Postdoctoral researcher within the project „Politics of Acquisition: The Case of Mineralogical Donations in Prussia and the GDR“ funded by the Innovationsfonds of the MfN
During its first decades, the Mineralogical-Petrographical Collection of the Berlin museum of natural history received a variety of gifts and donations. Asking about the donators’ motivations, there is some evidence that economic interests, scientific ambitions and incentives given by the Prussian state, such as awards and titles, often culminated. Correspondingly, it is difficult to categorize a particular donation a gift, purchase or exchange, as in practice these concepts were not as clearly distinguished as the terminology suggests.
The project compares Prussian reform era donations with analogue donations that were given to the museum during the first decades of the GDR’s existence. This diachronic comparison is intended to reveal general social mechanisms of donating that were effective for the building of natural history collections. This research project is embedded within the field of museum studies.