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The library and the path of Museu Paulista (1895-1945)

Grant number: 21/05062-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Principal Investigator:Maria Aparecida de Menezes Borrego
Grantee:Victor Hugo Florenzano Vidal Gonçalves
Host Institution: Museu Paulista (MP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Based upon the studies of Material Culture and the research on the history of museums and libraries, this project aims to analyze the composition of the library of Museu Paulista and comprehend the institutional changes that have impacted the library during the first 50 years of its existence. Opened in 1895, the museum was conceived with a focus on natural history, and its library was used in the first years as a knowledge base by biology scientists and later historians, which was one of the main goals alongside improving the state of scientific research in the state of São Paulo. During the administrations of Hermann von Ihering (1895-1916) and Afonso d'Escragnolle Taunay (1917-1945), the library was the cornerstone of the institutional policy, being frequently mentioned in the museum's publication Revista do Museu Paulista as essential for the development of research in São Paulo. Additionally, the library was one of the main reasons for the departure of Ihering, who was accused of poorly managing the museum and stealing items from its collection. With the change in leadership, the library also changed reflecting the transformations that the whole museum was undergoing, trying to learn more on the historical side. (AU)

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