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Chemistry Collection

  • The Collection
  • Consultation
  • Conservation and Cataloguing
  • Promotion
  • Studies and Research Projects

Image: Enciclopedia di chimica scientifica e industriale, ossia Dizionario generale di chimica, edited by Francesco Selmi, vol. 1: A-Am, Turin, Naples, Unione tipografico-editrice torinese, 1868 (Chemistry and Biology Library of S. Maria delle Grazie, ARMADIO 1 088), p. 508 (detail).

The collection includes around 150 volumes, the majority of which were published between the middle of the 19th century and the first twenty years of the 20th century.

The topics addressed include physical chemistry, analytical chemistry, toxicology and forensic chemistry, food chemistry, pharmacology and pharmaceutical chemistry. Then there are also texts on physics, biology, microbiology, physiology and medical therapy, and a significant number of volumes on applied chemistry and industrial chemistry. There are also works that address the topics of general and inorganic chemistry, and organic chemistry.

It is worth mentioning the 11 volumes of the Encyclopaedia of scientific and industrial chemistry, or General dictionary of chemistry with applications in agriculture, compiled under the direction of the famous Francesco Selmi and published by UTET in 1868-1878, followed by two additions (1880-1881).

The collection is found in the Chemistry and Biology Library of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in the Ex-Convent of S. Maria delle Grazie.


To find out more


The collection is kept at the Chemistry and Biology Library of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

The volumes that make up the collection are ineligible for external loans, but it is possible to consult them in the library, upon request, made by telephone (+39 0532 455301), email or through the online catalogue.

Rules for consultation

The collection was kept at the university's Chemistry Department until its transfer to the Chemistry and Biology Library of Santa Maria delle Grazie, opened as a centralised inter-departmental library in June 2005.

The cataloguing of the collection in the SBN (National Library Service) was carried out in the years following the transfer.

The volumes are located in the sections ARMADIO 1, ARMADIO 2 and ARMADIO 3 of the library where they are kept.


With the Art Bonus, you can support projects for ancient book restoration at the University of Ferrara.

Guided tours

28 October 2018 - Stories of books and palaces. Inauguration of the tour with the opening of the locations. The students from the 4th year of the "A. Roiti" Science-specialist High School in Ferrara, along with representatives from the University Library System and Museum System, guided visitors around the palaces of the university, libraries and historical collections.


2020 - The historical collections. Chemistry and Biology Library of Santa Maria delle Grazie (length: 2 minutes and 12 seconds)

Video in Italian Sign Language (LIS) made thanks to collaboration from the Equal Opportunities and Disability Policy Coordination, the E-Learning and Multimedia Services Office and AIDUS (Association for the Inclusion of Hearing and Deaf People).

To recommend studies or research projects on the collection or pieces from it, please write to .