Collections

The library houses about 150,000 works concerning the history of science. The antique book collection, consisting of nearly 5,000 works, is supplemented by several 19th-20th century collections as well as a contemporary collection which has an annual growth of hundreds of new acquisitions.

The library houses about 150,000 works concerning the history of science. The antique book collection, consisting of nearly 5,000 works, is supplemented by several 19th-20th century collections as well as a contemporary collection which has an annual growth of hundreds of new acquisitions.

Ancient collections

The ancient and rare book collections are made of ca 5,000 works. Particularly important is the Medicean-Lorraine collection which includes those scientific texts collected over the course of the centuries by the two Tuscan dynasties and mostly concerning the physico-mathematical sciences. Also of interest are the Omodeo A collection (pertaining to the natural sciences), the Rare and the Geology book collections.

The Landmarks of science microfiche and microfilm collection, with about 8,000 scientific texts of the past centuries, together with the ca. 1,000 works of the Ancient mathematics on cd-rom series, integrate the ancient holdings.

Over 4,000 ancient works, some of which are not owned by the library in the original printed edition, are available in digital version.

Nineteenth and twentieth century collections

Noteworthy among the various nineteenth-century holdings is the Thèses médecine collection, containing over 10,000 medical theses discussed from 1798 to 1896 at the University of Paris. Acquired by the Museo Galileo in 2002, this collection is unusually important, being made up of rare documents, for the most part correspondence between institutes, usually printed in limited numbers.

The Physics, Astronomy and Meteorology holdings, amounting to 20,000 items including monographs, periodicals and minor materials, are highly representative.

The library also possesses various personal libraries and bequests from scientists and historians of science (Giuseppe Boffito, Giorgio Piccardi, Paolo Rossi, Pietro Omodeo and others) acquired since the end of the twentieth century and mostly composed of nineteenth and twentieth century texts.

Contemporary collection

The contemporary collection, with hundreds of new acquisitions each year, comprises numerous texts on the history of science and technology: primary sources, secondary literature, catalogues of science museums and scientific exhibitions, biographical-bibliographical collections, etc.

The Anglo-American historiographic tradition is especially well represented, and thanks to the two bibliographies compiled by the Museum, great attention is devoted to the Italian editorial production and to Galilean studies. In selecting purchases, priority is given to texts dealing with scientific instrumentation and, in general, anything useful to the Museo Galileo’s current activities and special projects.

Periodicals currently number over 250, providing an indispensable resource for studies in the sector.

Suggestions for purchases to enrich and complete our collections will be greatly appreciated!

Electronic journals & Databases

The electronic journals and the databases are available depending on the type of subscription and on the publisher’s conditions.

Databases

Electronic journals

The subscribed journals have internal access only.
The journals which are freely accessible in internet are marked with an asterisk.

They can be searched either in the library online catalogue by clicking the url in the record display, or by clicking the following titles: