Over the 19th – 20th centuries, the universities museums became institutions necessary for preserving the academic memory and history of the intellectual elite. The Romanian world was not foreign to this restitution requirement, but the institutional efforts were often syncopated, given the devastation of wars and the trauma resulted from the changes in political regimes. The current Museum of the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University was designed to continue the efforts initiated over a century ago by the scientists Teohari Antonescu and Orest Tafrali. The first entity for preserving the cultural goods in the academic area was founded in 1916 and was dedicated to preserving the antiques belonging to the heritage of the “Alexandru Ion Cuza” University of Iaşi from archeological excavations at Cucuteni culture and the Greek fortresses at the Black Sea. In the interwar period many of the initiatives of conservation and enhancement of academic heritage belonged to Ilie Minea, a researcher who showed special interest in pieces from the Moldavian medieval period. After World War Second these objects entered the custody of the History Museum of Moldavia, an institution subordinated to the Ministry of Culture.

The interest in preserving evidence of the university activity lies back in early years, when Titu Maiorescu was the rector of the University, between 1863 and 1867. The initiatives regarding scientific preserving and capitalization of cultural property were shaped later on, as the academic establishment of Iaşi asserted a specific identity. The concerns for saving the institution’s historical heritage increased under the impact of dramatic changes that the Romanian society faced during the 20th century. They determined the destruction of important evidence, particularly buildings and furniture, teaching material and university courses. Other sources remained in several personal archives, while a series of exhibits and documents were fragmented and given in the custody of some public institutions. The transfer of prewar administrative documents to the National Archives of Romania, the Department of Iaşi county, where they formed the funds of ”Rectorate” and of the Faculties, was a positive approach. Unfortunately, this framework did not also make possible the appropriate classification, preserving and restoration of all the documentary sources on the evolution of the academic education in Iaşi. Scientific processing of the sources is an intrinsic part of any research on the past, so that centralization and systematization of data should be a priority for our University.