Bulletino meteorologico dell’Osservatorio del Collegio Romano

con corrispondenza e bibliografia per l’avanzamento della fisica terrestre
Angelo Secchi
Vol. I
Roma, Tipografia delle Scienze Matematiche e Fisiche, 1862
295 x 215 mm
Biblioteca Storica Centrale della Meteorologia Italiana, Roma

The periodical whose first issue’s frontispiece is depicted here represented an important organ of systematic diffusion of the scientific culture. Secchi’s intent was to quickly disseminate not just the results of studies, observations and researches conducted at the Roman college in the fields of astronomy, solar and terrestrial physics, meteorology and terrestrial magnetism, but also studies conducted in other Observatories, whose directors and scientists maintained an intense scientific correspondence with Secchi. The bulletin was in Italian, however also letters and notes written in French can be found in it.
The publication of the Bulletin was initiated in March 1862, first as a fortnightly periodical, then monthly, and ceased in December 1878, the year of Secchi’s death. In fact, on the frontispiece of the last vintage, he did not appear as a “compiler”, but as “founder” of the Observatory, as he passed away in February of that year. The remaining dossiers of 1878 were therefore published by Father Gaspar Stanislaus Ferrari, former assistant to Secchi, who took over the direction of the Observatory of the Roman College, before his confiscation and subsequent annexation to the Royal Central Office of meteorology in 1879.
Each file of the Bulletin collects scientific notes, sometimes subdivided into several parts, and it ends with the prospectus of meteorological data recorded at the observatory of the Roman College, supplemented by the framework of the “Notes”, containing annotations in clear on the status of time and of the magnets.
Many are, in the bulletin, the contributions of Father Secchi on solar physics, on the activity of sunspots, on the correlation between solar phenomena, terrestrial magnetism and meteorology, on new theories of dynamic meteorology and on Conception and experimentation of measuring instruments, including the meteorograph. Other illustrious scientists published the results of their studies on the Bulletin and Secchi also liked to divulgate the scientific correspondence he entertained with them, in spite of contributing to the progress of Science.
As to the dissemination of the bulletin, the loose dossiers were shipped, in Italy and abroad, to observatories and to scientific libraries that maintained correspondence with the Observatory of the Roman College. The binding was entrusted to each receiving body; Secchi however sent the pages necessary to complete the annual volumes: the frontispiece of the entire year, the index of the main subjects covered, the list of works received as a gift from other scientific institutions, as well as the address of Thanks to His Excellency Prince Don Baldassarre Boncompagni, who supported the activity of the Observatory and financed the publication of the periodical.
In the years following the death of Secchi, the Pontifical Gregorian University went on the publication of the periodical, with the same editorial capacity, modifying the title in Continuation of the meteorological Bulletin of the Observatory of the Roman College: with correspondence and bibliography for the advancement of the terrestrial physics/Pontifical Gregorian University, in an attempt not to disperse the scientific inheritance of Secchi: an attempt that only lived for a decade, since the publication of this periodical ceased in 1888.

Maria Carmen Beltrano - CREA-AA

A. Secchi, Bullettino meteorologico dell'Osservatorio del Collegio Romano : con corrispondenza e bibliografia per l'avanzamento della fisica terrestre / compilato dal p. Angelo Secchi. Vol. 1., n. 1 (1. mar. 1862) - vol. 17., n. 12 (31 dic. 1878). Tip. delle scienze matematiche e fisiche, Roma.