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The scientist Arcangelo Scacchi (1810-1893), is today rarely mentioned in histories of Italian science in the
nineteenth century. Even a brief consideration of his career, however, reveals that his work was of great importance to the scientific community of his age. For more than fifty years he was Professor of Mineralogy at the University of Naples and Curator of the Royal Mineralogical Museum, which under his guidance enjoyed a period of unprecedented success. The as yet unpublished Scacchi papers shed interesting light on the world of this Italian naturalist. His correspondence reveals much about Scacchi’s role in the scientific community both in Italy and abroad, and illustrate the extent to which he was involved in contemporary debates and research in the fields of geology, mineralogy, volcanology and crystallography.
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