The archives of the Italian astronomical observatories preserve written records of the activities of some of the oldest scientific institutions of our country.
Documents, rather than books, can be found inside the historical archives. Most of them are handwritten, and reveal the relationships of the astronomers with the scientific community, the politicians, and the society of the time.
Diaries of astronomical observations that tell of countless nights spent on the telescope, fascinating sketches of nebulae, comets, planets and other celestial objects, letters revealing the secrets of extraordinary scientific discoveries, journey logbooks, meteorological observations that continue uninterrupted throughout the centuries, settled bills, book receipts, recipes for ink making, portraits of colleagues never met.
The historical archives contain firsthand sources for historical research and are a precious and unique cultural heritage.