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Our illustrated book is out!

Ancient sculptures, corals, bone preparations, historical surveying instruments, orthopedic horseshoes, and much more. There are more than 50 collections and media libraries at Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU).

They are distributed not only across different eras and subject areas, but also across the campuses and university buildings. At the various locations, the JLU collections are available for use in teaching and research. For the first time, JLU is now providing insights into its diverse collections with a large-format illustrated book titled SACHVERSTAND. Dr. Alissa Theiss, JLU's collections coordinator, and Prof. Dr. Michael Lierz, JLU's Vice President for Academic Infrastructure until April 2021 jointly published the illustrated book SACHVERSTAND. Die Sammlungen der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen. In a total of 21 collection portraits, some 30 authors provide information on the origins and holdings of the respective collections and explain what they are used for. Katrina Friese, a photographer from Giessen, took the impressive photographs; she always captures the special features of the objects, whether in an overview image or in an extraordinary detail shot.

Scholars at the University of Giessen have created collections of objects for research and teaching for their respective subjects, and have done so from the university's founding in 1607 through the centuries to recent times. "The illustrated book illustrates the connection between the collection objects and the development of expertise," says Dr. Theiss, who took the lead in the book project, in reference to the title of the new publication. "Despite their great diversity, all collections have one thing in common: they have served and will continue to serve the advancement and increase of knowledge."

Numerous valuable exhibits from the JLU collections are already accessible to the public or have been shown many times, including special treasures from the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the special collections of the university library or the botanical garden. In contrast, the existence of other pieces—for example from the historical model collection of mathematics—is probably little known. The so-called 'recent academic heritage' of the equipment storage, which consists of technical equipment from various departments since the 1960s, has been presented to the public for the first time in the illustrated book. The historical collections are a rich source of the history of science in general and of Giessen University in particular; at the same time, they characterize the university venue. "But the collections are also indispensable for the transfer of knowledge, i.e. the 'tangible' communication of scientific topics, research results, and findings from the university to the public," explains Prof. Lierz: "This multitude of tasks and areas of application makes it clear: collections are an essential part of the university's academic infrastructure."

Both editors would like to thank all those involved in the book project from the various central and decentralized departments for their cooperation, JLU's executive board for its support, and the financial sponsors: The Giessen University Society (GHG) and Sparkasse Giessen. Illustrated book SACHVERSTAND – Die Sammlungen der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Alissa Theiss, Michael Lierz (eds.) , 200 pages, over 140 illustrations, ISBN 978-3-944682-98-3. The illustrated book is available in the university bookstore (Uni-Shop) for 25 euros. JLU Uni-Shop:

Press release No. 172 • December 14, 2021: SACHVERSTAND – die Sammlungen der JLU