Heritage is a contingent concept defined according to identity, power and culture transformations. At the same time, heritage encompasses historical elements that reveal these transformations, whether in an entire society or in a small institution. In every agora, citizens participate in the 'double construction' of their heritage and negotiate the narrative of their history. As small but well-structured and deterogeneous societies, universities have their own codes and conflicts to create and to manage their specific heritage. Furthermore, historically universities are centres for constructing knowledge to produce objects and for constructing objects to (re)produce knowledge. Therefore, the paths of universities and the paths of the material culture of science follow a somehow parallel course and university heritage is a valuable source for understanding the past, present and future of science and technology. Scientific instruments and machines enable historians to study not only academic experimentation and didactics, but also the powerful image of technology, gender construction or international politics. On the other hand, university archives, libraries and spaces are other axes of university heritage and should be considered together as evidence of a same history.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.