chapter  7
16 Pages

Adieu Albinus: How the Preparations in the Nineteenth- Century Leiden Anatomical Collections Lost their Past

The curators did not carry out these reinterpretations on their own. We know that audiences – in this case mainly students and researchers – shape collections just as much as curators do.5 And, building on the body of work on the agency of objects, I want to argue that a third party is involved in the process: the preparations themselves.6 Without their specific material properties, the reinterpretations could never have been carried out, as I will demonstrate. Together, then, curators, audiences and preparations determined the fate of the Leiden anatomical collections in the nineteenth century.