Collected since 1771: Colonial Testimonies from the Collection of a Learned Society from Zeeland

Activity: Talk or presentationAcademic

Description

The Zeeland Society of Sciences (in Dutch the ‘Zeeuwsch Genootschap der Wetenschappen’), founded in Flushing in 1769, had originally as its primary objective “To glorify the almighty God at the highest, to be advantageous to all humanity and especially our compatriots, and to breed all kinds of useful arts and sciences”. According to the views of that time, this included the necessity of bringing together a collection of objects that could attest to these goals. Many natural rarities and other objects that bore witness to “everything that enclosed the sea, earth and the whole world” were collected in this way. This implies that various objects were brought to Zeeland from the old trading areas and the former colonies. These artefacts and naturalia ended up in the collection of the Zeeland Society, which today is housed in the Zeeuws Museum at Middelburg. In my presentation, I will briefly discuss the history of collecting these testimonies from a (pre-)colonial past, and their current role in the exhibits of the Zeeuws Museum.
Period07 Dec 2018
Degree of RecognitionNational

Keywords

  • Natural history
  • Collections
  • Zeeland
  • Colonial heritage