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Authenticity in natural history collections

AutorInnen: 
Töpfer, T.
Erscheinungsjahr: 
2020
Vollständiger Titel: 
Authenticity in natural history collections: reflections from a zoological research perspective
ZFMK-Autorinnen / ZFMK-Autoren: 
Org. Einordnung: 
Publikationstyp: 
Beitrag zu Sammelwerk
DOI Name: 
https://doi.org/10.11588/propylaeum.745
Bibliographische Angaben: 
Töpfer, T. (2020): Authenticity in natural history collections: reflections from a zoological research perspective. - In: Kimmel, D., Brüggerhoff, S. (eds.): Museen - Orte des Authentischen? RGZM-Verlag (Mainz). pp. 395-399.
Abstract: 

In most natural history museums, the total number of specimens in the collections significantly outnumbers those on display, making them valuable as behind-the-scenes research resources for scientific scholars. In contrast to museum exhibitions, where authenticity is a major element of visitor attraction, authenticity in collections is perceived differently: first and foremost, preserved specimens act as evidence of natural variation in time and space. Their non-interchangeability as biological individuals (identity) explains why they may serve a twofold function, a concrete one as individual voucher specimens and an ideographic one as representatives of abstract biological conceptions (e. g. type specimens). However, the authenticity and identity of a biological specimen are often largely congruent and only partly exclusive.

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