History of the Library
The Padua Astrophysical Observatory Library is named after Giovanni Santini, third Obervatory’s director
from 1817 to 1877.
The Astronomical Observatory of Padua was founded in 1761 by a decree issued by the Senate of the Republic of Venice and it was built on the high tower of the old medieval castle. The tower transformation works lasted from 1767 to 1777.
In 1873 Director Santini left his private books collection to Observatory, with the commitment that “the collection could never be moved from the Observatory and should be kept separate… with its own catalogue”
This donation, (about 1000 tomes and as many booklets) was the first nucleus of the “Giovanni Santini Library”, together with catalogs, celestial atlases, serials, observatory annals, collected before.
Also his successor, Giuseppe Lorenzoni (from 1877 to 1914), paid very close attention to Library and , under
his direction, many monographs and other materials in the geodetic field were purchased.
In the late 19th Century a general catalogue was created to facilitate the bibliographic research; in 1997 the Library was provided with an online catalogue.
In March 2004, modern literature and other reference material, that previously was stored in Observatory’s different floors, have been transported in the renovate building of “Casa del Monizioniere”.
The new Library has a total surface area of some 280 sqm and is outfitted with nearly 1200 m. of shelving and holds the modern collection, the ancient collection and about 2000 volumes of the Physics and Astronomy Department.