What is a University Museum?

To understand what a university museum should be, we need to reflect on what a university is. The university as a construction hall, where memories as well as insights into the mechanisms and consequences at play are used to forge the research-based tools needed to tackle current natural and societal challenges efficiently.

A university museum manages and disseminates its collections to keep memory alive and offer access to our history and identity, yet we found that it must also share the overall purpose of the university and facilitate its role in society.

We believe that our museum will become an ever more relevant part of our university if it is as much about our present and future as about our past; becomes a meeting place where academia meets a wider public, where things are debated, the role of science discussed; a place where we listen as much as we talk, where questions are posed as much as answers given.

A university museum should not only present the results of research but engage the public in questions about how they are achieved, how knowledge is produced.

We firmly believe that only shared knowledge can be employed to meet the challenges we face. We want the university museum to contribute significantly to the empowerment of people through facilitating this sharing, viewing research in a societal context which strengthens public discourse and offers a contribution to the very democratization of knowledge.

The birds, in the main staircase birds are suspended from the ceiling, giving the impression they are flying in the sky
Adnan Icagic © Universitetsmuseet i Bergen