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Authors: De Lucia, M.* 
Limoncelli, B.* 
Ottaiano, M.* 
Parlato, L.* 
Scala, O.* 
Issue Date: 2010
Series/Report no.: 150/ (2010)
Keywords: museo
Subject Classification05. General::05.03. Educational, History of Science, Public Issues::05.03.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: The Vesuvius Observatory, first volcanological observatory in the world, was built in 1841 by King Ferdinand II of Bourbon. It is now the Naples section of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). Since its foundation it has been not only a reference point for national and international scientific community, but also a place of information and dissemination for the population in the field of research and monitoring of volcanic phenomena. Always museum activities, guided tours through the collections of scientific instruments, rocks and minerals have been carried out in it. Since 2000 scientific and historical collections located into the old building of Vesuvius Observatory have been organized in the exhibition "Vesuvius: 2000 years of observations", which describes the eruptive history of Somma-Vesuvius, with the aim of providing updated information about monitoring of active volcanoes, on eruptive phenomena and related hazards, educating the population of areas exposed to volcanic hazards. The museum path is targeted to public of any geographical origin and cultural background and could be considered a journey through the history of volcanology from the beginning until the present day. In the exhibition, Vesuvius is the backdrop to an exhibition in which purely scientific elements coexist with historical, archaeological, literary, artistic aspects, thanks to the support of images, documents such as the geological map of Henry James Johnston-Lavis and the book "Campi Flegrei" by William Hamilton, specimens of rocks and minerals and old scientific instruments, used in the past for monitoring volcanic activity, including the first electromagnetic seismograph made by Luigi Palmieri. The first part of this work is focussed on the description of the existing exhibition. Since 2000 the statistical survey of the public of the museum has been carried out through an evaluation procedure form. The findings relate to the monthly and annual attendance, geographical origin and kind of visitors. In the second part of this work results for the five years from 2005 to 2009 are described. The characterization of different audiences in the museum means that, from time to time, the path of the visit could be arranged according to the expectations and needs of visitors; in this context, the museum educator plays the delicate role of mediator, with accurate language, between the contents of the museum and those who interact with it.
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