Repertoire of Italian Museums of Earth Sciences

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The idea of ​​an online repertoire of Museums of Earth Sciences originates from the need of a knowledge tool available to different users, from the specialist to the general public.

Logo Musei Scienze della Terra

In the repertoire can be found museums that preserve lithological, mineralogical and paleontological collections, and address issues related to the Earth Sciences, to be understood as a set of disciplines that study the internal structure, the surface morphology and the evolution of planet Earth. In the repertoire are also included those museums that display collections related to the Earth sciences, although their names do not clearly indicate it. The directory includes both traditional museums (indoors museums, also known as “ex situ museums”) and outdoor museums, also defined “in situ museums”, including museums of the territory, eco-museums and so on.


The category of in situ museums includes paleontological areas preserving rich fossil faunas, or tracks and footprints of the same, significant to study the evolution of life on Earth, the natural environments of the past and the chronological attribution of geological strata. Underground caves can also be considered as in situ museums: caves, in fact, as a random pattern of voids in the bowels of the earth, are an incredible treasure of geological, hydrological, paleontological and anthropological information. In Italy there are more than 30,000 natural cavities, but only the more accessible and touristic ones were included in the repertoire.
The directory also includes museums related to quarries and mines. A symbol identifies the museums obtained from the recovery and development of mining areas and another symbol those represented by quarrying areas.
In the category of "outdoor museums" were included those resulting from the in situ recovery of the territories and structures (outdoor or underground) where took place the extraction, processing and transport of materials, while in the category "indoor museums" were included the ones that display ex situ litho-mineralogical collections, machinery, reconstructions of the work environments or photographic documentation, specifically related to a particular local quarry or mine.
The work for the definition of other categories of museums to be added in the near future is in progress.

List of Museums.