New Book | Collective Wisdom: Collecting in the Early Modern Academy

Posted in books by Editor on December 29, 2022

From Brepols:

Anna Marie Roos, Vera Keller, eds., Collective Wisdom: Collecting in the Early Modern Academy (Brepols, 2022), 325 pages, ISBN: 978-2503588063, €85.

Collective Wisdom analyses the connections between early modern scholarly societies and to what extent these networks shaped the formation of early museums and the categorisation of knowledge.

This volume analyses how and why members of scholarly societies such as the Royal Society, the Society of Antiquaries of London, and the Leopoldina collected specimens of the natural world, art, and archaeology in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These scholarly societies, founded before knowledge became subspecialised, had many common members. We focus upon how their exploration of natural philosophy, antiquarianism, and medicine were reflected in collecting practice, the organisation of specimens and how knowledge was classified and disseminated. The overall shift from curiosity cabinets with objects playfully crossing the domains of art and nature, to their well-ordered Enlightenment museums is well known. Collective Wisdom analyses the process through which this transformation occurred, and the role of members of these academies in developing new techniques of classifying and organising objects and new uses of these objects for experimental and pedagogical purposes.

Anna Marie Roos, FLS FSA is the Professor of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Lincoln (UK). Vera Keller is Professor of History at the University of Oregon.


Vera Keller and Anna Marie Roos — Introduction
Kelly J. Whitmer — Putting Play to Work: Collections of Realia and Useful Play in Early Modern Educational Reform Efforts
Chantal Grell — Tito Livio Burattini, a Seventeenth-Century Engineer and Egyptologist
Georgiana Hedesan — University Reform and Medical Alchemy in Ole Worm’s Museum Wormianum (1655)
Fabien Krämer — The Curiosi as Collectores: The Publications of the Academia Naturae Curiosorum, c. 1652–1706
Vera Keller — Vernacular Knowledge, Learned Medicine, and Social Technologies in the Leopoldina, 1670–1700, or, How to Publish on Sirens, Dragons, and Basilisks
Philip Beeley — ‘The Antiquity, Excellence, and use of Musick’: Wallis, Wanley, and the Reception of Ancient Greek Music in Late Seventeenth-Century Oxford
Julia A. Schmidt-Funke — Urban Fabric and Knowledge of Nature: Physicians as Naturalists in Early Modern Commercial Towns
Kim Sloan — Sloane’s Antiquities: Providing a ‘Body of History’ through Beads, Bottles, Brasses and Busts
Dustin Frazier Wood — Antiquarian Science and Scientific Antiquarianism at the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society
Anna Marie Roos — The First Egyptian Society
Louisiane Ferlier — Collective Wisdom in the Digital Age: Digitizing Early Modern Collections at the Royal Society

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