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Special Collections of the Sciences Library

All the branches of the Library hold a number of historical book collections and miscellanies  (excerpts, pamphlets collected and then donated by scholars and academics) which sometimes are connected to the archives. The history of these materials has partly common origins, coming from the first core of the Library of the Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History, and had a differentiated evolution since the foundation of the Royal Institute of Vocational and Advanced Studies (1859). 

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Many specimens of our patrimony are also stored, for convenience, at the Galileo Museum Library. The catalogue of these collections can be consulted through a specially dedicated research page prepared in collaboration with the Museum itself.

Consult the catalogue: Historical-scientific collections of the Science Library held by the Galileo Museum

Since December 2017, the collections that were held by the historic Animal Biology main offices in Palazzo della Specola in Florence have been relocated at the headquarters of the Sciences Campus in Sesto Fiorentino, where the entire library was also transferred.

Read more

The nature of the collections was largely influenced by the directions taken by research throughout the centuries, by the scholars who cultivated it, who disseminated the results and that ultimately donated their possessions to the institution.

There is a total of approx. 6,450 ancient volumes, that is, published before 1830, in addition to relevant and rare subsequent volumes (1831-1920) on anthropology, botany and zoology. Some collections, which are named after their main topic, have naturally become part of the Library in order to protect and manage such ancient books.

The bailment with the Galileo Museum includes over 17,500 works including monographs, magazines, excerpts, brochures and maps published from 1475 until the first half of the twentieth century and mainly related to physical-mathematical disciplines. Many of these works are accessible in digital format.The most substantial part of this material consists of texts (about 14,000), published mostly between the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, and which were acquired by the Royal Institute of Higher and Vocational Studies and then from the library of the Institute of Physics of the University of Florence. The oldest volumes (about 3,150 pieces, including geographic maps) were part of the scientific section of the Medicean-Lorena Library, which was the foundation, in 1807, of the Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History Library.

Anthropology Branch

Brunetto Chiarelli Collection

Brunetto Chiarelli (Florence, 1934-), an anthropology professor at the University of Florence, left about 3,200 volumes, including monographs and whole vintages of magazines, at the Anthropology library branch. In addition to publications on anthropology, we find topics such as genetics, prehistory, primatology, ecology, palaeontology. The volumes were sent to Chiarelli for review on the journals where he was the editor. The book collection is catalogued and filed as a separate entity.

Paolo Mantegazza Collection

This is the book part of a larger legacy, dating from 1924 and left by the Mantegazza family. The donation also includes letters and lecture notes, diplomas, press clippings and other archival material deposited at the Museum of Natural History (section of anthropology). The library offers access to about 600 volumes dating mostly to the 19th century,  all inventoried in the OPAC catalogue.

Bibliography: Maria Emanuela Frati (ed.), Le carte e la biblioteca di Paolo Mantegazza: inventario e catalogo, Florence, Giunta regionale toscana, 1991.

Biography: information on Paolo Mantegazza  in Enciclopedia Treccani

 Italian Society of Anthropology and Ethnology Collection

The collection includes approximately 2,000 volumes, 7,000 excerpts and brochures bound in 350 volumes, as well as 691 journals.

The collection, in bailment since 1985, dates back to 1871, the foundation date of the Society by Paolo Mantegazza. It includes publications of anthropological and ethnological subjects.

In the miscellany there is also material on psychology, anatomy, paleoethnology, zoology, biology. In good conservation conditions. Cataloged on board. Consultation allowed. Loan allowed with reservation. Reproduction allowed with reservation.

Card catalogue only. Consultation allowed. Loans allowed with previous authorisation. Reproduction allowed with previous authorisation.

Bibliography: Consiglio interbibliotecario toscano, Guida ai fondi speciali delle biblioteche toscane, edited by S. Di Majo, 2. ed., Florence, DBA, 1996, p. 140.

Antiques and Rare Books Collection

The collection, for a total of 420 volumes (partly donated and largely purchased by Mantegazza at antique booksellers), comprises 32 books of the 16th century, 72 of the 17th and 90 of the 18th century; about 40 books come from the Palatine Library. It includes publications on anatomy, physiognomics, anthropology. Among the oldest books, there are some on chiromancy, metoposcopy, ethnology.

In good conditions. Consultation allowed. Cataloguing in progress.

Anthropology's General Miscellany

The miscellany contains about 2,500 excerpts and brochures bound in 80 volumes, with more to come, dated from the second half of the 19th century, bound up to the 1970s by subject, and then in order of arrival. In addition to physical anthropology and ethnology, the miscellany includes works of zoology, paleoethnology and biology.

In good conditions. Card catalogue only. Consultation allowed.

Animal Biology Branch

Antiques and Rare Books Collection

It comes from the collections of the Institutes of Comparative Anatomy and Zoology, and from the Zoology Museum of La Specola, and are now merged in the Biology Library. It includes about 4000 volumes published between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries of various nature-related topics, mainly zoology, including 26 volumes from the 16th century, over 70 volumes from the 17th and over 400 from the 18th century.

Fair conservation state. (From 2013 the collection is situated at the Sciences Campus in Sesto Fiorentino). Card catalogue only (partially available on OPAC). Consultation allowed with previous authorisation.

Odoardo Beccari Miscellany

While the archive material is kept in the Botany branch, see Archives of the Science Library, here are kept over 700 excerpts and brochures dating to the 19th century on zoology, collected in about 20 folders. 

In poor conservation conditions, the material is located in a separate room of the library. Card catalogue (special catalogue). Currently, consultation is not permitted.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Firenze, in 'Atti della Società Toscana di Scienze Naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Nello Beccari - Emanuele Padova Miscellany 

Donated by Emanuele Padova and the heirs of Nello Beccari to the Institute of Comparative Anatomy, presumably in 1959. It consists of 40 crates and 16 boxes, with about 15,600 excerpts from the 20th century on biology, anatomy, embryology partially filed in alpha order by author.  The miscellany is merged following the will of the two scientists.

The miscellany is unified for the will of the two scholars. Nello Beccari (1883-1957), Odoardo's son, was a professor of comparative anatomy at the University of Florence, director of the Italian Zoological Monitor and the Italian Archives of Anatomy and Embryology. Emanuele Padova (1905-1980) has been a director of the Institute since 1954.

In poor conservation conditions, the material is located in a separate room of the library. Card catalogue (special catalogue). Currently, consultation is not permitted.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Firenze, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Davide Carazzi Miscellany 

Includes approximately 2,600 excerpts of the 19th and 20th century, collected in 46 folders, mainly dealing with zoology, with particular attention to the anatomy of Invertebrates.

In poor conservation conditions, the material is located in a separate room from the library. Card catalogue (special catalogue). Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted with previous authorisation.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Firenze, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Filippo Cavazza Miscellany 

A gift from Filippo Cavazza's heirs to the Institute of Zoology in 1953. It includes 26 progressively numbered folders and 4 volumes bound and numbered from 27 to 30, containing over 1,000 brochures and excerpts of the 20th century predominantly about zoology.

In poor conservation conditions, the material is located in a separate room from the library.
Card catalogue (special catalogue). Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted with previous authorisation.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Firenze, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Biography: information on Filippo Cavazza in Enciclopedia Treccani

Giuseppe Colosi Miscellany 

A gift by Giuseppe Colosi to the Institute of Zoology made in 1975, it includes approximately 9,400 excerpts and brochures of the 20th century related to biology and zoology, collected in 120 folders. This is what remains of a larger collection part of which was merged with the General Miscellany.

In poor conservation conditions, the material is located in a separate room of the library.
Card catalogue (special catalogue). Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted with previous authorisation.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Florence, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Biography: information on Giuseppe Colosi in Enciclopedia Treccani

Ludovico Di Caporiacco Miscellany

The gift of the heirs of Ludovico Di Caporiacco to the Institute of Zoology, it includes about 2,500 excerpts and pamphlets of the 20th century, collected in 47 folders, of various naturalistic topics, with a substantial core of Arachnology.

In poor conservation conditions, the material is located in a separate room from the library.
Card catalogue (special catalogue). Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted with previous authorisation.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Florence, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Biography: information on Ludovico Di Caporiacco in Enciclopedia Treccani

General Miscellany of Animal Biology 

f92_ritThe miscellany is kept at the library branch of Animal Biology and is largely made up of excerpts of mostly scientific publications, dating from the second half of the 18th to the late twentieth century.
The collection is the result of the exchange and scientific collaboration between the scholars of 'La Specola' Institutes and their Italian and foreign colleagues.
The most significant part of the miscellany comes from various donations received between 1954 and 1961 by the Institute of Zoology, but also includes material originating from the Institute of Comparative Anatomy, the Museum of Zoology La Specola and the Italian Entomological Society. Includes 19,445 excerpts and brochures of the 19th and 20th centuries, predominantly on biology and zoology, collected in 284 folders. The original collection included 267 folders, containing over 11,500 pieces; the remaining material arrived at the Library of Animal Biology between 1977, the year of its establishment, and 1998. In mediocre conservation conditions, the material is located in a separate room of the library.

Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted upon authorisation.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Firenze, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

See also: Miscellanee della Biblioteca di Scienze

Leopoldo Granata Miscellany 

Leopoldo Granata (1885-1940) lived in Florence from 1908 to 1925 and again from 1936, when he became the director of the Institue of Zoology of the University.  His miscellany includes 3,000 excerpts mainly from the 20th century, pertaining histology, collected in 51 folders.

In mediocre conservation conditions, the material is located in a separate room of the library. Card catalogue (special catalogue). Consultation allowed; loans and reproductions not allowed.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Florence, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Biography: information on Leopoldo Granata in Enciclopedia Treccani

Benedetto Lanza Miscellany 

A gift from Benedetto Lanza (started in 1995, in progress) consists of at least 236 boxes containing 17,125 excerpts and brochures from the 20th century of predominantly zoological topics.

In good conservation conditions, the material is located in a separate room of the library.
Card catalogue only (the catalogue and the herpetological part of the miscellany can be consulted at the Museum of Zoology La Specola). Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted with previous authorisation.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Firenze, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Biography: information on Benedetto Lanza in the Museum of Natural History's website

Pio Mingazzini Miscellany

Pio Mingazzini (1864-1905) has been Professor of Invertebrate Zoology at the Higher Institute of Advanced Studies of Florence since 1903. His miscellany consists of 68 bound volumes and 2 stacks of loose leaflets. The volumes are divided into 3 series, respectively 18, 40 and 10 pieces, for the most part accompanied by handwritten indexes; the third group comes from an original collection consisting of at least 55 bound volumes. It includes over 2,000 brochures and excerpts of the c. XIX-XX on zoology and medicine.

In good conservation conditions, the material is located in a separate room. Not cataloged. Consultation is not allowed at present.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Florence, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Leo Pardi Miscellany

The miscellany, a non formalized gift by Leo Pardi (1990), includes over 4,000 excerpts, pamphlets and volumes from the 20th century, mainly from invertebrate zoology, collected in about 110 pages. The collection is in the process of being re-consolidated, after various dismemberments suffered during the past years; a part of it has presumably been merged into the general miscellany.

In mediocre conservation conditions. The material is stored in a separate room. Card catalogue only (Special catalogue). Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted with previous authorisation.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Florence, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Biography: information on Leo Pardi in Wikipedia

Daniele Rosa Miscellany

Daniele Rosa (1857-1944) taught Zoology and Anatomy of the Invertebrates at the Institute of Higher Studies of Florence from 1905 to 1917. The miscellany, collected in 141 folders, is divided into two series, containing altogether about 4,000 pamphlets and excerpts from the 20th century mainly related to the biology, evolution and systematics of the Anellids. In each series the texts are sorted alphabetically by author.

In mediocre conservation conditions. The material is stored in a separate room. Card catalogue only (Special catalogue). Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted with previous authorisation.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Florence, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Biography: information on Daniele Rosa in Enciclopedia Treccani

Igino Sciacchitano Miscellany

Iginio Sciacchitano (1897-1968), after graduating in Palermo in natural sciences first (1921), and pharmaceutical chemistry afterwards (1926), he taught as an assistant to prof. Daniele Rosa at the University of Modena and from 1941 he was a contract lecturer of zoology in Florence. His miscellany (7 folders and about 200 loose pamphlets) includes over 600 excerpts of the 20th century on zoology.

In good conservation conditions. The material is stored in a separate room. Not catalogued. Consultation is not permitted at present.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Florence, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Angelo Senna Miscellany

Angelo Senna (1866-1952) carried out his scientific activity entirely in Florence, at the Higher Institute of Advanced Studies and the 'La Specola' Zoology Museum. The extant miscellany (75 folders and some loose pamphlets) includes about 3,000 excerpts of the c. XIX-XX mainly concerning zoology, with particular attention to Bats and Beetles.

In mediocre conservation conditions. The material is stored in a separate room. Card catalogue only (Special catalogue). Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted with previous authorisation.

Bibliography: B. Mascherini, Le miscellanee della Biblioteca di Biologia animale dell'Università degli studi di Florence, in 'Atti della Società toscana di scienze naturali residente in Pisa. Memorie', serie B, 98, 1991.

Botany Branch

Library of the Italian Botanical Society (SBI)

In storage since 1923. It is the material that the Botanical Society receives, as a gift or in exchange from similar institutions from all over the world. This character determines the uniqueness, at least for Italy, because many of the journals and monographs received are not commercialised in the usual channels. Consistency: over 1,600 volumes, most of which are catalogued in OPAC, 4,000 excerpts gathered in 135 boxes and 650 journals (of which about 100 have standing subscriptions).

In good conditions. Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted with previous authorisation.

For information on the Society visit its website: SBI.

Philip Barker Webb's Library

The imposing and important library, donated by the English naturalist, includes 2 incunabula, over 80 volumes of the 16th century, over 120 volumes of the 17th century, over 700 volumes of the 18th century, over 2400 volumes of the 19th century. A part of this material is catalogued in OPAC, the rest has card records.

In good conditions. Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted with previous authorisation.

For more detailed info on the entire collection bequeathed by Webb and his profile see the corresponding page in the Archives of the Sciences Library. (in Italian)

Botany Miscellany

Collection of excerpts and leaflets (about 10,000 bound in 280 volumes), started in 1906 and ongoing. The single excerpts, mainly about botany, have been acquired by donation.

In good conditions. Card catalogue only. Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted with previous authorisation.

Eleonora Francini Miscellany

Eleonora Francini (1904-1984), graduated in natural sciences in Florence in 1926, obtained her teaching licence in botany in Pisa in 1932 and taught there until 1939. From 1940 she obtained the tenure of botany at the University of Bari and from 1961 at the University of Florence. Her miscellany, a gift from the Corti family [1990], includes about 6,000 excerpts and pamphlets of predominantly botanical subjects, bound in 123 volumes.

In good conditions. Catalogue in book format. Consultation allowed; loans not allowed; reproductions permitted with previous authorisation.

Biography: information on Eleonora Francini in Enciclopedia Treccani.

Geomineralogy Branch

Antiques and Rare Books Collection

The collection (circa 360 volumes, plus 7 manuscripts) contains texts on geology, paleontology, geography, natural sciences and dictionaries. there are also other volumes of the 16th (1), 17th (4), 18th (115) centuries, manuscripts (1739-1847) geology lectures (Prof. Meneghini), 1 volume of tables and preparatory materials for the Index testarum conchyliorum quae adservantur in museo N. Gualtieri, 1742 and Catalogus animalium musaei sui di Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti.

In good conditions. Card catalogue only (except for the manuscripts). Consultation allowed by reference letter. 

Guido Carobbi Miscellany

Guido Carobbi (1900-1983) graduated in chemistry in 1922 at the University of Florence and after several teaching positions in various Italian cities since 1939, he came to our University where he taught mineralogy until 1975. His miscellany (donated around 1975 ) is composed of about 5,170 excerpts and pamphlets (bound in volumes) mainly on mineralogy, but also chemistry, geology, economic-politics (1843-1972).

In good conditions. Card catalogue only. Consultation allowed. Loans allowed only for internal users. Reproduction allowed.

Biography: information on Guido Carobbi in Enciclopedia Treccani.

Guido Carobbi and disciples Miscellany 

Around 1975, also some 166 excerpts and leaflets bound in 2 volumes on mineralogy,  petrography, geochemistry published by prof. Carobbi and his disciples (1922-1954) were added to the miscellany.

In good conditions. Card catalogue only. Consultation allowed. Loans allowed only for internal users. Reproduction allowed.

Igino Cocchi Miscellany

The miscellany includes 7 scatole and volumes donated by various lecturers of the Institute, containing excerpts and pamphlets by Cocchi himself, mainly on geo-paleontology; manuscripts by Cocchi, Andreucci, Gigli, Fervis, Spada and Zaccagna [1875-1912].

In good conditions. Card catalogue only. Consultation allowed. Loans allowed only for internal users. Reproduction allowed only for the more recent and better-conserved material.

Biography: information on Igino Cocchi on Enciclopedia Treccani.

Geology Miscellany

It includes about 20,000 excerpts and pamphlets, increasing, mainly of geo-palaeontological subject, museology, obituaries. Individual excerpts were acquired by donations.

In good conditions. Card catalogue only. Consultation allowed. Loans allowed for internal users. Reproduction allowed for the more recent and better-conserved material.

Mineralogy Miscellany 

The ongoing miscellany includes the publications of the Institute's teaching staff, mainly of mineralogical, crystallographic, geochemical, but also geological and paleontological subjects (1760-). It consists of about 9,000 excerpts and pamphlets, individually donated and increasing.

In good conditions. Card catalogue only. Consultation allowed. Loans allowed for internal users. Reproduction allowed for recent material and in good conditions.

Mathematics Branch

Biblioteca Ulisse Dini

The Library of the Senator and mathematician Ulisse Dini (1845-1918) was purchased by Giovanni Sansone, his pupil at the Scuola Normale di Pisa, at the end of the 1920s. Today there are about 350 books left (about 60 of these have been destroyed or exchanged for other publications around 1937-1938).

Many of these volumes are in a good state of conservation and have been bound in past years, almost half of them bear the autograph signature of Dini on the frontispiece or dedications to him by colleagues and book authors. Fully catalogued in opac. The library holds also some papers and correspondence by Dini, see the entry of the same name on the page of the Archives of the Sciences Library and around 6,000 pamphlets of miscellany included for the most part in the General Miscellany.

Biography: information on Ulisse Dini in Enciclopedia Treccani.

Edgardo Ciani's book archive

Edgardo Ciani (1864-1942), a graduate of the elite Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, lecturer in Pisa and other universities, including ours (from 1925 to 1935), in 1942 he bequeathed in his will, to the Library 242 works [282 volumes] and a consistent miscellany (ca. 3,915 pieces) catalogued on card records.

In good conditions. To be catalogued in OPAC. Searchable through the card catalogue.  

Biography: information on Edgardo Ciani in Enciclopedia Treccani.

Finaly-Landau's book archive

It consists of about 600 volumes donated by the heirs of the famous Finaly family in 1931. Included in the donation dating back to the 1930s there are some mathematics texts published between the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some letters are also preserved.

The volumes come from the famous and illustrious Landau Finaly private library, established in the Villa alla Pietra, now the seat of the University of Paris. Horace de Landau bought the villa in 1866. Born in 1824 in Galicia, he was a banker, employee of the Rothschilds of Paris and their agent in Italy. From 1872 Baron Landau retired from his professional life and concentrated on his Library, which soon became one of the richest private libraries: circa 60,000 volumes. This was managed over time by professional librarians, the last of which, Blum, left several memories of his experience at the villa, between 1936 and 1943. The volumes were dispersed in various auctions or returned to France. A precious nucleus was left to the City of Florence, which deposited it at the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale.

The volumes arrived at us could be part of the scientific "sub-libraries" put in place by the great-grandson Horace Finaly, a math enthusiast. The books show, in addition to a stamp "Donazione Finaly" also other signs that distinguish them. Many, for example, present a trace of fire, blackened papers, ligatures that are certainly not original and very simple, probably following the recovery of the volumes from a fire.

In fair conditions. Only partially catalogued in OPAC, completely catalogued on card records.

Bibliography: Rudolf Blum, Maltese Diego (ed.), La Firenze bibliotecaria e bibliofila degli anni 1934-1943 nei ricordi di un tedesco non ariano, in "La bibliofilia", 102(2000), n. 2, pp. 213-236 e n. 3, pp. 265-297.

Biography: information on Horace Finaly nell'Enciclopedia Treccani.

Nicolas Minorsky's book archive

Nicolas Minorsky (1885-1970), a mechanical engineer, after his retirement from Stanford University spent some time in Florence, working with Conti and Sansone. In 1969 he donated to the Library about 172 volumes and 603 miscellaneous excerpts, catalogued on card records.

In good conditions of conservation, almost totally to be cataloged in opac, but present in the card catalogue.

Biography: information on Minorsky in Wikipedia.

Angiolo Procissi's book archive

In 1988 some volumes, a miscellany (about 4,300 units to be verified and catalogued) and papers owned and produced by Angiolo Procissi (1908-1987) arrived in the Library. Among the books donated, in total 2,200, almost completely catalogued in OPAC, more than 530 reported the handwritten note "Ex-libris Iohannis Sansone" and a fourth at least contains handwritten dedications of colleagues and mathematicians to Sansone. This private library in the private library, should not surprise since Procissi was a pupil of Sansone with whom he had graduated in 1930.

In good conditions. For the archives please see the entry with the same name in the Science Library Historical Archives page.

Regio Istituto Superiore di Magistero's book archive

In 1937, 190 volumes arrived from the suppressed scientific section of the Faculty of Education (purchases of Agostino Grandi, director of the School of Education). Today there seem to be 250. Many texts bear the R.I.S.M. (Regio Istituto [femminile] Superiore di Magistero) and old collocations of the same typology, some are gifts of Airoli's widow [Giacomo Filippo Airoli had been director of the female school], as indicated by the dedication or autograph signature of the same on volumes.

In fair conditions. Only half of them catalogued in opac, the rest can be found in the card records.

Bibliography: Giulia Di Bello, Dall’Istituto superiore di magistero alla Facoltà di scienze della Formazione: le trasformazioni di un’istituzione universitaria a Florence, in Formazione e società della conoscenza, Florence, Florence University press, 2006, pp. 9-27

Guido Toja's book archive

The most consistent and most valuable donation, because it contains also manuscripts of the 16th and 17th centuries, is due to the generosity of Guido Toja (1870-1933), engineer since 1893, professor of financial mathematics at Bocconi University, of financial and actuarial mathematics in the Faculty of Economics and Commerce in Florence. In 1936 it was formally accepted the testamentary legacy with which Toja left, besides the volumes (more than 2,300), magazines and a huge miscellany (2,700 booklets), even 5,000 lire per year for the increase of the collection. A nucleus of Toja's library came from the library of Corrado Segre (1863-1924), as attested on a few volumes that have handwritten dedications to Segre.

Generally in good conditions, except for some volumes waiting to be restored; partially catalogued in opac (25%), catalogued in full on card records.

Bibliography: Guida agli Archivi delle personalità della cultura in Toscana tra '800 e '900. L'area fiorentina, a cura di E. Capannelli e E. Insabato, Florence, Olschki, 1996, p. 152

Biography: Information on Guido Toja in the obituary appeared in the Giornale dell'Istituto italiano degli attuari, A. IV(1933), n. 2, pp. 295-297

Bruto Caldonazzo Miscellany 

It consists of 2,353 excerpts, catalogued on card records. In fair conditions. Some items missing.

Biography: information on Bruto Caldonazzo in Enciclopedia Treccani.

General Miscellany

In an Inventory Register of 1930 we note the entry of a Miscellany from the Dini Library and from different donations, divided by subject (Analysis, Geometry, Physics) for a total of about 7,000 booklets, excerpts etc.

Catalogued on card records and searchable through the catalogue Miscellanee della Biblioteca di Scienze.

In fair conditions. Possible missing items.

Sciences Campus Branch

Giorgio Piccardi's book archive

It includes 187 printed volumes and 4 bound volumes of miscellany publications by Piccardi (Florence 1895-Riccione 1972). He was a pupil of Ugo Schiff but the Great War interrupted his studies, then concluded in 1921. He taught physical chemistry first in Genoa and later in Florence, from 1945.

The collection is in good conditions, partially catalogued in opac.

Biography: information on Giorgio Piccardi in Wikipedia.

Ugo Schiff's book archive

These are books and magazines that belonged to Ugo Schiff, who, in 1865, after a spell at the University of Pisa, was appointed professor of Chemistry at the Institute of Practical and Advanced Studies of Florence. Initially, the collection was placed at the Chemistry Cabinet of the Museum of Physics and Natural History in Via Romana 18, then it was transferred to the premises of via G. Capponi 9, where Schiff himself designed and built, between 1882 and 1885, a large lecture room, modelled on that of Gottingen.

The separation from the original seat of the Museum, inevitable due to the increased needs of the various disciplines, on the one hand, had meant growth and specialization, on the other had also resulted in an impoverishment of the book holdings, and it explains how today's library only partially reflects the ancient richness of a path of study and research that had been very lively in Florence.

Schiff left his books and a large number of works of Italian and foreign scholars who were in contact with him: thanks to his links with the European scientific culture, the library was enriched with works by scientists such as the Swedish Jacob Berzelius, Essai sur la theorie des proportions chimiques et sur l'influence chimique de l'electricité, 1819, Sheele, Liebig, Wohler and many others. Among the journals we find the Chemisches Journal by Lorenz von Crell, 1778, and the Annales de chimie ou recueil des mémoires concernant la chimie et les arts qui en dependant established in 1789 by Lavoisier, Monge, Berthollet, the first periodicals dedicated to chemistry; the prestigious German journal Zeitschrift fur analytische Chemie directed by Carl Remigius Fresenius.

In 1870 Schiff was one of the founders of the Italian Chemical Journal: the copy of the first volume, held at the Library of the Sciences Campus, presents an autograph annotation of the scientist. Among the authoritative volumes there is Magni Ippocratis medicorum facile principis, a bilingual edition of the collected works by Hyppocrates annotated and commented by Anuce Foes published in Geneva in 1657. In addition to these, there are Schiff's own works: Untersuchungen über metallhaltige Anilinderivate und über die Bildung des Anilinroths, Berlin 1864; Introduzione allo studio della chimica, Torino 1876 (published in Berlin at the same time with the title Einfuhrung in das Studium der Chemie) and more than 200 articles appeared between 1857 and 1911 on various Italian, German and French journals.

The collection also features about a thousand excerpts, most of which bound, sorted alphabetically by author. Among the material left by Schiff there are also some registers of his lectures (1878-1911), some graduation theses and a small notebook with the accounts of the Institutes of Chemistry from 1876 to 1903.

The Collezione Schiff, in the chemistry section of the Museum of Natural History of the University, has about three hundred and fifty pieces dating from 1860 to 1915, among which stand out the synthesis products of the Laboratory of Ugo Schiff, unique and well-preserved pieces, as well as diplomas and vintage photos. There is also a section of historical instruments: thermometers, barometers, densimeters, scales, microscopes, glass apparatuses and didactic models of atomic and molecular structures. The archival section includes the epistolary of Ugo Schiff (about 450 letters) as well as invoices, proceedings of competitions and certificates. The historical furnishings of the nineteenth-century laboratory are also preserved.

Biography: information on Ugo Schiff in Enciclopedia Treccani.

Giovanni Speroni's book archive

The donation, made by the heirs of Giovanni Speroni (1910-1984), professor of Chemistry at this University, includes 139 volumes belonging to the "Library of the Chemical Institutes", of which they report the stamp together with that of the donation.

The volumes, mostly bound, are in good condition; only in small part are searchable in opac, but all are present in the card catalogue.

Biography: information on Giovanni Speroni on the website of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Florence.

 
last update: 18-Oct-2018
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