Museo Galileo: 1930-2010 : Toward the Museo Galileo: 1982-2010

Toward the Museo Galileo: 1982-2010

Despite the achievements of Corsini and Righini Bonelli, the goal of obtaining Palazzo Castellani as a whole for the Museum, as had been promised in 1930, remained distant. Paolo Galluzzi, who succeeded Righini Bonelli at her untimely death in December 1981, was able to find new methods and resources for arriving at this long-desired conclusion.

In 1986 the collections displayed on the first floor were rearranged. Adopting a thematic classification, the Medicean and Galilean instruments, along with those of the Accademia del Cimento, were placed in a new and more historically appropriate context.

In keeping with progressive specialization in studies on scientific instruments, each room was entrusted to a specialist in the sector. In 1989 the rearrangement of the second floor was completed, following the same principles. In the following year the results were reported in the new Catalogo, edited by Mara Miniati. The new exhibition layout, divided into 21 rooms, offered visitors a thematic display of over 1200 objects, including instruments and machines, in an interesting panorama of the priceless collections.

The project for rearranging the Museum was accompanied by rapid growth of the library, both the ancient and modern sections. The enlargement of the premises and the collections was followed, starting already in the late ‘80s, by efforts to make them more readily accessible to visitors through the use of digital technology.

When the Deputazione di Storia Patria moved elsewhere in the Nineties, the Museum acquired the third floor. After major restoration work, the new library was inaugurated in 2002, and in 2004, the basement level (used for congresses and temporary exhibitions), the third floor rooms and, in 2007, the sundial.

The demanding work of rearrangement carried out in 1986-1989 did not prevent the implementation of many other activities that have marked this new stage in the Museum’s life.

In 1986 the Museum published the first issue of Nuncius, an international journal of history of science that, with a new graphic format, retained intact the original vocation of the Annali for study of the history of scientific instruments, with the addition of special attention to the documentary history and correspondence of scientists.

The late Eighties and early Nineties inaugurated the season of temporary exhibitions. La Fabbrica del Pensiero. From the Art of Memory to the Neurosciences (1989), and Leonardo and the Engineers of the Renaissance (1995) were the first such exhibitions to travel around the world, informing a vast public of the Museum’s scientific activity.

In the early Nineties, the Museum’s website was one of the first in Italy. Since then, the Museum has promoted numerous projects designed to publicize on Internet its temporary activities and permanent heritage.

The great increase in activities and the resources utilized for their implementation has led to the recruiting of highly qualified personnel and the creation of new specialized departments.

In 2007, work began for restructuring and consolidating the first and second floor, in preparation for the new exhibition layout which today, after 80 years of eventful history, we have the great pleasure of inaugurating.