Edizione critica dell’Epistolario di Quintino Sella - CSSUT e Fondazione Sella onlus

In collaborazione con la Fondazione Sella onlus di Biella, nell’ambito delle ricerche promosse in occasione dei 150 anni dell’unità d’Italia il Centro di Studi per la Storia dell’Università di Torino ha avviato il progetto di EDIZIONE critica dei singoli Carteggi di Quintino Sella (1827-1884) con l’obiettivo di aggiornare e completare, con il versante dei corrispondenti, la pregevole raccolta delle lettere dello scienziato, statista, politico e organizzatore di cultura, curata da Guido e Marisa Quazza (Roma, Istituto per la Storia del Risorgimento Italiano 1980-2011).

Per consentire agli storici di cogliere in un corpus unico, il dialogo intercorso fra i protagonisti, a fianco delle lettere inedite, reperite in archivi italiani ed esteri, sono ristampate le missive di Sella, con le aggiunte di recenti acquisizioni.

La proposta è emersa dagli incontri in convegni nazionali dedicati alle celebrazioni dei 150 anni dell’unità d’Italia e dalle collaborazioni instaurate nel CSSUT in occasione del volume Dall’Università di Torino all’Italia unita. Contributi dei docenti al Risorgimento e all’unità, a cura di C. S. Roero (Torino, Deputazione Subalpina di Storia Patria 2013), nella collana Studi e Fonti di Storia dell'Università di Torino.

 

La Rivista di Storia dell’Università di Torino (open access https://www.ojs.unito.it/index.php/RSUT/index) ha pubblicato finora le corrispondenze di Sella con l’astronomo Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli (dal 1857 al 1884, 111 lett.), con il mineralogista Alfred Des Cloizeaux (dal 1856 al 1881, 61 lett.), con il giurista sabaudo Federigo Sclopis (dal 1861 al 1877, 65 lett.), con il suo maestro e mentore all’università di Torino, Carlo Ignazio Giulio (dal 1851 al 1858, 57 lett.); con il matematico Luigi Cremona (dal 1861 al 1884, 175 lett.), con il cristallografo Henri Hureau de Sénarmont (dal 1852 al 1858, 31 lett.), con il geologo Auguste Daubrée (1857 al 1883, 66 lett.), con i matematici Angelo Genocchi (dal 1851 al 1883, 45 lett.), Enrico Betti (dal 1861 al 1883, 8 lett.), Francesco Brioschi (dal 1859 al 1883, 95 lett.), e con l'amico ingegnere Felice Giordano (prima parte: dal 1847 al 1859, 81 lett.; seconda parte: dal 1859 al 1875, 150 lett.).

Lo scopo del progetto è l’edizione critica di tutte le missive inviate e ricevute da Sella, disposte in ordine cronologico per ciascun corrispondente. 

 

CARTEGGI EDITI dal 2015 al 2023

One of the most important correspondence of the Risorgimento and unification period is that exchanged between Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli (1835-1910) and Quintino Sella (1827-1884) not only for scientific and political stature of the two protagonists, but also for the opportunity it offers to discover new aspects and perspectives on histories of mathematics, astronomy, sciences and society. They concern, for example, the Turin and national university context, the cultural policies related to the development of research and improvement of scientific teachings, what kind of organization to prepare for meteorology and what instruments to equip observatories. The correspondence also reveals the ideals and aspirations of the two friends, as well as the difficulties and obstacles that they were able to overcome with determination, tenacity and strong sense of ethics. 

The correspondence between Carlo Ignazio Giulio (1803-1859) and Quintino Sella (1827-1884), one of the most important protagonists of the Risorgimento, holds great importance for the history of the University of Turin, by shedding new light on their role in the scientific organization and their political involvement in the establishment of technical-scientific schools in Turin, the R. Istituto Tecnico (1852) and the R. Scuola di Applicazione per gli Ingegneri (1859). Interesting details emerge about the scientific collections of the institutions, such as the realization of geometric and crystal models and the purchase of engineering instruments. It also reveals the international relationships the two protagonists had with well-known scientists and instruments makers, mostly thanks to their travels and participation in international exhibitions.

 

  • Cristiano FERRARIS - Ophélie WEINERT- Giovanni FERRARISLa correspondance entre Alfred Des Cloizeaux et Quintino Sella, RSUT VII.1, 2018, pp. 1-98

     DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13135/2281-2164/2805

The unpublished correspondence between Alfred Des Cloizeaux (1817-1897) and Quintino Sella (1827-1884) is reported and briefly noted. Both of them were students of Henri Hureau de Sénarmont (1808-1862) at the École des Mines (Paris) and their epistolary extends between 1856 and 1884. As well as illustrating the scientific characteristics of the two mineralogists, it offers a panorama of the academic environment of the period in France and in Italy. Political events also transpire, as Sella, after 1860, was committed to building the just unified Italy. The published documents are available in the archives of the Académie des Sciences (Paris) and of the Fondazione Sella (Biella). In particular, Des Cloizeaux pioneered modern microscopy of minerals and promoted the foundation of the Société Française de Minéralogie; Sella introduced new mathematical methods in crystallography and refounded the Accademia dei Lincei.

 

  • Caterina BONZOIl carteggio fra Federigo Sclopis di Salerano e Quintino Sella, RSUT VII.2, 2018, pp. 329-378

     DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13135/2281-2164/3112

The study is based on the correspondence between Quintino Sella (1827-1884) and Federico Sclopis (1798-1878), one of the most important jurists of the 19th century. It illustrates the management of the principal academic institutions of the time, both in Turin (Regia Deputazione di Storia Patria, Accademia delle Scienze, R. Scuola di Applicazione per gli Ingegneri) both in Italy (Accademia dei Lincei) and it also reports on many prestigious university professors. Interesting details emerge about the scientific collections of those institutions and the progress of the scientific knowledge, especially in crystallography and in optics. Finally the correspondence revels the personal relationship concernig political affairs.

 

  • Clara Silvia ROEROIl sodalizio fra Giovanni V. Schiaparelli e Quintino Sella all'Accademia dei Lincei nel carteggio inedito 1875-1884, RSUT VIII.1, 2019, pp. 69-132

     DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.13135/2281-2164/3501

The correspondence between Quintino Sella (1827-1884) and Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli (1835-1910) from 1875 to 1884, when Sella was president of the Accademia dei Lincei and deputy, highlights interesting aspects of the difficulties he encountered in the project on Rome, capital of science and on the Accademia dei Lincei, emblem of national culture. The harmony of ethical, political and cultural intentions for the progress of the country and the synergies implemented by the two friends led to important results: the great equatorial refractor for the Milan observatory, the Accademia dei Lincei palace, the scientific museums, the national library, foreign members, the prizes, the volumes of memoirs of the two classes and the exchange of publications with the academies of foreign nations. In the epistolary dialogues we can see the sharing of the Humboldtian dream of the unification of cultures, the circulation of knowledge and their enlargment to multidisciplinary fields.

 

  • Aldo BRIGAGLIA - Simonetta DI SIENO - Clara Silvia ROERO - Paola TESTIIl carteggio fra il matematico Luigi Cremona e Quintino Sella 1861-1884, RSUT VIII.2, 2019, pp. 179-292.

     DOI: https://doi.org/10.13135/2281-2164/4353

The correspondence between the mathematician Luigi Cremona (1830-1903) and Quintino Sella (1827-1884) highlights aspects of Sella’s political thought and cultural activity. In particular his aims on Rome “capital of science” and on the Accademia dei Lincei as emblem of national culture, encountered difficulties. In spite of some incomprehensions in the initial phase of their relationship, the harmony of ethical, political and cultural intentions for the progress of the country and the synergies implemented by the two friends led to important results. Among them we can mention the renewal of academic membership with prestigious names of scientists and intellectuals, the establishment of prizes to encourage scientific research, the publication of memoirs of the two classes and the exchanges of periodicals with academies and scientific institutions all over the world.

 

  • Cristiano FERRARIS - Ophélie WEINERT- Giovanni FERRARISLa correspondance entre Henri Hureau de Sénarmont et Quintino Sella, RSUT IX.2, 2020, pp. 51-127.

     DOI: https://doi.org/10.13135/2281-2164/5329

The unpublished correspondence between Henri Hureau de Sénarmont (1808-1862) and his student at the École des Mines (Paris) Quintino Sella (1827-1884) is reported and briefly noted. Their epistolary extends between 1852 and 1858 and consist of 31 letters, of which only 10 are addressed by Sella to his master Sénarmont. As well as illustrating the scientific characteristics of the two mineralogists, it offers a panorama of the academic environment of that period in Europe. The published documents are available in the archives of the Fondazione Sella (Biella), except seven letters of Sella that belongs to Mr. Christophe Dubois. In particular, Sénarmont improved optical microscopy by introducing new accessories and pioneered modern optical studies of minerals.

 

  • Roberto SCOTH - Giorgio V. DAL PIAZLe lettere di Felice Giordano a Quintino Sella. Parte prima (9.8.1847 – 13.5.1859), RSUT IX.2, 2020, pp. 145-272.

     DOI: https://doi.org/10.13135/2281-2164/5380

In this study 81 letters sent by Felice Giordano (1825-1892) to his friend Quintino Sella (1827-1884) between summer 1847 and spring 1859 are transcribed and annotated. Giordano and Sella had both graduated in hydraulic engineering (1847) at the University of Turin and later specialized at the École des Mines in Paris and European mines and modern metallurgical industries. Back to Turin, Giordano was applicated to the Royal Corps of Mines and sent to Cagliari (1852) as a regent of the Sardinian Mining District. The first letters refer to the period they spent together in France and the other ones to the seven years of intense activity given by Giordano in Sardinia, carefully visiting mines and mineral deposits, as well as operating with the need to attract foreign capital and avoid easy speculations. Interesting aspects emerge about the personal relationships between Giordano and Sella, their scientific collaboration and the history and perspectives of mining in Sardinia.

 

  • Giorgio V. DAL PIAZ - Roberto ScothLe lettere di Felice Giordano a Quintino Sella. Parte seconda (7.1859-3.5.1875), RSUT XI.1, 2022, pp. 1-112.

   https://www.ojs.unito.it/index.php/RSUT/article/view/6716

Felice Giordano (1825-1892), a piedmontese hydraulic engineer and mining specialist, was a fellow student and a faithful friend of Quintino Sella (1827-1884), both graduated at the University of Turin, upgraded at the École des Mines in Paris and were then recruited by the Royal Corps of Mines of the Sardinia Kingdom. Giordano's life, free of family ties, was devoted full time to institutions, field research, mountaineering and adventure, with a view to implementing the projects and requests of Quintino unable to share field work, burdened as he was by his high political and ministerial role. The correspondence sent by Felice Giordano to Quintino Sella covers a period of 37 years, from 1847 to 1884. A first group of 81 letters have been transcribed, commented and published within a project promoted by the History Studies Center of the University of Turin, mainly referring to Giordano’s stay in Sardinia as director of the local mining district. Back to Turin and promoted to chief engineer, Giordano was in charge of the Inspectorate of the Italian Royal Corps of Mines, first in Turin until 1868, then in Florence, the temporary capital, and from 1871 definitively in Rome, where he subsequently became director of the Geological Survey: the newly founded Servizio Geologico d’Italia” aimed at creaing the geological map of Italy, the “great enterprise” conceived by Quintino Sella. The present study deals with a second group of 71 letters exchanged by Giordano and Sella between 1859 and 1875. These letters besides attesting the strong friendship that bound Felice and Quintino, not only in the professional field, but also in the sphere of personal events and affections, deal with two main themes: i) the onerous duties of office, carried out either at headquarters or with frequent missions to evaluate the mining and industrial activities of the newborn Kingdom of Italy, from the Alps to Sicily, and to point out functions, problems and needs of the Royal Corps of Mines; ii) the mountaineering feats, from the ascent of Mont Blanc (1864) to the lost competition for the conquest of the Matterhorn (1865), followed by an epic assault failed due to bad weather (1866), up to the “revenge” of the personal ascent (1868) performed with the main objective of describing step-by-step the geology of the Gran Becca. The last five letters refer to the adventurous journey around the world that Giordano made from 1872 to 1876 on confidential assignment to explore the ‘Far East’ and to look for suitable places to establish penitential colonies and activate new commercial relationships, concluding with a negative evaluation. These amazing activities were always carried out with strictness, the technical competence of the engineer-geologist, the curiosity of the scientist and the spirit of service that distinguished his entire life. All that with his unassuming way – belittling his successes – that Quintino friendly reproached.

 

  • Arrigo Pisati, Il carteggio fra Pietro Conti e Quintino Sella, RSUT XI.1 2022, pp. 139-155.

    https://www.ojs.unito.it/index.php/RSUT/article/view/6859

The correspondence between the military engineer Pietro Conti (1827-1878) and Quintino Sella (1827-1884) covers four years. The main topic is Conti’s works Studi sull’attrito and Sulla resistenza alla flessione della pietra serena that he presented to the Accademia dei Lincei in 1874 and 1875 to be published. In the first paper he tried to invalidate Coulomb’s friction’s law; in the second one he studied the deformation of a specific type of stone in function of the weight put on it. The correspondence shows how much Conti was unable to follow the proper process for a publication causing difficulties to the review board. His scarce knowledge of mathematics prevents him to create a proper theory for his results.

 

  •   Cristiano FERRARIS, Ophélie WEINERT, Giovanni FERRARISLa correspondance entre Auguste Daubrée et Quintino Sella, RSUT XI.2 2022, pp. 1-55.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.13135/2281-2164/7363

The article reports the 66 letters that make up the correspondence between A. Daubrée and Q. Sella. The letters written by Daubrée (38) and by Sella (28) are kept at the Fondazione Sella o.n.l.u.s.(Biella) and the library of the Institut de France (Paris), respectively. The topics are mainly related to positions of president, in the order, of the Institut de France (Daubrée) and of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, which Sella reorganized after Rome became the capital of Italy in 1871. In particular, Sella, to enhance the scientific role of Italy, supports Italian candidates worthy of becoming members of the Institut. At the same time Sella, who had to abandon his promising crystallographic research in favour of politics but aspires to be elected member of the Académie des Sciences himself, highlights his relationship with the international mineralogical community and his promotion of the Italian scientific activity.

  • Arrigo Pisati, Clara Silvia Roero, Il carteggio fra Angelo Genocchi e Quintino Sella 1851-1883 RSUT XI.2 2022, pp. 77-122.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.13135/2281-2164/7380

The correspondence between the mathematician Angelo Genocchi (1817-1889) and Quintino Sella (1827-1884) highlights aspects of Sella’s political thought and cultural organization. In particular, Sella’s aims on Rome “capital of science” and on the fusion of the Società Italiana delle Scienze and the rebuilt Accademia dei Lincei as emblem of national culture created troubles with the elderly members of Italian scientific community. In spite of some incomprehensions, the exchange of ideas persisted the mutual esteem and the shared of ethical and cultural intentions for the progress of the country.

  • Clara Silvia Roero, Livia Giacardi, Chiara Pizzarelli, Il carteggio fra Francesco Brioschi e Quintino Sella 1859-1883, RSUT XII.1 2023, pp. 83-168.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.13135/2281-2164/7862

The correspondence between the mathematician Francesco Brioschi (1824-1897) and Quintino Sella (1827-1884) highlights aspects of their political and cultural activity during the period of the unification of Italy. Both played a significant role not only in the ministerial commissions of public education, finance and public works, but also in local and national academies and scientific societies. The letters show their commitment to the organization of education in technical schools, universities and higher education institutions. Noteworthy was their project to create a single large national academy of mathematical, physical and natural sciences and of moral, historical and philological sciences the Lincei academy – capable of competing with European and world ones, although few scientists belived at the beginning.

  • Clara Silvia Roero, Il carteggio fra Enrico Betti e Quintino Sella 1861-1883, RSUT XII.2 2023, pp. 33-42.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.13135/2281-2164/9772

This paper focus on the relationships between the mathematician Enrico Betti (1823-1892) and the statesman and scientist Quintino Sella (1827-1884) in the crucial period of Italy’s unification. They shared the same cosmopolitan conception of science that they embraced during their yourneys abroad. Their aims were the promotion of Italian science to the highest degree of development in Europe, the creation of a national scientific community, the establishment of public schools to improve the cultural preparation of the new generations, the organization of scholarships and prizers to encourage research, the foundations of specialized periodicals and the proceedings of scientific societies.

 

ORGANIZZAZIONE DELL'EDIZIONE 2024

 Si invitano i collaboratori a richiedere le lettere del corrispondente di Q. S. conservate a Biella 

- alla  Fondazione Sella di Biella: Presidente A. Sella (angelica.sella@fondazionesella.org) e all'Archivista Beatrice Brunetti  (//beatrice.brunetti@fondazionesella.org">beatrice.brunetti@fondazionesella.org) e 

- al Centro Studi per la Storia dell'Università di Torino: Prof. C. S. Roero (clarasilvia.roero@unito.it)

che organizzano e coordinano il Progetto di Edizione, le “corrispondenze in corso di trascrizione e di edizione critica”, al fine di programmare le attività.

Dopo l’esame a Biella dei documenti dei corrispondenti, i collaboratori potranno richiedere alla Fondazione Sella le immagini digitali delle lettere, firmando il Modulo predisposto dalla Fondazione Sella, con i requisiti per la tutela del patrimonio culturale, e impegnandosi a trasmettere 2 copie a stampa dell’edizione critica del carteggio, dichiarando esplicitamente la provenienza delle fonti. L’e-mail dell’archivista della Fondazione Sella, cui richiedere appuntamenti è la dottoressa Beatrice Brunetti tel. 015 2522445 (//beatrice.brunetti@fondazionesella.org">beatrice.brunetti@fondazionesella.org). La richiesta deve essere inoltrata anche alla presidente del Centro Studi per la Storia dell'Università di Torino: prof. Clara Silvia Roero (clarasilvia.roero@unito.it) e alla presidente della Fondazione Sella, dott.ssa Angelica Sella (angelica.sella@fondazionesella.org).  L'articolo sul carteggio deve essere inviato alla Rivista di Storia dell'Università di Torino, diretta da C.S. Roero ( stessa mail precedente) e sarà rivisto e giudicato in forma anonima (blind review) da due revisori esperti del periodo storico considerato e dei contenuti del carteggio.

Collaboratori al Progetto

  • ALLIO Renata (Università di Torino)
  • BONZO Caterina (Università di Torino)
  • BRIGAGLIA Aldo (Università di Palermo)
  • BRUNETTI Beatrice (Archivi della Fondazione Sella onlus, Biella) 
  • CHIOSSO Giorgio (Università di Torino)
  • DAL PIAZ Giorgio (Università di Padova)
  • DI SIENO Simonetta (Università di Milano)
  • FERRARIS Cristiano (Institut de Minéralogie, de Physique des Matériaux et de Cosmochimie, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle Parigi)
  • FERRARIS Giovanni (Università di Torino)
  • GIACARDI Livia (Università di Torino)
  • IEVA Frédéric (Università di Torino)
  • LEONE Matteo (Università di Torino)
  • MORETTI Mauro (Università per stranieri di Siena)
  • PAOLONI Giovanni (Università di Roma La Sapienza)
  • PARLAMENTO Franco (Università di Udine)
  • PISATI Arrigo (Università di Pavia)
  • PIZZARELLI Chiara (Università di Torino)
  • ROERO Clara Silvia (Università di Torino)
  • SCOTH Roberto (già Università di Cagliari)
  • SELLA Angelica (Presidente della Fondazione Sella onlus, Biella)
  • TESTI Paola (Università di Milano)
  • TUCCI Pasquale (Università di Milano)
  • WEINERT Ophélie (Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Parigi).

Roero ha condiviso con i collaboratori sul Drive di unito (che hanno inviato un’esplicita dichiarazione sottoscritta con firma autografa che di tali materiali faranno un uso esclusivamente personale a fini di ricerca) i pdf dei 9 vol. dell’Epistolario curato dai Quazza. Per avere accesso alla condivisione alla cartella scrivere a clarasilvia.roero@unito.it