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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  History of Science & Nature

La République Naturaliste Collection d'Histoire Naturelle & Révolution Française (1789-1804)

Series: Collection Archives Volume: 19
By: Pierre-Yves Lacour(Author)
614 pages, 165 colour illustrations
La République Naturaliste
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  • La République Naturaliste ISBN: 9782856537558 Paperback Dec 2014 In stock
Price: £14.99
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About this book

Language: French

La République Naruraliste examines the encounter between a small part of the history of culture and science, natural history collections, and a colossal event, the French Revolution. The years 1789-1804 were indeed a special moment in the constitution of French naturalist collections. Harvested, traded, bought or confiscated in aristocratic and ecclesiastical offices, numerous specimens converged to the Natural History Museum, while some duplicates of such national collections were sent to the provinces to the offices of Central Schools. The Museum appeared as the center around which was organized the gathering and dispersal of specimens, and Paris claimed, for a time, to embody the universal capital of natural history.

Following the path of these objects, the book also analyzes what was playing when in the capital and in the provinces, natural history was institutionalized, professionalized and specialized around refounded or entirely new collections. Within these collections, the relationship between scientific, artistic and ethnographic objects are never exactly the same as scholarly practices that set the value and use of specimens. Thus in the complex, and sometimes tense, relations which were formed between naturalistic Paris, scholarly Europe and the province of teachers, a hierarchy of intellectual positions and scientific institutions developed gradually.

Summary in French:
La République Naruraliste examine la rencontre entre un petit objet d’histoire de la culture et des sciences, les collections d’histoire naturelle, et un événement colossal, la Révolution. Les années 1789-1804 sont en effet un moment exceptionnel dans la constitution des collections naturalistes françaises. Récoltés, échangés, achetés ou confisqués dans les cabinets aristocratiques et ecclésiastiques, une multitude de spécimens convergent vers le Muséum d'histoire naturelle, tandis qu'une partie des doubles de ces collections nationales est envoyée en province dans les cabinets des Écoles centrales. Le Muséum apparaît alors comme le centre autour duquel s'organisent le rassemblement, puis la dispersion des spécimens et Paris prétend, pour un temps, incarner la capitale universelle de l’histoire naturelle.

En suivant le parcours de ces objets, le livre analyse aussi ce qui se joue au moment où, dans la capitale comme en province, l'histoire naturelle s’institutionnalise, se professionnalise et se specialise autour de collections refondées ou entièrement nouvelles. Au sein de ces collections, les relations entre objets scientifiques, artistiques et ethnographiques ne sont jamais exactement les mêmes tout comme les pratiques savantes qui fixent la valeur et l’usage des spécimens. C'est ainsi que dans les relations complexes, et parfois tendues, qui se tissent alors entre le Paris naturaliste, l’Europe savante et la province des professeurs, une hiérarchie des positions intellectuelles et des institutions scientifiques s’élabore progressivement.

Customer Reviews

Series: Collection Archives Volume: 19
By: Pierre-Yves Lacour(Author)
614 pages, 165 colour illustrations
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