Berlin's Australian Archive

Addressing the Colonial Legacies of Natural History

Following in the footsteps of Alexander von Humboldt, nineteenth-century German naturalists sought to explore and categorize the world. To them, the Australian continent offered a welcome opportunity to test Humboldt’s methods on a terrain hitherto largely unknown to European voyagers and scholars. As a result, this generation of scholars has played a decisive role in colonial knowledge production regarding the fifth continent in both Germany and in Australia. This blog documents the efforts of a new research project that engages with this history. It focuses on the objects (from rock samples to preserved plants and animals) as well as the written material (e.g. journals and letters) sent by German-speaking explorers to the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin, whose anatomical, mineralogical, and zoological collections merged into the Museum für Naturkunde in 1889.

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Informations bibliographiques

Rédacteur(s) en chef

Anja Schwarz

Année de création


Date de mise en ligne

15 septembre 2020

Langue de la publication




Adresse postale

Berlin's Australian Archive
University of Potsdam
English Department
Chair of Cultural Studies
Am Neuen Palais 10
14469 Potsdam

Ville de production