The Royal Model Chamber of the University of Göttingen

Analysis of the historical practice of a university teaching collection, including the objects that still exist today.

Author: Oliver Zauzig.

This research paper is about the königliche Modellkammer (Royal Model Chamber) of the University of Göttingen. This historical teaching collection has left numerous traces to this day. Despite the professionalisation of the collection’s work and the constant integration of the models into the university curriculum of the Faculty of Philosophy, especially applied mathematics, appropriate conditions of use existed almost at no time.
In the 1880s, the collection was dissolved, and the process of dissolution is documented in detail in the files. In addition, 24 models from the former collection have been preserved until now.
The structure and scope of the Göttingen Model Chamber correspond to the universal model collections of the time, whose origins can be found in courtly, municipal and bourgeois art chambers. Models and model collections for example were used for purposes of demonstrating power, for planning and designing, as patterns, for playing and experimenting, but above all in teaching and education. In addition to researching the everyday practice of historical collection work, the focus is on investigating curricular use with the royal model chamber.
To this end, some of the historical models of the collection that still exist today were examined in detail, analysed, questioned in relation to their historical curricular practice and individually contextualised. Especially through the encounter with the objects, a variety of questions emerged.
Ultimately, the numerous gaps in information that inevitably open up when researching the everyday use of the historical teaching collection through written material and objects force a predominantly heuristic approach.

To the publication (edoc).