Between the 6th and the 8th of October 2022, the German Gesellschaft für Universitätssammlungen held its annual conference in Vienna. The „Collection is in focus. University collections as places of critical discussion” was organised by the collection coordination staff at the University of Vienna in the university's main building.
The Gesellschaft für Universitätssammlungen was established with the aim of supporting the wide dissemination and preservation of educational and research collections at universities in Germany. This year, „sensitive objects” came to the fore in the presentations of the conference. This sensitivities can appear in several aspects, but their common feature is that these collections represent a significant problem in handling. The aim of the conference was to bring these problematic collections into focus, as they include human remains (which in some cases also include the management of colonial heritage), objects at risk from the point of view of protection and long-term preservation (e.g. glass slides, glass negatives); digitalisation as the question of access (accessibility) may also arise.
Since its inception, the University Collection Coordination under the leadership of the ELTE University Library and Archives has maintained a relationship with the collection coordination within the university library of the University of Vienna. The ELTE’s collection organization is very similar to the society’s member institutions in Germany and Vienna, they provided an opportunity to present our university. Archivist Krisztina Tóth Ph.D. and museologist Georgina Schlay participated in the conference on behalf of the coordination. On the afternoon of the 7th of October, the background and activities of the University Collection Coordination were summarized in the poster section.