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Inventorying the Rhone. The Scientific Travels of Claude Jourdan Collecting for the Natural History Museum of Lyon, 1834-1869

Abstract : As the director of the Natural History Museum of Lyon from 1834 to 1869, the driven Claude Jourdan applied his determination to keep the museum collections for nearly a lifetime. The museum’s archive and his Journal d’Entrées, especially, are key in grasping the importance of travelling in the collecting practices of Jourdan, especially in his effort to constitute a comprehensive collection of minerals and fossils documenting the geology of the Rhone river basin. Not only does it illuminate locational patterns, but it also points to the social dimension of Jourdan’s mobility. The web of intermediaries and contacts patiently weaved together for decades informs on the supplying strategies developed by Jourdan, but also on the fabrication of his own persona within the scholarly world. As an employee of a municipal museum, Jourdan also operated as the servant of a public establishment. Therefore, the delineation of professional competences in the context of serving a public institution came about as important, as well as the negotiation with funding bodies which were also the local political authority. By looking at the prevailing and the peculiar in Jourdan’s collecting practices, the paper will emphasise situational and contextual aspects of scientific knowledge production in Lyon. Particularly, it wishes to expose the construction modalities of the museum authority as a site of scientific knowledge, and interrogate the extent to which it is hinged on the invention of the director’s own authority and persona.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02542764
Contributor : Deborah Dubald <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 9:30:27 PM
Last modification on : Monday, August 24, 2020 - 2:32:16 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-02542764, version 1

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Déborah Dubald. Inventorying the Rhone. The Scientific Travels of Claude Jourdan Collecting for the Natural History Museum of Lyon, 1834-1869. Cabinet of Natural History Seminar, HPS, University of Cambridge, May 2018, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ⟨halshs-02542764⟩

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