Special Topics in the History of Science

HPSC-X705 — Spring 2022

Domenico Bertoloni Meli
Ballantine Hall 344
Days and Times
Monday 1:30P-4:00P
Course Description

Cabinets of curiosities, collections, and museums reflected and at the same time contributed to shaping through their material holdings the world of learning and the organization of knowledge of their time. They included naturalia and artificialia, marvels and rarities from both the old and the new worlds. The literature on early modern collections and museums is highly interdisciplinary and includes, but is not limited to, antiquarianism, the history of art, of several sciences (notably medicine and natural history), and, more broadly, of collecting and displaying. This class seeks to familiarize students from different backgrounds and with different interests with the relevant literature from the Renaissance to Hans Sloane, whose collections upon his death (1753) became the basis of the British Museum, and later of the British Library and Natural History Museum.