Achille De Zigno's field notebook
Achille De Zigno (1813–1892), was an internationally renowned geologist and paleontologist. Although he has not worked in the academic field, his researches and his numerous publications represent a precious treasure of data, interpretations and discoveries, which are still used and elaborated today in the course of stratigraphy and paleontology studies, with particular regard to the Triveneto region. Perfectly inserted in the international arena, he maintained relations with all the main European scholars, and not only, in his work of constant updating, always driven by a frenetic curiosity and passion. His scientific activity is part of a moment in which, through the works of Brocchi, Lyell and, for example, the school of Vienna, experienced by De Zigno in the first person, the questions concerning the geological discipline began to be addressed in a modern way.
Baron Achille De Zigno, a nobleman, also had important institutional positions and managed, thanks to his skills in the field of diplomacy, to do his utmost for the good of his city of Padova in a period, that of the Risorgimento, which was not easy to manage from a political point of view.
Bridge, and treasure, among his observations and publications are the precious field notebooks; they represent a unique testimony of the geo-paleontological activity of this lover of Natural Sciences and, touching on geological, stratigraphic, paleontological topics and relationships with the most illustrious scientists of the time, they give an exhaustive picture of the developments of the earth sciences of the second mid 19th century.
The field notebook is, together with the hammer and the boots, the main tool of the geologist, where all the observations collected during excursions and research campaigns are written and drawn. Particularly gifted in drawing, De Zigno gives us splendid pages with images of mountains with their internal rocky constitution, precise stratigraphic series and sketches of famous locations, together with drawings of plants and fossil vertebrates, the subject of his studies.