became in 1739 the first Professor of Experimental Philosophy, University of Padua, and founded in 1740 the first study of physics - "Teatro di Filosofia Sperimentale".
Spectator effects were a typical feature of many aspects of science ot the XVIІІ century. Fashion on the culture and science through visual representations of experiments top class society stimulated demand for new textbooks. These included models of simple and complex machines, demonstrating the practical application of scientific principles. Numerous high-quality and efficient appliances described in the treatises of XVIІІ century and continued to be used in scientific laboratories with minor changes until the early twentieth century. Collection of Poleni museum guide describes as follows: "Until his death in 1761, scientist has managed to create a rich collection - about 400 instruments, which were presented the directions of modern physics. There were also mathematical, drawing, weather devices. Some devices were purchased from known European scientists such as Jan van Musschenbroek and Jean-Antoine Nollet. But most of the equipment was made in Venice and Padua, under his leadership and with his descriptions. Further collection of the museum was gathered by professors of physics and played for centuries an important role in maintaining research and didactics. Particularly interesting tools associated with well-known scientists XIX-XX centuries, such as Giuseppe Belli, Angelo Bellani, Leopoldo Nobile, Giovanni Battista Amick, Augusto Riga and Bruno Rossi. Museum still continues to replenish the collection tools and instruments from scientific branches of University. So he keep close ties not only with the past of science, but also with modern scientific research and achievements, which are now carried out in the university.
Of course, this collection should be carefully taken care of. The curator of the Museum of the History of Physics is Dr. Sofia Talas - physicist, historian of physics, a full member of the European Physical Society, who worked at the universities of Geneva, studying the history of physical instruments in Europe. Her research, as well as study of another historian of physics and museum professional Martha Lorenzo from the Museum of Science at the University of Lisbon are dedicated to the history of collections and academic heritage. Communicating with these professionals was extremely helpful, we hope to continue it in the walls of our museum.
The second important period in the creation of university and museum collections comes at the end of XIX - beginning of XX century. At those time the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim was created.
The University is a major center of technical engineering education in the country. It was created on the basis of a number of institutions - the Norwegian School of Engineering, College of Science and Art, the Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, Faculty of Medicine and Trondheim Conservatory of Music. The university includes also the Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, and a library. This museum is a public and very popular among the residents of Trondheim. Interesting museums of the University can be called a computer museum and collection of physical devices. If the first available to visitors, the second - closed for lectures and special tours.
An example of a museum of "young" universities in Europe is the Museum of the Technical University in Opole, Poland. It exists just only two years and significant part of it is a unique collection of X-ray tubes. The exhibit was opened exactly 110 years after the award of the Nobel Prize Vilgelm Conrad Roentgen - the first Nobel Prize in Physics. The basis of this section was the collection of Dr. Grzegorz Jezierski, containing more than a thousand exhibits. The exhibition is the work of contemporary photo artist, made with the help of X-ray equipment, as well as X-ray machines of the early twentieth century. Exhibition itself consists of four sections: medicine, industry, diffraction, fluorescence - those industries employing X-rays.
It must be noted that our museum was involved in the opening of the museum in Opole. Rector of the Technical University of Opole, Mr. Jerzy Skubis during an official visit to the "KPI" visited SPM and invited its director to give methodological and practical assistance in the creation and opening of the new museum in Opole. This experience has been beneficial to both sides. For us, it was interesting to learn how from the practically homogeneous material can be made very interesting exposition.
This was a small tour of "backstage education" of some university museums in Europe. What is behind these "scenes" in our university - you can see for yourself in our museum. And not only see, but also to touch its replenishment and modernization, to create interesting and informative trip into the history of science, technology and human passions.
The overall picture of the world scientific development - is a picture made up of individual puzzles. And the puzzle "Science and Technology" is not superfluous, because without it, the overall picture will be incomplete.