Since 1591, portraits of illustrious botanists and collections of naturalistic finds began to accumulate in the Gallery, which at the time allowed the entrance to the Botanic Garden from Via Santa Maria. This was the first nucleus of what in the future would become the current Botanic Museum and, with regard to geological and zoological finds, what would be the Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa in Calci. Today, the Botanic Museum (inaugurated on October 28, 2016 and open to the public on April 1, 2017) is located in the premises of the ancient foundry, also known as the “Palazzo delle Conchiglie” (literally “Seashell’s Palace”) for the facade entirely decorated in grotesque style around 1752. The Museum preserves the “Quadreria” (a collection of portraits of ancient botanist), the monumental entrance door to the gallery, the ancient “Studiolo” used to study and preserve the seeds of the Botanic Garden, as well as objects related to the teaching of botany, including valuable wax and plaster models and teaching tables. The Herbaria are instead preserved in the building in the centre of the Botanic Garden, accessible by scholars only by reservation, but virtually accessible by a multimedia station installed at Museum.
The Botanic Garden and Museum of the University of Pisa contributes with its teaching and training activities to university and school teaching, to the promotion of biodiversity conservation and to the dissemination of scientific culture to a wider public, in the fulfillment of the “third mission“.
The Educational Services of the Botanic Garden and Museum offer schools, associations and a public of private individuals the following types of activities:
- Educational proposals
- Easter, summer and Christmas camps
- Recreational, educational and cultural initiatives
- School-work projects
- Projects with the disabled public
- Participation in regional and national educational projects
- Guided tours