Direkt zum InhaltDirekt zur SucheDirekt zur Navigation
▼ Zielgruppen ▼

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Chair for the History of Science

M.A. Anne MacKinney

M.A. Anne MacKinney

Philosophische Fakultät → Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften → Wissenschaftsgesch. /Schwerpkt. Bild.u.Org.d.Wissens 19./20.Jhd.
Visiting address
Mohrenstraße 40/41 , Room 126
Phone number
(030) 209370678
Mailing address
Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin

→ Vita

→ Research interest

→ Current project

→ Publications



Anne MacKinney double majored in History and German at the University of California, Berkeley from 2008–2012. With funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) she continued her studies in History at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and obtained her master’s degree in 2015. From 2015–2016 she worked as a research associate at the Center of Natural History in Hamburg (CeNak) in a DFG-project analyzing the collections and manuscripts that emerged from the naturalist Adelbert von Chamisso’s 1815–1818 voyage around the world. Since 2017 she is a member of the Research Training Group 2190 “Literaryand Epistemic History of Small Forms” at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Simultaneously she is a guest researcher at the Berlin Museum for Natural History.


Research interest

  • 18th- and 19th-century history of science
  • History of research voyages
  • History of natural historical collections
  • Materiality of bureaucracy


Current project

Registering Nature: writing practices in the collection and commerce of natural history objects in Berlin, ca. 1770–1850 (working title)

The dissertation investigates within the context of early nineteenth-century natural history collections various forms of the list (inventories, specimen lists, catalogs, etc.) and the ways in which these documents mediated interactions between diverse people, things and institutions. The Berlin Zoological Museum, from its establishment in 1810 and through its first four decades of expansion under the director Martin Hinrich Lichtenstein, is the institutional and temporal focus of the project; still, the forms and functions of lists in the Berlin museum will be compared to those in Berlin’s earlier, eighteenth-century natural history cabinets as well as in other European natural history collections of the nineteenth century. The project studies how the act of writing lists of natural objects helped traveling naturalists and collection keepers define their roles—albeit in very different ways—within an increasingly complex, heterogeneous community of natural historical practitioners. Furthermore, it follows the paths of lists that moved between collections, the Prussian state bureaucracy and a consumer market for natural historical objects. Both the ways in which lists helped define the values (monetary, scientific or cultural) of the objects they referenced and the ways in which lists shaped the relationship between the scientific-academic community, the state and the public in early nineteenth-century Berlin are central questions addressed in the dissertation.



  • Review: “Lance Grande, Curators. Behind the scenes of natural history museums (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017)”, Archives of Natural History, forthcoming.

  • „Academic practice par excellence: Martin Hinrich Lichtenstein’s role in Adelbert von Chamisso’s career as a naturalist“, Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur 42:2 (2017). With Matthias Glaubrecht.

  • „Chamisso and Lichtenstein: documents“, Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur 42:2 (2017).

  • Workshop Report: „All you can do with Catalogs: Accessing, Organizing, Disseminating Local Knowledge (15th–19th Centuries)”, in TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research (05.03.2017), http://trafo.hypotheses.org/6049. With Guy Burak, Paola Molino, Dagmar Riedel and Martina Siebert.

  • „Das schriftliche und zeichnerische Verfahren bei Heiner Müller“, Sonderdruck 1 (2016), edited by Valentin Groebner, Anke te Heesen, Christina Wessely and Michael Wildt.

  • Alexander von Humboldt, Johann David Erdmann Preuß: Briefwechsel (Beiträge zur Alexander-von Humboldt-Forschung, Bd. 43), edited by Ulrich Päßler and Anna Senft, with collaboration from Anna Dietrich, Andreas Henseler, Jens Herold, Anne MacKinney, Laura Nippel, Daniel Stienen and Julia Weidmann (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2015).