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How do we present culture and knowledge?

From science to the public

Museums and collections deal with five big tasks in a challenging environment: they collect, store, research, exhibit and convey all types of knowledge. Exhibitions are the most visible and the most important communication medium between the museums and society. Universities and research institutions also have the task of presenting their work results to a broad public. This is mostly done through books, publications, recommendations for actions, consultations and conferences. Research presents itself as well, by providing expertise for the preparation of an exhibition or uses the expertise as a base for scientific programmes.

Germany’s oldest calculating machine

Dresden State Art Collections

For the permanent exhibition of the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon, the museum’s curators and conservators have collaborated with computer scientists from the University of Applied Sciences Dresden, and have developed award-winning animations allowing insights into the inner workings and functions of selected exhibits. Blaise Pascal’s calculating machine is one such example. His machines, from the time around 1650, are the oldest preserved in the world. The Dresden specimen is the largest and can register sums up to 100.000.000. Visitors can use the interactive Pascaline to do their own calculations with this machine.

Historic collection objects put on display

Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden

Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden comprises over 6.5 million collection objects, out of which approx. five percent are prepared for exhibitions. This enormous treasure is also made available to partner institutions as a loan. For the exhibition Concept and Encounter: The World around 1600 of the Dresden State Art Collections, historic objects, such as the Bird of Paradise, which was collected by the natural scientist Adolf Bernhard Meyer around 1870 or the rostrum of a Sawfish were made available.

Digital Library

Saxon State Library – Dresden State and University Library

The digital library of the Saxon State and University Library Dresden is growing day by day. It currently contains over 198,000 volumes and 1.8 million photos, maps and drawings, which can be accessed worldwide.

Klimaanpassungsprogramm für die Modellregion Dresden (REGKLAM)

Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development

Already today, climate change affects nearly all areas of public and private life – in Dresden as well. Therefore, the city and its environs have been a model region for five years. Partners from research, administration and various areas of society have developed an Adaptation Programme in this collaborative project. It contains suggestions and solution proposals, how people of the region can face climate change, avoid risks and use opportunities. The 160 concrete examples can also be used by other regions in Germany, to safeguard the quality of life, even if the climate is changing.

Ambivalenzen ausstellen

Museum of Military History of the Bundeswehr

The Museum of Military History is one of Europe’s most important history museums. In the permanent exhibition the major questions of human history are negotiated: Where does violence come from? Is there such a thing as a just war? The focus is always on the individual, who exercises violence or suffers from it, who is the victim or the perpetrator –or both. The architecture of the museum points to the historical ruptures in the German history. The wedge-shaped, asymmetrical new building, designed by Daniel Libeskind, penetrates the massive, classical old building of the 19th century arsenal.

Colour as protagonist and cultural memory – FARBAKS

Technische Universität Dresden

This research project analyses how colours are created, how they are composed and what they mean. In collaboration with scientific partners from Dresden and Germany, the phenomenon of colour is viewed from different perspectives. A part of the project is the cooperation with the LernLaborFarbe, which presents the research results in a form suitable for children and young adults. Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Manuela Niethammer learning projects on the topic of colour are developed. The young researchers can then venture on a discovery tour at the different cultural institutions in Dresden.

Preserving plastic objects in the long term

Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden

How can museum objects made of plastic be preserved in the long term? This is the question raised by the research project “Transparent Figures – Exhibition Icons of the 20th Century” funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and realised by the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in cooperation with the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, Technische Universität Dresden and TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences. The focus is on plastic cellulose acetate, from which the workshops of the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum have produced transparent men and animals for decades. For the first time, a comprehensive conservation and restoration concept for these highly engineered biological models will be developed, which will ensure their long-term preservation and can also be transferred to other museum collections.

Museum of Mediaeval Mining in the Ore Mountains in Dippoldiswalde Castle

Archaeological Heritage Office of Saxony

The museum brings to life mediaeval mines that faded into obscurity centuries ago. It presents artefacts that are unique across Europe and that shed light on the life and work of mediaeval miners, both above and below ground. In-depth explanations of early technologies and devices that were used for mining and processing the coveted silver ore are provided. The rare items exhibited, which are over 800 years old, are also impressive due to their outstanding state of preservation. The international and interdisciplinary project ArchaeoMontan, which was carried out  under the scientific direction of the Archaeological Heritage Office of Saxony, forms the scientific basis of the museum. It is part of the cooperation programme between the Free State of Saxony and the Czech Republic, supported by the European Regional Development Fund.