(Italiano / English)
its 347 handwritten files, the Galileo collection of the National Central
Library of Florence represents one of the most important documentary funds
for the history of science between the XVII and the XVIII century. It
gathers almost all Galileo's autographs which have been so far identified,
together with a grat number of related documents, information and writings.
The Galileo collection enables the reconstruction of the history both
of his carrier as a scientist and his private life.
The Galileo collection
includes the manuscripts of Galileo's pupils (Castelli, Cavalieri, Torricelli,
Viviani), their letters and their correspondence with the most important
scientists all over the Europe, like Mersenne, Gassendi, Stenone, Peirec.
And finally, the Galileo collection includes manuscripts and journals
of the Cimento Academy.
The Galileo project,
implemented by the National Central Library of Florence in collaboration
with the Institue and Museum of History of Science in Florence and the
Max Planck Institut in Berlin, intends to develop a model of information
system applied to an important collection of manuscripts.
The pilot project
has been carried out on a meaningful sample of manuscripts for different
categories of documents which are included in the collection (Galileo's
autographs, journals and documents of the Cimento Academy, taking into
account both printed and not printed parts, drawings, letters, etc.).
The starting point
was the conservation of the manuscripts kept in the temporary form of
loose sheets, in order to enable high quality microfilming. These images,
which have been subsequently digitallised, allow to substitute the consultation
of the originals, with obvious advantages for their future conservation.
Moreover, 270 manuscripts
have been recorded by using a structure which allows a complete description
of the document, in such a way that every single record fieldenables a
direct a direct link with its related image (15.000 images are already
available). In this way, the user can access directly not only the whole
document, but also single parts, on the basis of his immediate searching
Also being implemented
is the transcription of the papers of the manuscripts of the Cimento Academy,
which are not included in the national publication of the Galileo manuscripts
edited by Mr. Favaro. This transcription will be made available in digitalised
As a whole, the information
structure includes, apart from the presentation of bibliographical records,
the possibility of using a series of guides, indexes and a thesaurus,
as well as the possibility of researching through bibliographic, biographic
indexing and iconographic files.
The ultimate objective of the project is to create a bibliogrphic as well as image data base of the Galileo collection within the National Central Library of Florence. At the same time, this experience is exemplaryfor processing rather complex collections of manuscripts, which may be immediately available on the Internet.