The Kyoto University Museum Hosts an international symposium on university museums (28-29 October 2014)

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The Kyoto University Museum recently hosted an international symposium, "Challenging Asian University Museums -- elucidating the strategy to promote collection gaining and management, and collection based research, education and outreaching", at the Clock Tower Centennial Hall.

Nearly 70 participants -- among whom were 16 invited speakers from 11 Asian countries, including Professor Ingeol Kim from the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies, Republic of Korea, as well as four speakers from the Kyoto University Museum -- attended the event to discuss the current state and future of university museums in Asia, with a focus on the utilization and roles of museum collections.

On the first day, welcome addresses were delivered by Kyoto University President Juichi Yamagiwa and Professor Terufumi Ohno, Director of the Kyoto University Museum, before nine speakers presented on their respective museums' histories, current stages of development, activities, achievements, and policies and strategies for the future.

On the second day, participants examined and discussed conventional and novel uses for museum collections in the context of museum development strategies, and gave presentations about topics such as how to increase the value and influence of these assets. Later, as on the previous day, a plenary panel discussion was held including those who had earlier presented. In addition to reviewing those presentations, panelists explored themes such as the distinct characteristics and advantages of university museums, and strategies for making the most of them. Both the panelists and the audience actively contributed to the discussion, making it a highly productive session. The symposium itself, meanwhile, laid the foundations for future development by enabling a great number of early-career researchers to play an active role in its management, as well as providing opportunities to participate in presentations and discussions.

On the following day, symposium participants visited the Kyoto University Museum, where they went on a guided tour of the storage area and two special exhibitions -- "Preserving the Cornerstones of Scholarship: The History of the Museum since its Beginnings as an Exhibition Hall for Kyoto University's Precursor School" and "Masterpieces of Kyoto University Mineral Collection".

These events helped the participants consider the state of their own organizations and university museums in general from multiple perspectives, resulting in new insights into these topics.

President Yamagiwa greeting the participants

Keynote lectures by Mr Hoang Trung Thanh from the Hanoi University of Science, left, and Prof Iwasaki from the Kyoto University Museum

Panel discussion by presenters

Commemorative photo

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