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Historical photo collections

The library houses an interesting historical photo archive, consisting of about 3,000 photographic prints and glass plate negatives.

A conspicuous group of photos represent the scientific instruments of the IMSS collections (particularly the ones that belonged to the Cimento Academy) and items, devices and other historical-scientific materials of Italian and foreign museums and institutions.
The material partly consists of legacies and donations acquired on the occasion of the First National Exhibition of the History of Science (Florence 1929). The Alinari photos of that exhibition, taken to document both the installation of the rooms and the displayed items, are partially owned by the Library.

Particularly interesting is the collection related to Giorgio Roster (1843-1927), a biohygenics professor with multifaceted interests, that included experimental photography. Another collection worth mentioning includes photo pictures of different sizes, taken by important Italian and foreign ateliers.

The cataloguing of the photographic material is ongoing.

The archival description reflects the hierarchical structure of the collections, describing the single series and (if present) the files. The description of each photo, accommodated in a content note, records its title, the indication of color, its dimensions, date and inventory number.

Almost all of the photos are available in digital version through the online catalogue. The materials, which are not available through the online catalogue, are  available in intranet in the ICONA database.

Search the photo archive


List of the historical photo collections

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