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Stony realms: mineral collections as markers of social, cultural and political spaces in the 18th and early 19th Century

Steinerne Bereiche: Mineraliensammlungen als Marker für soziale, kulturelle und politische Räume im 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhundert
[journal article]

Vogel, Jakob

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Abstract "As mineral collecting and classifying various rock types constituted an important cultural and scientific practice of enlightened societies in Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the paper analyses the sometimes extremely different spatial dimensions the mineral collections embodied, amongst which the exhibits mediated. It shows how the development of scientific mineralogy at the end of the eighteenth century not only accentuated universally-scientific claims and classifications, but was simultaneously associated with the utilitarian goals of economic development of the individual states and territories. In this context, mineral collections became an important tool of state knowledge through which mining officials as well as private collectors tried to exhibit their “patriotic” vision of economic development and deliver a public picture of the natural resources of their respective country. However, these scientific and political orders present in most contemporary collections did not destroy a classical vision which highlighted in the tradition of the older Wunderkammer the most spectacular and the valuable objects of the exhibitions." (author's abstract)
Keywords history of science; knowledge; mining; social network; museum; historical development
Classification Natural Science and Engineering, Applied Sciences; General History
Free Keywords Geologie; Mineralien
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 301-320
Journal Historical Social Research, 40 (2015) 1
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works