The Royal Society
6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG
14-15 November 2019
The shift from the disordered Kunstkammer or curiosity cabinet of the Renaissance to the ordered Enlightenment museum is well known. What has to be explored fully is the process through which this transformation occurred. Collective Wisdom, funded by an AHRC International Networking Grant, explores how and why members of the Royal Society, the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Leopoldina (in Halle, Germany) collected specimens of the natural world, art, and archaeology in the 17th and 18th centuries.
In three international workshops, we are analysing the connections between these scholarly organisations, natural philosophy, and antiquarianism, and to what extent these networks shaped the formation of early museums and their categorisation of knowledge.
Workshop III, concerning the afterlives, use and reconstruction of early modern collections is designed to benefit scholars interested in digital humanities.
We will explore digital approaches to survey collections over time, assisted by the Royal Society-Google Cultural Institute partnership. How can we data-mine and use tools to integrate extant databases? How did the norms of early modern academies of scientific journal publication, priority of discovery and ‘matters of fact’ shape the organisation of knowledge? How do we consider those early modern models in digital reconstructions of early collecting?
Min Chen (Oxford), Mary-Ann Constantine (Wales), Natasha David (Google), Michelle DiMeo (Hagley), Louisianne Ferlier (The Royal Society), Rainer Godel (Leopoldina), Rob Iliffe (Oxford), Neil Johnston (TNA), Suhair Khan (Google), Nigel Leask (Glasgow), Miranda Lewis (Oxford), Alice Marples (Oxford), Alessio Mattana (Turin), Julianne Nyhan (UCL), Torsten Roeder (Leopoldina), Anna Marie Roos (Lincoln), Giacomo Savani (University College Dublin), Cornelis Schilt (Oxford), Tom Scott (Wellcome), Aron Sterk (Lincoln), Matthew Symonds (CELL, UCL).
£100 registration fee, full (includes lunches, coffees and music concert)
£50 registration fee, students and concessions (includes lunches, coffees and music concert)
Registration, programme, and abstracts:
Free registration for music concert following the workshop
For more information about the Collective Wisdom project see