Learning outcomes of the course unit
The students will obtain historical and scientific knowledge in museology and museography, as well as ability in understanding and evaluating the several characteristics of museum collections. The student also will increase communication skill about natural science divulgation.
Basic knowledge of Natural Sciences
Course contents summary
The course aims to help cultural growth of naturalists wishing to carry out their post-graduate activity in nowadays widespread natural history museums and in other exhibition locations.
ORIGIN OF THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM (cfu 2)
The evolution of Museum concept and of collection. The rise of large national natural history museums worldwide. The naturalistic explorations and the origin of museum collections. The geographic Societies and expeditions devoted to collect museum specimens. The naturalistic collections and their importance for the origin of museums. The herbariums. Institutions similar to museums: botanic gardens and marine biological stations.
THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM (cfu 2)
Present natural history museums: public, university, local and museums connected to protected areas. Modern cases similar to natural history museums: virtual museum, science centre, biopark, butterfly house and similar sites. Didactic and research activity in natural history museums. Stable and temporary expositions. Presentation of the collected material in relation to the type of visitors. The exposition path. Labels, legends, illustration panels, the dioramas. Central and peripheral specimens; the holotype concept and its importance. Concepts of museography: light, air conditioning, security, protection of wardrobes and show-cases. To catalogue the museum collections.
PREPARATION AND CONSERVATION TECHNIQUES (cfu 2)
Set up of an excursion devoted to collection. Collection, preparation, conservation and restoration techniques of several animal taxa, both invertebrates and vertebrates.
Binni L., Pinna G., Museo. Storia e Funzioni di una macchina culturale dal Cinquecento ad oggi. Garzanti, Milano, 1980. (fuori stampa; copia disponibile presso il Museo di Storia Naturale)
Cipriani C., Appunti di museologia naturalistica. Firenze University Press, Firenze, 2006.
Pinna G., Fondamenti teorici per un museo di storia naturale. Jaca Book, Milano, 1997.
Zangheri P., Il naturalista esploratore, raccoglitore, preparatore, imbalsamatore. (6a Ed.) Hoepli, Milano, 2001.
Lugli A., La stanza delle meraviglie: "Wunderkammern". Allemandi, Torino, 1997.
Mannucci M.P., Minelli A., Viaggi e scoperte. Mondadori, Milano, 1987.
Reale E., I musei scientifici in Italia. Angeli, Milano, 2002.
Sabelli B., Museologia naturalistica. Trent'anni di "bicchieri a metà". Bononia University Press, Bologna, 2010.
During the course the historical development of the "museum" principle will be shown as well as how the main models of naturalistic museum developed. The lectures will be sided by visits to the halls and collections hosted by the University Museum of Natural History.
Assessment methods and criteria
The examination will be oral and the student is evaluated on the basis of comprehension of concepts discussed during the lectures, even in relation to previous naturalistic knowledge. The sufficient level will be ascertained during oral discussion, on the basis of response correctness, concept precision, ability to explain the concept.