Historic Mineralogical Research
Dendrites n.13 (Coll.Targioni Tozzetti G.)
Promotion of the antique collections
The mineralogical collections of the Museum are characterized by significant historical as well as scientific importance. The history of the Museum's collections spans about five centuries and begins with the patronage of the Medici.
Thanks to the naturalistic sensitivity of the Habsburg Lorraine house, to the passion and commitment of the Museum directors and of donors who appreciated the scientific importance of this structure, the number of specimens has increased considerably over time.
The importance of the antique collections
It is only among the historical specimens that one can find species or varieties that could be defined as "extinct", same as for animals or antiques, and one can find specimens from localities and mines famous for their samples but now closed or exhausted.
The history of these specimens also intertwines with that of prominent figures in the scientific world who have collected, studied and given them to the Museum, whose history is described together with that of the collections.
Calcite by Niccolò Stenone
Historical studies are based on extensive archive research conducted on documents and ancient catalogues of the Museum but also of many other structures (Historical Archives of the University of Florence, Galileo Museum, State Archives, National Library, Uffizi Gallery, etc.).
Objectives of the research
The objectives that we set ourselves, in conducting these studies are: to provide a testimony on the contribution of the Museum to the development of mineralogy in the Florentine context and beyond; increase with new data (suppliers, acquisition methods, particularity of some samples or entire collections, etc.) the catalogue of the collections; collect valuable historical scientific information that allows an inventory re-evaluation of the specimens. This last point has had, in recent years, a significant impact on the quantification of the museum heritage.