The very well-endowed mineralogical and lithological collections of the University of Florence offer a glimpse into the world of minerals and rocks. There are more than 50,000 specimens from all over the world, including extra-terrestrial material (meteorites).
The collections originate in the Medici period and are documented in their evolution: the Museum thus offers scholars the opportunity to follow the development of mineralogical disciplines, both from a classification point of view, with historical catalogues and archives, and from a practical, laboratory-wise one, with a series of tools that testify to the evolution of knowledge.
The history of the Museum and the importance of its role in the life of Florence and beyond (in 1775 it was one of the first museums open to all citizens) emerge from the considerable amount of documents, preserved not only in its library, but also in institutions such as the State Archives of Florence and the Galileo Museum.
The instructive vocation is also evidenced by the collection of models of the crystallographic forms of minerals. Within the collections there is also no shortage of specimens (holotypes), deposited for the description of new species of minerals as required by the International Mineralogical Association.
The supreme value of the collections, both aesthetic and scientific, is summarized in the Medici collection of carved stones, symbol of a collection of the past that we have the honour and the duty of preserving.
Head of collections for the mineral, meteorites, rocks collections and database: Vanni Moggi Cecchi
Info to plan your visit to the Mineralogy and Lithology collections