European Academic Heritage Day 2020

In this year of sudden and drastic social changes, big uncertainties, and social distancing due to the pandemic, we are determined to stay agile and connected. For European Academic Heritage day (18 November) we want to invite our members to look at their collections and select one object (in any way they might want to interpret this) and share the meaning this has for them or that they place on it in a campaign over Instagram and twitter.

We want to reflect on how these individual stories and resources can be untapped to offer different views on the human condition and connect our academic heritage with the present.

We thus explore our museum collections and their stories and invite you to connect and celebrate with us through the #AcademicHeritageDay2020 campaign.

We propose two activities for this.

Instagram and Twitter initiatives

We invite all the museums of the UNIVERSEUM network and their staff, to “dig” into their collections and discover objects of trauma and hope, distancing and connection, objects that relate to global health crisis and to human inventiveness to combat hazards and crises. These themes can be interpreted in the broadest sense to make connections with the collections in your university.

Those interested in participating can choose one object and its photograph or video (of up to 1 min length) and create a short story about it and the meaning it has for them (no more than 60 words for each). Then post this on Instagram with the hashtag #AcademicHeritageDay2020 together with the Universeum address: for Instagram: @Universeum_Network, for Twitter: @universeum_eu.

You can invite also colleagues, students, volunteers, visitors to take part in this campaign. There is no limit to the number of entries. If you don’t have an Instagram or Twitter account and don’t have access to someone who does, please email your entry to us at

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On the 18th November, a webinar was held, inviting participants who posted at the online #AcademicHeritageDay2020 campaign to give a short talk about the object of their choice, followed by a discussion about the way objects can get new meaning in times of crisis.