Applied Sciences

Succursale dei Giovi, particolareThe applied sciences section exhibits some significant pieces of the Library of Technology's patrimony, which includes the libraries of the Schools of Agriculture, Architecture and Engineering.

The collection of the Vallombrosa Royal Higher School of Forestry, the first national forestry school founded in 1869 in the Vallombrosa Abbey, is the first documentary corpus of the Agriculture library. The Institute was transferred in 1913 to the current headquarters at the Cascine premises, becoming in 1924 the Royal Higher Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, then from 1936 incorporated in the Royal University of Florence, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. The Library holds several special collections and valuable editions.

The Vallombrosa Collection was originally conceived by Adolfo Di Berenger, the first director of the Institute, and contains several works published in the 16th-18th centuries, many volumes, pamphlets and technical and scientific treatises from the 19th century German-Austrian and French forestry schools.

The Serpieri Collection is composed of monographs, extracts, brochures, on the topics of economics; agrarian economics; political and social history, published mainly in the first half of the 20th century and which were the study and work material of Arrigo Serpieri -agrarian economist and under-secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture during the Fascist era- while in service at the Faculty of Agriculture at the Cascine.

The Maugini Collection includes documents of agronomical and economical subjects referred largely to the Italian possessions in Africa (Libya, Somalia, Cyrenaica, etc.) collected by Armando Maugini who was director of the Italian Colonial Agricultural Institute.

The original collection of the Library of Architecture, to which the material from the library of the pre-existing Higher School of Architecture was added, began to form in 1936 with the establishment of the degree course. Starting from the original core of classical texts, the library has enriched its collections with works of history and criticism of architecture, town planning, history of the city of Florence and its territory, building technologies, interior design, design and fashion.

From 2010 to 2013, the library acquired all the book collections of the former departments and that contributed to the growth of the monographic collection. Since the seventies, when collecting and archiving was still an absolute novelty, the architecture library began to acquire private archives of great interest in the study of decorative arts and 20th-century architecture.

In 1972, the library acquired the private archives of Roberto Papini, which covered in particular the architecture and decorative arts in Italy from 1903 to 1956. In 1980 it was followed by the acquisition of Marcello Piacentini's archives, consisting of documents relating to his professional activity of architect and a series of small sketches. Subsequently, other architects' personal archives were acquired. Some of them were also faculty members. At present, there are a total of sixteen single collections, all of them described on Chartae. Among the most important ones are: Enzo Vannucci, Luigi Vagnetti, Giorgio Gori, Lando Bartoli, Rolando Pagnini and Pier Luigi Nervi. A special mention goes to the collection of Giuseppe Poggi's drawings, consisting of 907 pieces documenting the building works for private individuals, which have been digitized and are accessible from the Impronte Digitali platform.

The Engineering Library was established in 1972, two years after the Faculty, in the premises of the former chapel of the diocesan Seminary of Santa Marta. The first core of its documentary collection is formed by the merging of the departmental libraries and donations from other public and private libraries.
Two are the historical collections belonging to this relatively recent library: that of Officine Galileo, a historical Florentine manufacturer of optical instruments, made up of books and magazines, all published between the end of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century, and a collection of photographic plates and prints of technical instruments. The collection of the Engineers and Architects Guild of Florence is also composed of monographs and journals, published from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the first half of the twentieth century, on the topics of mechanical, hydraulic and railway engineering.

The Path of Applied Sciences