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The Archive

The historic archive contains the documents that record the Academy’s activities, beginning with its founding, and testify to the participation of Academy members in scientific matters of international importance, from the discovery of the atom and molecule by Amedeo Avogadro, to the discovery of the rotating magnetic field by Galileo Ferraris, to the introduction of Darwinism in Italy.

In addition to the founding articles and minutes of the meetings, rich in items of importance and curiosities, the archives also contain documents regarding more than two centuries of the Academy’s activities: from the competitions held in keeping with the motto Veritas et Utilitas, to interventions of restoration to the building, from original manuscripts submitted for publication in the Academy’s journals, to the nomination of new members.

The archive also conserves the documents and letters of numerous members: Bernardino Drovetti, who amassed the collection of artefacts that constitute the nucleus of the Egyptian Museum, the Baron Giuseppe Vernazza, recognised as the founder of history of art in Piedmont thanks to his meticulous research in archives that now no longer exist; the surgeon Vincenzo Malacarne; the astronomer and mathematician Giovanni Plana; the vast correspondence of the Italianist Vittorio Cian.

The archive also contains unusual documents: prototypes of playing cards; documents regarding Babbage’s analytical engine, progenitor of the computer; colour plates of machines and applications for patents, testifying to the important role played by the Academy during the industrialisation of Piedmont.