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Università degli Studi di Padova

PHAIDRA – Digital collections



Gallery of the Botanical Gardens

The gallery contains unbound photographs and albums of Padua’s Botanical Garden and of other botanical gardens, gardens and places of botanical significance.

The largest part of the collection is devoted to Padua’s Botanical Garden with a collection of 188 items, including photos, photomechanical reproductions and postcards produced between 1880 and 1992. The history of the oldest university botanical garden is recounted from the perspective of the location, the botanical institution, the library and portraits of the gardeners and teachers at work. We also have specific images dedicated to the most important plant species, such as the de Goethe palm, the plane tree and the cable chaste tree – no longer present but certainly then the oldest, (o:4738 e o:4955).


Il Vitex agnus castus. R. Orto botanico di Padova, agosto 1928
Il Vitex agnus castus. R. Orto botanico di Padova, agosto 1928.
Biblioteca Orto Botanico- Coll.:IO.1E.09.

Special occasions, such as the visit of a Yugoslav delegation on the occasion of the celebrations in honour of De Visiani, the Prefetto of the gardes, in 1978 and the disaster caused by a storm in 1896 (o:4814), are commemorated in the collection.

The part of the collection consisting of 30 images and an album containing a total of 68 images including reproductions and photographs of botanical gardens dated between 1902 and the 1930s is no less important, in terms of the places depicted and the autographs on the postcards which it contains. Here we find views of historical gardens such as Turin, Pavia, Modena, Camerino, Naples, Palermo, Paris, Berlin, Kew and others. They include the “Chanousia” garden of the Mauritian Order near the Little Saint Bernard Pass (o:5416) and the Linnaeus Garden in Uppsala (o:5242).


Piccolo S. Bernardo (m. 2153) - Giardino botanico dell'Ordine Mauriziano: “Chanousia”

The autographs on the postcards, some of which were addressed to the garden’s Prefetti Saccardo and Gola, include the autographs of botanists Alexander Trotter and Paolo Enriques. Some of the postcards illustrate notable plants, including the Somma Lombardo cypress (o:5218) and the Senigallia elm (o:5211), which were famous for their age and grandeur and are now lost, and the so-called Saint Dominic orange tree in the garden on the Aventina in Rome (o:5289) an evocative photograph from 1916.


L'Arancio di S. Domenico
L'Arancio di S. Domenico. Convento di S. Sabina - Roma.
Biblioteca Orto botanico – Coll.: IV.1C.8.

Some of these images also form part of the Plant Collection, (o:5537), consisting of 35 images of plants and 2 photographic albums. They are dedicated to the peach trees grown in the Veneto region in the 1920s and 1930s (o:5488), and the effects of frost and heat on plants in the countryside around Verona in 1929 and in 1932 (o:5487).


Rapporto tecnico del Progetto di digitalizzazione
Visita anche l'Iconoteca dei botanici

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