Rosellini Project

BUP 300.1,114

The “Rosellini Project” (supervisor: prof. Marilina Betrò) aims mainly to increase the value of the documentary and artistic heritage of the Rosellini archive, one of the most important Egyptological archives in the world, held in the Biblioteca Universitaria di Pisa. It comprises the huge documentation gathered by Ippolito Rosellini, co-director of the Franco-Tuscan expedition to Egypt in 1828-29, during his short but intense life (1800-1843).

The project achieved, from 2008 to 2012, the digitization, organization and online publication of the archive material, most of it accessible to the public through the portal:

The study of the material, made possible through this project, also led to further initiatives, including the conference “Talking along the Nile. Ippolito Rosellini, travellers and scholars of the 19th century in Egypt”, and two exhibitions on the expedition materials during the 2010. The first, “Ippolito Rosellini and the dawn of Egyptology: original drawings and manuscripts of the Franco-Tuscan expedition to Egypt, 1828-29, from the Biblioteca universitaria di Pisa”, was organized in collaboration with the Egyptian Museum of Cairo and held there. The second was bigger, and took place at the Palazzo Blu in Pisa: “Along the Nile. Ippolito Rosellini and the Franco-Tuscan expedition to Egypt (1828-29)”. On this occasion, the drawings and manuscripts of the expedition were reunited with the antiquities collected at the same time, now held in Florence and Pisa, and some samples of the plants collected by the naturalist of the expedition in Egypt, Giuseppe Raddi.

The analysis of the Rosellini material also provides numerous new publications and interesting discoveries: a rich dossier of architectural plans and drawings, not only unpublished but also totally unknown to scholars, made in Egypt by Gaetano Rosellini; a second dossier of drawings and watercolors of the expedition painter Giuseppe Angelelli, unknown as well; and the identification of the text, until now believed lost, of the “Giornale di Viaggi” of Alessandro Ricci.

Organisations who contributed to the Rosellini Project, in different ways and at different times, are: the Biblioteca Universitaria, Egyptian Museum of Florence, Egyptian collection of the Univerity of Pisa, Museo of Opera del Duomo, Linguistica Computazionale Institute of CNR Pisa, Fondazione Rinascimento digitale of Florence, with Marco Ruffino.

The Egyptologists who have collaborated are: Marilina Betrò, Paolo del Vesco, Federica Facchetti, Sara Giannotti, Angiolo Menchetti, Gianluca Miniaci and Daniele Salvoldi.

Rosellini Archive

The papers include the group of manuscripts related to the Tuscan part of the Franco-Tuscan expedition to Egypt (1828-29): notebooks, original texts and drawings from the “Monumenti dell’Egitto e della Nubia”, travel diaries, correspondence and others. Included with the manuscripts there is also a Hieroglyphics dictionary with cards, results of research carried out by the Pisa Egyptologist, and texts of part of Egyptological, Arabic and Hebrew lessons held by Rosellini at the University of Pisa. The collection amounts to 20,000 papers in total, and arrived at the University of Pisa during the 19th century via three donations: the first in accordance with the will of Rosellini itself, and the other two at the behest of his wife and son.