Il teatro della natura di Ulisse Aldrovandi

This website was part of a large project, entitled Mille Anni di Scienza in Italia (‘A thousand years of science in Italy’). It aimed to reconstruct the naturalist museum, or ‘theatre of nature’ of Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605). Aldrovandi was an intellectual from Bologna, who did research and taught at the university of Bologna. Around the middle of the 16th century he started constructing a museum, for which he collected animals, plants, and minerals – either real specimens or representations. Towards the end of his life he had collected 18.000 natural objects; 7000 dried plants; 17 volumes of representations of animals, plants, minerals, and human deformations; and 14 cupboards with the printing plates of these representations.

In the section ‘Archivio on line’ various types of digitized sources can be found:

  • Catalogue of the manuscripts of Ulisse Aldrovandi that are kept at the University Library of Bologna
  • Water colours of Aldrovandi
  • Collection of letters
  • The work Discorso naturale, written by Aldrovandi
  • Iconography: images of Ulisse Aldrovandi
  • Digital edition of the biography by Giovanni Fantuzzi (1774)

This material can be consulted either by browsing through the separate categories (each category has its own subcategories), or by advanced search in the entire collection. Texts are shown in modern edition, with the exception of Fantuzzi’s biography, which is shown as digitized version of the original. Images are shown in high definition and can be downloaded in JPEG format.

Last update

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 - 10:24am
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