Historical Library

Giulio fund

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The library of the Giulio family is classified among the study collections. In its most ancient nucleus we see mirrored the perhaps most important personality of this remarkable family dynasty, that of Carlo Ignazio, scientist and political man.
His research interests are perfectly identifiable in the numerous works of mathematics, mechanics, engineering, architecture, physics, chemistry, but also philosophy and literature, law and history present in the collection.
The library of Carlo Ignazio Giulio not only expresses the strong individuality of the scholar, but also, more generally, the range of disciplines that constituted the baggage of information of a technical-intellectual, with particular curiosity and research interests, in the Savoy Piedmont of the first half of the nineteenth century.
The extraordinary compactness of the Giulio Fund is also the testimony of a renewed educational system, which in Piedmont was derived from the life-giving contact with French culture, but which had deep roots in Turin institutions of ancien régime such as the Academy of Sciences.

The great qualitative leap due to the presence of prominent personalities of the "pure" sciences, as Lagrange points out, had long given Piedmont a tone of participation in the development of the exact sciences such as physics, chemistry and mathematics, with numerous implications in the field of application, where they were distinguished above all great scholars of hydraulics as Ignazio Michelotti and Giorgio Bidone.
The particular subalpine scientism, marked by the technological propen-sion, gave the tone to the whole following century and is perhaps the basis of the disputed industrial soul of the Turin basin. It is no coincidence that we find in the library Giulio many works of the nineteenth century (and, in particular, of the first half, the era of Carlo Ignazio) and a few of the previous centuries (12 sixteenth century, 21 six hundred, 246 volumes of the eighteenth century, about 1500 volumes and more than 2000 pamphlets of the nineteenth).
The intention was in fact to follow the pode-roso development of the sciences, pure and applied, in their becoming: intentions of scientist and teacher, then also of politician. After the death of Carlo Ignazio (1859), the arguments became less homogeneous, lacking the great unifying personality. In the library we find the indispensable components of the formation of the sub-Alpine ruling class on the threshold of Unification.
In the particular case of Giulio, we have the connection between scientific and administrative elements, particularly significant because it is expressed by a personality inclined to open up technical knowledge employing it in government sciences, with the awareness of working as a reformer for the creation of a new State.
For this reason, access to Giulio's library can only be thematic.
In this way we see the emergence of agriculture, with general texts of a statistical, technological or monographic nature on topics much debated in the first half of the 19th century, such as silkworm farming and related mulberry growing, fruit growing and communication science. Architecture is represented by some great theorists such as Alberti, Serlio, Palladio, Vignola, Francesco Milizia.
Carlo Ignazio's specialization in hydraulic engineering is testified by the presence of numerous volumes, from the great collection of the Bélidor (Architecture hidraulique, Paris 1782 et seq.), to the studies of Bossut and Viallet on dams, to those of Coulomb, up to the Piedmontese studies of the mid-nineteenth century. Particular attention was paid to the problems of the suspension bridges, which at that time enjoyed considerable favour and widespread use.

Many engineering studies are English and French. The way of updating passed almost entirely through those nations that contributed most to the improvement of mechanics, in particular iron mechanics. Giulio was very attentive to what was happening in these countries, also for the new perspectives that were perceived behind the development of railway science, unifying more specialized paths, from side-rurgia to steam, from building bridges to methods for opening tunnels. The industry is represented in the Giulio Fund not only with the publication more closely related to its specialization, mechanics, but also with works of mining, glassmaking, food (including bakery) and paper. The field of law is also very wide, articulated in general texts, lectures, reports, specific treatises on particular branches, and in a very long series of legislative brochures. By law, economics and, above all, finance are largely represented. Knowledge of the sciences of government was indispensable to an active representative of the Subalpine Parliament, engaged in an era of great transformation. Here too, the scope is very broad.
By far the predominant is the publicist in scientific subjects, whether they be physical or natural sciences. There are about fifty general works, dealing with the physical sciences, with about twenty branches in individual disciplines. A separate place occupies some travel reports and the like, where books collected by an heir of Carlo Ignazio also appear.
Another sector, more recent, belonged to the last heir of the Giulio family, Colonel Gian Carlo Falconieri, has its own individuality. A military career, active in the First World War, Falconieri has left about 200 volumes, among which there is a strand dedicated to the World War, one on Italian Africa, a small group of novels of the beginning of the century, a small series of fruit-growing treatises, some works of physiology and numerous volumes of history.