Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze
Director: Dott. Paolo Galluzzi
The Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza [IMSS] was founded in 1927 at the initiative of the University of Florence under the name of Istituto di Storia delle Scienze. According to its Statute, its function was that of collecting, cataloguing and restoring ancient instruments and devices of historical and scientific interest. The University of Florence loaned the new institution its own collections of Medici-Lorraine scientific instruments, as well as precious library sources. The IMSS was founded within a particular historical and cultural context in which, starting from the 1920s, several initiatives were launched in Florence for the purpose of conserving and capitalizing on Italy's historical/scientific heritage. In 1923 the Gruppo per la Tutela del Patrimonio Scientifico was established in Florence and, subsequent to the foundation of the IMSS, the First National Exposition of the History of Science was organized in 1929.
In the course of its history, the IMSS has constantly been a paragon, on both the national and the international level, for history of science research and for the issues involved in giving importance to the study of scientific instrumentation of historical interest. In particular, it has been a leader in the intense debate that has led to the full recognition of scientific instruments as a part of our cultural heritage, and has compiled the STS standard cataloguing system adopted by the Central Institute of Cataloguing and Documentation of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs as standard for cataloguing historical/scientific property.
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