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APRU Research Symposium on University Museums: Forming a University Museum Collection Network As the Core of Frontier Research

Kyoto University
Association of Pacific Rim Universitis(APRU)

September 12-13, 2012

Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall

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Scope of Symposium


University museum collections serve as important resources and stimulation for research and yield numerous scientific findings. In turn, through the research activities of university museums, collections are expanded and improved. Thus, collection and research, with their reciprocal interaction, are inseparably linked components which constitute the core of university museums. This reciprocal interaction promotes the academic activities not only of the university museums but also of the universities as a whole. The Kyoto University Museum (the organizer of this symposium) came to this understanding of the reciprocal and positive circuits of collection-research interaction through our own activities and experiences since the museum's establishment in 1997. This perspective clearly differs from the commonly hold view of university museums as merely places for maintaining collections. Operating university museums with this understanding greatly contributes to the academic achievements of museums and universities.

This symposium is being held as research symposium of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). Each of the APRU member universities has built large and unique collections in accordance with their varied historical, cultural and natural environmental backgrounds, and each has produced rich scientific results based on its collection. Through this symposium, we would like to share the idea of reciprocal positive interaction between collection and research with other museums of APRU member universities. Furthermore, we hope to establish multilateral cooperation and networking to intensify academic activities not only of each individual APRU member university but also of the APRU network as a whole.

This symposium, therefore, aims to elucidate and share information and experience on the current status of collection and research of university museums in the Pacific Rim region. Presentations will introduce various aspects of reciprocal and positive collection-research interaction, broad collection-based research activities utilizing new technologies or approaches, the digitization of collections, and information on unique and valuable collections. Through this symposium, we will discuss the roles and importance of the multilateral university museum collection network and its role in promoting university research frontiers.

In this century, as advancing globalization brings new problems to be solved, research with a global viewpoint is of increasing importance. It is therefore anticipated that the museums of APRU member universities will play an increasingly vital role as active participants in a collection network to promote research to address global issues. We hope that this symposium will serve as the first step in endeavor towards a shared understanding of the importance of reciprocal and positive collection-research interaction in promoting academic activities in museums, and also the importance of forming an APRU university museum collection network to advance university research frontiers and contribute to global society.