10064 - Museology and History of Collecting

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Lucia Corrain

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-ART/04

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in History, preservation and enhancement of artistic and archaeological heritage and landscape (cod. 9218)

  • Course Timetable from Nov 10, 2022 to Dec 12, 2022


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

No poverty Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The coursework is meant to provide students with a deep knowledge of the various forms and types of museums, from their earlier stages and shapes, both ritual and spontaneous that went along with private and public collections.

Course contents

The course starts with a presentation on the museum and scientific collecting in general, and then focuses on one of the first scientific museums: i.e. that of Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605). A large part of his 'theatre of nature' is now housed in a room of the Palazzo Poggi Museum and hosts the collection of naturalia that the scholar had collected and that, even today, amazes with its specimens of crocodiles, puffer fish and snakes. Aldrovandi is also remembered for his printed work Storia Naturale (Natural History): through the xylographic plates, which are also preserved, one can trace the work of painters, draughtsmen and carvers who collaborated on this illustrated work to spread the knowledge of the natural world. The course will also cover many other aspects of the Palazzo Poggi museum, like the role of female figures in science: Anna Morandi and Laura Bassi Veratti.


Merzagora M., P. Rodari, P., La scienza in mostra. Musei, science centre e comunicazione, Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 2007.

Findlen P., “Possedere la natura”, in Stanze della meraviglia. I musei della natura tra storia e progetto, a cura di L. Basso Peressut, Clueb, Bologna, 1997, pp. 25-47.

Olmi G., “L’arca di Noè. La natura in mostra e le sue meraviglie”, in Stanze della meraviglia. I musei della natura tra storia e progetto, a cura di L. Basso Peressut, Clueb, Bologna, 1997, pp. 48-74.

Olmi G., L’inventario del mondo. Catalogazione della natura e luoghi del sapere nella prima età moderna, Il Mulino, Bologna 1992 (verranno indicate le parti da studiare).

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures will be flanked by seminar sessions. For attending students, there will be a workshop part involving active participation with classroom presentations (different from those they have to study) in which an aspect of the Palazzo Poggi museum will be analysed.

Assessment methods

Oral examination aimed to assess the critical skills acquired during the course by the students, who are expected to deal with the texts in the syllabus according to the teacher’s analysis methods during the lectures. Students shall demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of the recommended readings.

1. It will be graded as excellent the performance of those students demonstrating to be able to thoroughly analyze the texts and know how to put them into an organic view of the topics of the course. A proper use of the specific language during the interview will be also essential.

2. It will be graded as discrete the performance of those students with a mostly mnemonic knowledge, no in-depth analysis capabilities, and a correct, but not always appropriate, language of the recommended texts.

3. It will be graded as barely sufficient the performance of those students with an approximate knowledge, superficial understanding, poor analytical capabilities and an inappropriate language.

4. It will be graded as non-sufficient the performance of those students with learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation within the recommended biblbibliography.

Teaching tools

In addition to lectures, power-point presentations, movies and documentaries will be used to support the teaching.

Office hours

See the website of Lucia Corrain