You can’t take it with you
After the Ruthven Museums building officially closed its doors to the public last year, Michigan Today explored its deserted halls, cupboards, and cabinets to find a trove of fascinating and forgotten artifacts. A renovated Ruthven will be home to classrooms, labs, and offices for the University’s central administration staff. Ruthven’s former occupants now live in the new Biological Sciences Building.
Notions and potions
The origins of the University’s natural history collections date to 1837 when the state legislature created the University of Michigan. The charter gave the Board of Regents the “authority to spend so much of the University fund to purchase a ‘Cabinet of Natural History.’”
Pictured here is a different kind of cabinet: one that housed some mysterious potions, oil, and rubber gloves in an artichoke jar.
A work in progress
Here’s a sight you don’t often see in the normal course of business hours.
We wish there was a more exciting story to tell about this photo. Alas, no heist to report. Just a move in progress.
The University’s collections have inspired generations of students, alumni, schoolchildren, families, and other visitors to discover the excitement of science and the natural world. But the “occasional papers” shown here best served scholars behind the scenes.
Lights on, nobody’s home
And for our next exhibit: “Abandoned Office.”
Long-lost scraps of paper, notes, and other ephemera leave a haunting impression of long-ago adventures, expeditions, and excursions.
It’s another language
We can’t pretend to know what this chart is for, and we can only guess how long it’s been taped to the wall in someone’s laboratory.
It takes all kinds
One University scientist expressed unique anti-war sentiment in a wacky sticker on their office door. Come to think of it, slugs are pretty peaceful creatures. Maybe it’s not so wacky after all.
Mysteries abound in an empty and deserted museum building. Each drawer holds secrets, discoveries, folios — even “fish serials…”
Turn it up to 11!
Who can tell us what the Volt Meter is used for? There’s just something indescribably cool about those knobs and switches, right?
It’s not easy being green
These tools of the trade have seen better days.
A pop of color
Stacked in the back halls of Ruthven, we found this cluster of colorful chairs. They, too, are relics of a sort!
Hang it up
Someone definitely knew how to leave their past behind … on to new adventures.