The Cabinet of Natural History



The collections of Natural History and Technological Museum
are open to scholars by appointement
(from Monday to Thursday,  09.30-12.30)

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It is possible to have access to 

further details

relative to some of the Museum’s collections.


A vast patrimony made up of rich and heterogeneous collections, for a total of more than 47,000 findings, is conserved in the Cabinet of Natural History.

The collections originated from a documentary and educational point of view, with the specific aim of shedding light on the applicative aspects connected with them. Among these, the collections of mineralogy and lithology (about 17,000 samples) were particularly developed, because of the great economic importance of the raw materials extracted from mines and deposits above all in Tuscany.

In the botanical sector there are also collections aimed at didactics. In addition to collections such as the “Xylology Collection of Tuscany”, which won many awards at local and international Exhibitions during the mid-19th century, there is a large series of herbals, among which those that belonged to Count Girolamo de’ Bardi, Baron Joseph Antoir, and the Marquise Marianna Paulucci are important.

An entomological collection that belonged to Count Francesco Guicciardini, a series of osteological findings with several preparations realised in accordance with the Bauchêne system (with the bones disarticulated and mounted at a distance in their natural position), a collection of more than 250 animals preserved in liquid that were gathered in the Neapolitan gulf during the second half of the 19th century and prepared at the Zoological Station of Naples, can be distinguished among the more than 9,000 zoological findings.

Palaeontology is represented by approximately 1,600 fossils, among which are numerous samples of large mammals discovered in the Upper Arno Valley of Tuscany.

Closely linked to the naturalistic patrimony is an extensive series of industrial and manufacturers’ findings making up part of the Technological Museum. The numerous and heterogeneous objects collected that constitute it regard the various branches of industry (from metallurgy and mechanics to building and textiles), and offer a fine landscape of the leading manufacturing producers in Italy above all in the 19th century at the level of small local businesses as well as large industrial realities.

To complete this patrimony there is a precious collection of anatomical models made with various materials. Among the ones prepared in wax are prominent those coming from the Officina Ceroplastica that operated for more than one century at the Imperial Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History of Florence (today the Zoology Section of the Museum of Natural History); a precious mycological collection attributed to Luigi Calamai; 66 mural panels of a naturalistic character realised by Egisto Tortori; and a series of human and comparative anatomy preparations made by Clemente Susini, Giovanni Lusini, or Egisto Tortori. Always in the field of the biotechnology of producing models there are present: a collection of more than 180 morphology and vegetal anatomy models produced by Robert and Reinhold Brendel of Berlin, more than 100 glass models of marine invertebrates realised by Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka of Dresden, a collection of manufactures from Paris made of papier-mâché by Louis Auzoux or of plaster, by the Maison Emile Deyrolle.

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