The Earth Sciences Collection

last modified Sep 12, 2018 11:36 AM

John Woodward, Geografia fisica […],Venezia, presso Giambatista Pasquali, 1739.

The collection started thanks to Piero Leonardi, who became Professor of Geology at the University of Ferrara in 1949, and includes almost 500 volumes and more than 400 pamphlets and offprints published from the second half of the 17th to the end of the 19th century. Amongst the earliest editions in the collection, you can find Agostino Scilla’s La vana speculazione disingannata dal senso (Naples, Andrea Colicchia, 1670) and the interesting De’ crostacei e degli altri marini corpi che si truovano su’ monti by Antonio Lazzaro Moro (Venezia, Stefano Monti, 1740), which contain an attempt to disprove some odd theories about the origin of the «pietre figurate» (“shaped stones”), i.e. the fossils.

Most publications date back to the 19th century and many of them are remarkable, like the Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles by Georges Cuvier (Paris, 1834-1836) and the major work by Edmund Mojsisovics von Mojsvar Die Dolomit-Riffe von Südtirol und Venetien (Vienna, 1879).

In 2004 the geology-related works were relocated in the Science and Technology Campus, where the Department of Physics and Earth Science is hosted, while the palaeontology volumes are still held by the Library in Turchi di Bagno Palace.


The collection is available at:

Geology section: Science and Technology Library map

Palaeontology section: “P. Leonardi” Palaeontology and Prehistory Museum’s Library map


Renzo FERRI, Carmela LORIGA, Dipartimento di scienze della terra: biblioteca ‘fondo antico’ , in Verso un museo delle scienze: orto botanico, musei e collezioni storico-scientifiche dell’Università di Ferrara, a cura di Carmela Loriga, «Annali dell’Università di Ferrara», volume speciale (2001), pp. 87-92.