The archives found in Padua’s Botanical Garden Library hold documents that cover hundreds of years of its history. The Library holds 200 dossiers of administrative and scientific documents and activities of the prefects who directed the garden from the eighteenth century to the second half of the twentieth century spanning. Archiving extensive personal and scientific correspondence that prefects such as Roberto De Visiani (1800–1878) and Pier Andrea Saccardo (1845–1920) shared with famed national and international botanical experts.
Such correspondences not only share insight into the botany of the time but also the society and the history of a certain period. Letters written during the Unification of Italy (il Risorgimento) to the First World War represent an unprecedented source of extraordinary value and are held as some of the most important preserved documents of the University.
Organized by the University Center for Libraries and the Document Management Office Archive Sector of the University, a study day presents the “Progetto di valorizzazione, riordino e inventariazione dell’archivio storico dell’Orto botanico di Padova (1763-1920)”, a project dedicated to the enhancement and reorganization of the historical archive of the Botanical Garden of Padua.
The project focuses on the historical aspect of the archives with a series of activities for the conservation and conditioning of documents in digital form, inventorying in the University archival system towards the conversion and the enrichment of metadata, and the online publication of documents to the Phaidra digital collection platform.
The initiative is part of the schedule of events in celebration of the 800th Anniversary of the University of Padua.