University Museum Network - SMA

The Bologna University Museum Network (SMA) brings together the corpus of University Museums and Archives with a view to optimizing use of these resources and connecting the manifold expressions of historical memory and present-day research into one virtual itinerary.
The Palazzo Poggi Museum
Palazzo Poggi
In 1711 the Bolognese Senate purchased Palazzo Poggi to house the Institute of Science and Arts, at the behest of Luigi Ferdinando Marsili. Nearly three centuries on, the spacious suites are restored to their former furnishings, room by room: geography and navigation, military architecture, physics, natural history, chemistry, human anatomy and obstetrics, and the sixteenth-century Aldrovandi museum collection.
The Observatory Museum
The Museum is housed in the rooms of the ancient Observatory (or Specola) where astronomical observation once took place. They now contain the original instruments used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A precious collection of astrolabes, wooden telescopes, and the instruments of navigation, topography and meteorology.
MeuS – The European Student Museum
This brings together multifarious materials documenting the history of students, student associations, protest movements, social traditions and folklore.
The Zoology Museum
One of the most important zoology museums in Italy. It began with the collections of Aldrovandi, Cospi and Marsili (16th-18th centuries), swelled in time by donations and collections stemming from university research. The museum was laid out by Alessandro Ghigi, zoologist and university rector in the 1930s, who brought under one roof the collections of zoology, anthropology and comparative anatomy.
Comparative Anatomy Museum
Comparative Anatomy
The Museum stems from 1814 when the Chair was established. It contains preparations, skeletons and systematic collections of objects pertaining to the discipline. One of the outstanding exhibits is the giant sperm whale skeleton (the largest in Italy) dominating the centre of the museum.
The Antropology Museum
Founded in 1908 by Fabio Frassetto, it consists nowadays of three sections: “Palaeoanthropology and Prehistory”, "Anthropometric instruments of historical interest”, “Man and the environment”. Guided by the exhibits, one retraces the evolution of man and of this academic discipline.
The Giovanni Capellini Geological Museum
Geologico Capellini
This stems from 1860 when the Chair of Geology was established and Professor Giovanni Capellini was elected to it. He it was who inaugurated the museum in 1881 during the Second International Conference. On that occasion conference-attenders donated fossils from all over the world to add to the original nucleus. The Capellini Museum is the largest paleontological museum in Italy in sheer dimensions but also number and importance of its collections. One of the most spectacular exhibits is the colossal model of a Diplodocus, measuring 26 metres in length and 4 in height.
The "L. Bombicci" Mineralogy Museum
As housed in its present premises, the Museum dates from the beginning of last century. It includes 50,000 pieces – 10,000 of them on display. Outstanding among them are the collection of meteorites, precious stones (rubies, sapphires, emeralds and topazes), the regional collections, and rocks from the various geological strata.
The Herbarium and the Botanical Gardens
The Herbarium is one of the earliest in Europe, containing collections of dried plants dating from the sixteenth century onwards. The Botanical Gardens is about 5 acres in extent, on which more than 5,000 examples of local and exotic plants are growing.
The "L. Cattaneo" Anatomical Waxwork Museum
Cattaneo museum
This exhibits the nineteenth-century anatomical waxworks modelled by the Florentine Clemente Susini and Bolognese ceroplastic artists, foremost of whom were Giuseppe Astorri and Cesare Bettini.
The Domestic Animal Anatomy Museum
Created in 1882 on the initiative of Professor Clemente Papi, the Museum nowadays numbers over 2,000 exhibits, including dry preparations, plaster and papier-mȃché models representing all the domestic species. The horse skeletons in various postures are of exceptional interest.
The Museum of Veterinary Pathology and Teratology
Pathological Anatomy
This was founded by Giovanni Battista Ercolani in 1863 with preparations of veterinary origin from the Cabinet of Comparative Anatomy. The full-size waxwork, clay and plaster models are genuine works of art: they depict internal organs of domestic animals with pathological lesions and monstrous formations.
The Museum of Physics
Museum of Physics
Founded in the Seventies, the Museum of Physics houses a wide variety of scientific instruments used by various local institutions over the past two centuries. The collections are of considerable historical and cultural value, and many objects are still used today for teaching and learning activities.
The “G. Ciamician” Chemistry Collection
Chemistry Collection
The “G. Ciamician” Chemistry Collection, established in 1983, includes a range of apparatus used for both scientific research and for teaching purposes. The Collection does not set out to attract attention by the number of items on display, but rather aims to offer visitors a brief history of the Bolognese chemistry school, underlining the areas of research over time.