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The Kircherian Museum, thus named after its first curator, the Jesuit Father Athanasius Kircher, was an encyclopedic collection established at the Roman College in 1651 as a requisite for receiving the legacy bequeathed by the patrician Alfonso Donnino. The museum became relatively famous in its time
and is often mentioned in current literature as an example of Early Modern Wunderkammer or Curiosity Cabinet.
Donnino’s endowment consisted of his personal galleria which was said to have occupied five large rooms in the Palazzo dei Conservatori at Campidoglio in Rome. According to the donation documents, it included “statue, mascheroni, idoli, quadri, armi, pitture, tabula di marmo, vasi di vetro e cristallo, istromenti musicali, piatti pinti, tutte sorti di pietre e frammenti d’antichità”.
Besides the articles from Donnino’s gallery, the Kircherian Museum incorporated other groups of objects already assembled at the Roman College, most notably a collection of instruments and manuscripts used for the advanced teaching of Mathematics known as musaeum mathematicum, initially organized by the Jesuit Christophorus Clavius, who had been a professor at the institution. By the time of Donnino’s donation, the musaeum mathematicum was under the care of Athanasius Kircher, who had enlarged it with his own inventions and frequently made use of the devices in demonstrations to students, scholars and external visitors. The Kircherian Museum collection was complemented by other items of naturalia and artificialia, either sent by fellow Jesuits, from Europe and abroad, or gifted by patrons and contributors throughout its existence.
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GATE homepage updated! Now below the sections box there is a board with a preview of some of the GATE content (Featured page and Focus on sections) and links to the News and Collaborate with us pages....read all the news
A focus on a concept or a subject from the documents published on GATE.
The perfect focus for this period is the entry Infirmitas published by Giancarlo Corsi in the Lexicon of modernity. This concept is annotated on GATE in the following pages:
- AKC 1656 10 21 561-291.pdf/1
- AKC 1658 08 17 561-284.pdf/2
- EBC 1601 07 13 0168.pdf/1
- EBC 1601 10 19 0191.pdf/1
- EBC 1603 12 03 0374.pdf/1