The Voices of Science – Archives talk

Paolo Cavallotti, Italia

logo Voci della ScienzaPhotographs, manuscripts and letters but also certificates and bills: everyone during life keeps documents, on paper or digital, and create his own archive.
Archives are our memory. And they tell us stories, often unknown stories.

Science has an history too. How many thoughts, doubts, attempts, are hidden behind scientific, technological and industrial research? The articles that are published on official journals don’t tell us all this. Reports, manuscripts, datas and also machines and tools, all together give their contribution to reconstruct the general context.
They are voices that should be heard and questioned.

The project “Le Voci della Scienza – gli archivi raccontano (The Voices of Science – Archives talk)”, made by the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci and CNR (The National Research Council), with the support of Cariplo Foundation and Lombardy Region, has the goal to bring general and not specialized public closer to the world of technical-scientific archives, using tools that combine scientific strictness with appealing communication.


The project “Le Voci della Scienza – gli archivi raccontano” wants to:

  • introduce to key figures of our scientific and technological past
  • underline their contribution to the foundation of contemporary society
  • give credit to the contemporary role of researcher, scientist and technologist using the direct voice of the players
  • correlate historical and contemporary documentary sources, iconographic and bibliographic sources, material and immaterial, in the scientific and technological field

Story "Electric oven"




To achieve all this a dedicated website has been built that offers different paths to visitors:

Unpublished stories, recreated using the documentary heritage of the Museum, focused on facts and personalities that took part to the history of Italian science, technique and industry.

The possibility to have direct access to the original documents (digitalized) used to write the stories.

For the firts time the entire catalogue of the documents of the historical archive of the Museum is online and visitors have the possibility to consult the different archive groups and all the descriptive files with archival information.

Story "Funicular railway"




The stories told in the website “The Voices of Science – Archives talk” come from the study of the CNR archive group of the Museum, the “Documentary collection of the scientific Italian achievement”, wrote in the 30’s to present the italian contribution to the World’s fair that took place in Chicago in 1933.

Inside the website all documentary contents are correlated with every other available Museum’s source: books, historical objects, videos and oral contributions (some unplublished) presenting archive as part of the organic system that the Museum heritage is.

Story "Antonio Meucci"




The project Le Voci della Scienza – gli archivi raccontano is an open, ongoing project, that will accept other technical-scientific archives in the future, to give voice to a huge heritage almost unknown until today but with big potential to arouse curiosity, desire and interest in culture also of not experts.

Story "Carlo Locatelli"

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