Scientific and Educational Collections
In recent years, The University of Palermo has reorganized some collections of objects, instruments and documents of historical- scientific and/or educational interest, ordering them into thirteen collections, that can be visited generally on request. In addition, numerous works of contemporary art and some one of refined eighteenth-century culture, coming from the Regional Gallery of Sicily in Palazzo Abatellis, have been housed in some historical spaces of Palazzo Chiaramonte.
This is a contemporary art collection, whose artworks, acquired or donated to the University of Palermo during the 20th century, are the expression of a painting matured in the Mediterranean area. There are many canvases by prestigious artists such as Guttuso, De Pisis, Garajo, Giambecchina, Rosai, Cordio, Ceccotti, Martorelli, Catalano.
This huge collection of instruments (about 500) has been collected over time since 1811, when the physicist Domenico Scinà obtained the chair of Experimental Physics. The collection includes pieces from different branches of Physics, such as mechanics, calorimetry, acoustics, electromagnetism and optics.
Many of the ancient laboratory equipments, used by the chimists of the University of Palermo, have been collected in a setting, that preserves traces of the prestigious school of chemistry established by Stanislao Cannizzaro during his stay in Palermo, whose researches were avant-guarde, in the national and international field.
The collection of Mineralogy preserves one of the richest and oldest group of minerals present today in Sicily. The beautiful finds from the Sicilian chalky-sulphur series, the rocks and decorative stone materials, the fine Sicilian amber, the precious and ancient instruments of study and research, are the elements of this small but meaningful collection.
This peculiar collection includes instruments and equipments property of the old departments, recently merged into the DICAM Department. There are materials used for studies and tests of structural engineering, geotechnics, hydraulics, science and technology of materials.
The Entomology collection consists of a series of purely educational and informative materials, and another strictly scientific one. Created over the years, by the union of the various collections that belonged to the Institute's professors, it now countains more than 160 entomological drawers and other scientific material.
Numerous anatomical finds, of great historical value, collected over the last three centuries of activity and study, are witness to the methods and instruments used in teaching one of the key subject for the preparation of every future doctor.
The collection consists of more than 30 informatics devices of great historical and scientific importance, mostly coming from the former University Computing Centre. They represent the ancestors of the modern computers, witness of decades of Computer Science.
The collection, currently in the process of being reordered, contains a large number of instruments and equipments that have made the history of electronics and electricity. Most of them come from the Royal School of Engineering of Palermo, but now they are part of the DEIM Department.
The historical and documentary materials, coming from the collections of architects and artists, constitute a cultural heritage of great scientific and artistic value. The heterogeneity of sources and the different origins, make the collection of great interest, especially for a possible future expansion and further valorization.
A singular and precious collection of scientific equipments (kymographs, myographs, scales etc.), preserved into ancient fume hoods appropriately restored, reflects the already advanced experimental research, conducted in Palermo in the field of Human Physiology, between the late 19th and early 20th century.
This collection contains some instruments of Psychotecnics, also used from the former University Institute of Psychology, since the early postwar years. These high valuable equipments, carefully catalogued, are in the process of being reorganized, to be placed in a suitable exhibition structure.
Chiaramonte Palace hosts a selection of artworks by the Masters of 18th century painting in Sicily, coming from the Regional Gallery of Sicily in Palazzo Abatellis. These include altarpieces and paintings belonging to churches and monasteries closed to worship or no longer existing, as a result of the rearrangement works of the historical centre of Palermo, in different periods.
"The Sicily told by cartographers" is an exhibition project set up in December 2014, in the spaces of the former Steri Prison, thanks to the sensitive support of Antonio Lagumina, who has created a significant collection of maps of Sicily from the 16th to the 19th century, through long and exciting research conducted over many decades.