Giovanni Poleni Museum




The electromagnetic devices conceived and manufactured in the early years of the 19th century by the university’s Professor of Experimental Physics, Salvatore Dal Negro, are currently undergoing conservation work.
These unique instruments – items of huge significance in the history of electricity – had long lain dismantled in one of the museum’s store rooms. They are do to be reassembled for the first time following a period of research. Plexiglas replicas will replace some of the missing components, a solution that will allow visitors to see just how the devices originally worked and how they were used.



A camera obscura belonging to the Museum of the History of Physics was released on loan from 15 October 2016 to 27 February 2017 for the exhibition Imago oculi. Canaletto e la visione fotografica di Prato della Valle (“Imago oculi. Canaletto and photographic visions of Prato della Valle”), which was organised by Padova City Council and ran from 15 October 2016 to 15 January 2017 at the Palazzo Angeli. The device dates to the earlier half of the 18th century. It was acquired by the Venetian Republic in 1739 to be used in lectures on experimental philosophy, which were scheduled to be delivered at the University of Padova shortly afterwards.



Scattered collections
Alongside the collections officially acknowledged by the university authorities and included in the statute of the University Museum Centre, the University of Padova is home to a vast, and widely dispersed body of material developed and produced in the course of the institution’s teaching and research activities. Such objects and materials might rightly be considered a key constituent of the university’s historic heritage, yet we know so little about it. Hence the idea behind the Scattered Collections project.
Thanks to funding from the university itself, two year-long research grants were awarded. The project unearthed various collections of huge historical, cultural and scientific importance, and led to a report that i) presents the conditions and state of these collections (in terms of vulnerability, extent, potential) and ii) provides guidelines for managing them going forward (conservation, storage, security measures, potential and optimal use, etc.).

Project leader: Giulio Peruzzi
Coordinator: Sofia Talas
Grant recipients: Giulia Nicchio, Fanny Marcon