Brief history

Close to the astronomy library are the archives, a collection of documents, meteorological and astronomical observations, papers and drawings related to the scientific and administrative life of the Bologna Observatory. The earliest documents date back to 1679, when a group of astronomers, lead by Eustachio Manfredi, planned the creation of an astronomical institute and the building of the tower. A list of directors, starting from Manfredi, is provided.
A reorganization of the archives is in progress, in order to give electronic access to documents, but saving the original structure of the archives itself. The four main series of documents are: astronomical observations, meteorological observations, observations made with the specchio a tasselli (tesselated mirror telescope) and 65 boxes of astronomical papers (letters, drafts, drawings and other relevant documents). Among these, four boxes (nr.A, B, C, D) have been recently created with papers found in the Department.

The archives collect a group of letters written by and to the astronomers of Bologna: e.g. see letters of Gian Domenico Cassini, Paris M. Salvago, Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli, Johann Jakob Scheuchzer, Antoine F. Laval, Ottaviano Fabrizio Mossotti and Guido Horn d'Arturo. Eighteenth century letters have been frequently searched, and many of them have been published, while nineteenth and twentieth century correspondence, which embraces a smaller number of letters, lies almost unexplored.