Prose antiche di Dante, Petrarcha, Boccaccio, antiporta
Prose antiche di Dante, Petrarcha, Boccaccio, antiporta
general public
Creation date
Exhibition url
Uniqueness and Peculiarities of the Library Collections
Physycal alternative


The virtual exhibition integrates with other documents, functional to the articulation and completeness of the path, the physical exhibition Unexplored Treasures. The libraries of the University of Florence on show (Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, 15 February - 23 June 2017).

By displaying a number of particularly representative objects, the Library System aims to promote the visibility of its precious documentary heritage, amounting to about four million volumes, many of which antique and of great value. The documents on display, coming from all the five thematic libraries, are organized in the following subject sections:

  • The Human Body and its Care
  • Natural Sciences
  • The Origins of the Law
  • Applied Sciences
  • The Humanities

The exhibition winds through antique printed books, manuscripts and other documentary sources of great interest, testimony to the evolution of the humanities, medicine and surgery, plant and animal sciences, law, agriculture and architecture, with some references to Florence.

Some sections illustrate Galilean science and the first of Modern Age scientific collections; the great voyages and the progress of geographical knowledge; the theatricality of the Medici's funeral equipment between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the sources of Oriental, philological, historical and antiquity studies; the development of rail transport. In addition to these a precious selection of papyri, the refined graphics of art and literature magazines of the early twentieth century and a collection of autographs of important personalities of the twentieth century such as Eugenio Montale and Giuseppe Ungaretti endow the exhibition.

A further tool to enhance understanding we developed a timeline that traces the key stages of the history of the University of Florence and its libraries, from the foundation of the Studium in 1321 to the birth of the University Library System in 1995 and its five subject area libraries in the following years. Use the site map to view the paths to be explored.


Design and development: Laura Bitossi, Sabina Cavicchi, Giovanna Cestone, Cecilia Ciatti, Laura Guasti, Maria Chiara Iorio, Margherita Loconsolo, Monia Marcacci, Gabriella Migliore, Francesca Palareti, Walter Scancarello, Paola Tozzi, Andrea Urbini

Contributors and text editing: Federigo Bambi, Fausto Barbagli, Laura Colli, Lucilla Conigliello, Daniele Dominici, Marzia Fiorini, Maria Emanuela Frati, Gianna Frosali, Lucia Frigenti, Gianni Galeota, Giovanna Grifoni, Caterina Guiducci, Francesca Landi, MariaLuisa Masetti, Alessio  Mazzanti, Paola Meciani, Guido Moggi, Paola Navone, Paolo Panizza, Simonetta Pagnini, Paola Susini, Floriana Tagliabue, Serena Terzani, Maria Enrica Vadalà, Gabriella Vagnarelli, Laura Vannucci,

Photos: Giovanni Martellucci

Digitization contributors: Irene Benigno, Caterina Rossinelli


The University of Florence, University Library System


Istituto Papirologico Vitelli

Museum of Natural History of the University of Florence

Galileo Museum


Director of the Library System: Maria Giulia Maraviglia

Via G. Capponi, 7 - 50121 Firenze - ph. 055.2756555-56

Subject Area Libraries