26 specimens from the antique collection of Animal Biology, now physically kept in the Sciences Campus library branch, have been digitized and made available on the portal Impronte Digitali.
This is the continuation of an activity that began in 2009 entailing the digitization of about 300 specimens as part of a cooperative project between the University of Florence, Gottingen and BHL Europe, then continued in 2010 with the selection of 19 further editions to be included in the Library Services Digitization Project.
The choice of these texts was determined by the need to disseminate and make available a part of the library heritage otherwise little known and difficult to access, in addition to an already considerable international digital heritage.
A detailed analysis of the collection revealed that more than 60% of the editions in English and French preserved in the antique collection of Animal Biology are already freely available on national and international digital platforms, such as Impronte Digitali, Cultural Internet, Europeana, the Internet Archive, Hathi Trust, Biodiversity Heritage Library. On the other hand, the nineteenth-century zoological literature in the Italian language, while playing an important scientific role, is less represented.
Among the publications chosen there are works accompanied by wonderful images in black and white and colour that, at the time, in the absence of adequate photographic equipment, represented a valuable tool for research.
Among these editions: Troisième Voyage de Cook (1785), Storia naturale degli uccelli che nidificano in Lombardia by Eugenio Bettoni (1865-1868), Iconografia della Avifauna Italica by Enrico Hillyer Giglioli (1906) with the magnificent hand-coloured drawings by Alberto Manzella, I pesci d’acqua dolce by Roger Verity (1916).