It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Friday, April 28, 2017

2017 Arts and Archives: Humboldt explorations and educational reaching collections

In the morning we visited Dr. Jutta Weber, the Director of the Manuscript Department of the Germain State Library. This library was founded in 1661. It was an independent part of the Prussian state administration since 1810, which was closely connected with the newly founded university in Berlin. From 1810 to about 1884 the rise to the leading library of Prussia took place. In 1918 it was named the Prussian State Library, and it became one of the most important scientific libraries in the world. The Second World War caused great destruction to this institution, and its development was hampered for nearly half a century.

Today the Berlin State Library is placed on three different  localities: Haus Potsdamer Strasse designed by Hans Scharoun. The Potsdamer Strasse building it was opened to the public in 1978. It was renovated from 1999-2001. The building is currently being further redeveloped into a modern research library as a companion to the Haus Unter den Linden and will house the collection from 1946 onward. Parts House Unter den Linden is now under re-structure and children and youth literature are placed on a third location in Westhafen.

During our visit with the help of Dr. Jutta Weber, the director of the manuscript department, we focused on Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and his legacy, his travels and connections, especially the to the relationship between him and Chamisso. Chamisso knew many of the early explorers very well and provided important contacts to Humboldt. He traveled to America 1798-1884 and then lived in Paris until 1827.
In the afternoon we visited the Humboldt-University of Berlin and got a viewing of their teaching collections at the Comparative Zoology department. Professor Dr. Gerhard Scholtz was our enthusiastic guide. The collection was founded in 1884, and includes some 30000 objects which are still used for teaching purposes today.
Radiolaria model designed by Franz Schultze

 For more photos from our day, please click here