Letters in the Earth Sciences: their historic value and present-day scientific relevance

G. Ferrari


Scientific letters, of great importance in the history of science and scientific instrumentation, have a particular importance for those sectors of
earth sciences in which structured observation networks are distributed across the territory, such as seismology, meteorology, geomagnetism and astronomy. It may come as a surprise to know that in the historical scientific letter collections
there can be information having a certain scientific novelty. The current scientific relevance for seismology of the content of some historical letters is one of the aspects that most of all motivate an investment into this kind of research,
more by the seismologists than by the historians of science. The experiences conducted up until now within the TROMOS project (INGV-SGA)framework have led us to identify the following types of information: description on the effects
of seismic events; scientific comments to theories,to publications, etc.; graphs; reproductions of seismograms; news of loans of recordings;information and drawings of instruments, their location and orientation within the observatories.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-3530
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X