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The Library

The Library of  the Italian Gold History museum  collects books, brochures and manuscripts concerning the natural  gold, the minerals that usually accompany it,  and the mining activities that concerned them, with particular regard to Italy.    The materials were collected during the fifty-year historical and exploration researches  of  dr. Giuseppe Pipino:  the “digressions”, sometimes only apparent, sometimes substantial, are due to his different interests and the need to know better the history and nature of some localities.

Considered that the objective was to have  handy, as much as possible,  materials to be  used for specific mining research, in addition to the originals were also collected photocopies of publications and documents, in libraries and archives not only Italian: to notice that today many of the originals are excluded from reproduction, while others are impossible to found, so the  recovered photocopies replace them and constitute rarities that go to enrich the rare original specimens, if not unique, owned by the Library.  For the same purpose it was preferred to extract what was interesting from books and magazines, sometimes even materially: for this reason most of used modern periodicals were not kept, except in the case of monographic numbers.

Sometimes the extracted publication is reduced to one page or even less, but it is the only interesting and available part regarding the treated subject.  Priority has been given to older publications, in which trying the sources of the usefull informations, and to get copies of them: lots of very recent publications have been neglected, because they reproduce trite data and, very often, provide incorrect bibliographical data, or do not take into account the previous, or intentionally upset them  in order to substantiate preconceived theses, i.e. the presumed sin-sedimentary origin of the ore deposits (see, BRIGO, FERRARIO, ZUFFARDI for Liguria, for Tuscany TANELLI for Tuscany, FIORI and companions for Sardinia ). And, speaking of the last two regions, the collection of the writings about “invisible gold”, of the same authors, was limited, being the publications countless repetitive or, in spite of  the previous theses, do not add much to previously dr. Pipino publications (1988, 1989) and carefully do not  admit their previous mistakes  and the priority of others' discoveries.   About that question, it is to remark the RIMIN further scam: the ephitermal gold informations by LEONARDELLI and SUARDI, are referred in date 1988, when it is well know that in the Castel Ivano (Trento) Workshop,  held in that years, the authors do not touch the argument, but it is added it in the “Extended Abstracts” pubblished in Rome without impriming year, that was later 1990’s.  In it there are quoted some publications of the same year (1990), but not the dr. Pipino  innovative ones (1988 and 1989), from which  the questioned datas were taken.

About  the  “Conventions for Basic Research” carried out by RIMIN on behalf of the Ministry of Industry, throughout Italy,  only few parts are kept, for comparison, having retained not useful to obtain copies of all the others, both for the enormous amount of documentation and their complete futility.  This things has to be made clear, because it happens to find mentioned some of them, as if they were serious researches.  Since 1984, in non-suspicious periods, dr. Pipino had to examine those relating to Calabria, Trentino and Southern Tuscany on behalf of COMINCO, which had been invited, by the Mine Ministry Direction, to propose more advanced applications, compared to those before presented by the Canadian company, because the preliminary geochemical phase would already have been carried out by the RIMIN:  a few insights were sufficient to prove that the location of the samples collected and analysed were far-fetched, and that the results of the chemical analyses did not correspond to the relative minerals.  The thing was recognized, for all the three interested areas, and the Mine Ministry had to retrace the steps (as it is evident in the official acts of the relative permissions, then obtained from COMINCO Italy).  In fact, the country explorations were carried out by students or recent graduates without experience, and the collected sample analyzed  in laboratories create too quickly by persons and entities related to RIMIN or  to other  ENI Group companies.  Later was recognized that the Basic Research carried out by RIMIN,  and the Operating ones carried out by other companies of the Group (SAMIM, AGIP Miniere, etc.), must be hide some deception, in  using the enormous use of public money, disproportionate compared to operations performed and results obtained:   this circumstances were publically reported  by dr. Pipino,  both by letters sent to interested persons and bodies, and through his publications (1989, 1992).  At the time was not yet emerged what should be well known to the staff,  that is, a large part of the resources allocated by the State to the ENI group, goes to political men and parties: everything came to light with the  “tangentopoli affair” and with the beginning of the “Mani Pulite” inquiry (1992), which led to the imprisonment  and  the suicide of the ENI president (1993).

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Much of the collected publications obviously concern Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta, our classic “auriferous regions”, and, for recent times, Southern Tuscany and Sardinia, that were discovers  auriferous regions following the dr. Pipino country explorations and his historical and bibliographic  searches.  And therefore these activities particularly interested the  Liguria region, they give rice to a very rich documentation for it.  However, the other Italian regions have not been neglected,  and all the possible informations  about the gold presence, even the most insignificant or abstruse too, were collected,  not disdaining all other materials of some interest recovered during the researches.

The abundance of archaeological publications is not random. They have been used to look for  links between the old mining-metallurgical activities with the ore resources: this is a subject that when dr. Pipino  started his career was completely neglected in Italy, because of the mistaken belief that our Country was poor if not completely devoid of metallic ores. The resources, instead, are diffused in great part of our Country, and if today do not offer any economic perspective, it has not always been so, enough to think that in the second half of the nineteenth century Italy was one of the biggest European producers of gold, copper, iron, manganese, mercury and pyrite.

Speaking about ancient times, it is necessary to consider the diffused gold placers, especially the terraced one’s, that were completely exploited by the ancient populations and by the Romans, as well as with an infinity of small sulphide ores, that today may appear insignificant, but  in ancient times, and even in a less remote past, they constituted decent sources of supply for silver, copper, iron and other metals with which to manufacture in place objects for which, almost always, the “Archaeology” looks for distant productions.

We must also consider the allumite deposits exploited for centuries to obtain alum, which also represented a primacy of our country and whose historical presence, completely forgotten, had directed  dr. Pipino towards the search for epithermal gold in the same contexts.

The collection of materials concerning foreign deposits, in addition to those explored personally, has obviously served for insights and comparisons.  Very useful have been, in particular, the studies on the gold placers,  in various parts of the world,  to trace back to the initial state of the gold-bearing terraces at the foot of the Alps,  and to understand the mining methods used in the past.

Furthermore, during the researches, it emerged an unknown involvement of Italian “diggers” and writers regarding gold  mining in various countries, beginning with Christopher Columbus, that we can well consider the first gold seeker of the New World.  Therefore it is logical the specific collection of  “Columbian” written,  and those of Italian authors dealing with gold mines in various parts of the world.  About these, it should be specify that some are not properly Italian, but almost: for example Nesbitt has Italian mother and lived much in Italy;  Strozzi was from the Swiss Canton Ticino;  Rolle is American, probably of Italian origin, and by the way his book speaks about Italian immigration into United States;  Dianda is German but of Italian origin, as he stated, in Italian,  in a television interview.

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Since the main purpose of the collection has been to have at hand, and to offer a tool of consultation as immediate as possible for specific searches, books and miscellaneous are ordered according to a thematic-geographic order.

The general alphabetical index of the authors allows to find these in the specific field, except the collectanea books, for which a summary index of the contents has been inserted, in appendix.

In the second appendix it is inserted the index of the complete series of “Newslewtter of the ILGGM” (International Liaison Group on Gold mineralization), the only periodical kept, both because it is complete and not bulky, and because of its particular adherence to the theme treated, both for the particular period of publication  (1985-2004), period that saw a great development of the gold mining activities, all over the word, following the high increase in the gold price.

The publications are listed according to a bibliographical citation scheme, so they can be found in other libraries,  when possible.

The distinction between the real books and the booklets included in the “miscellanea” is not so much based on the number of pages, more or less 50, but on the physical consistency and, above all, on the content.  In the miscellaneous were also inserted the Illustrative Notes of the geological maps, both because they are not so numerous to be worth in separate cataloguing, and because generally they are very misers in  mining informations.

Apart collectives those, reported with the title, the publications are indicated starting from the author’s surname, if not anonymous, followed by the name, in full or with the initial only, as it appears in the specimen possessed, without recourse to additions, which could be arbitrary.

In the case of several authors, up to a maximum of three all are reported; if  they are more, it was preferred to indicate only the first followed by et AL. (et alii) since many publications, even of a few pages, bear to much signatures.

The publication titles are set in italics. In the case they are a part of a volume, the titles of that one are write with quotation marks.  Follow, for the books, the editor, the city and the year of publication, when present, otherwise is highlighted the omission (s.ed., s.l., s.d.), sometime inserting, between brackets,  those presumed or known from other source.  Follow the pages numbers, quoting the eventual absence (s.n.p.),  and the  indications regarding tables,  figures or maps out of text, short listed  (tavv.., figg., c. f.t.).  

The “canonicals” extract from journals and cumulative publications, with covers and, sometimes, with the own pages numbering, are expressly indicated.  The Journal titles, as well as those of cumulative publications, conferences acts and exhibitions, are reported in quotation marks, generally in abbreviated form but easily resolvable: because the publications belong to different disciplines,  it was preferred not to use the codes of their own, difficult to solve for strangers: the Rivista Mineralogica Italiana, for example, that is auto-abbreviated in RMI, is indicated as “Riv. Min. It.”  Instead, the most famous SIM and SIMP codes have been retained, for the best known and widespread accounts of the “Società Italiana di Mineralogia”, which later became the “Società Italiana di Mineralogia e Petrologia”.  The abbreviation “Boll. Ass. Min. Sub.” indicates, obviously, the “Bollettino dell’Associazione Mineraria Subalpina”,  published at the Turin Polytechnic, but it must be specified that in recent years the acronym GEAM was added, for “Geologia Ambientale”, which ended up completely replacing the old title, following the collapse of interest in mining disciplines. The series of magazines is expressly indicated (s.) only when it appears on the extracted or in the head of the article; they follow, when present, the year and/or the volume number in Roman or Arabic numbers, as shown in the copy.  Follow the publication year, which often do not coincide with the year of printing, given the general chronic delay of  release,  the yearly number, when quoted, in Roman or Arabic, as quoted, and the page numbers.  It is indicated, in brackets, when it is  a photocopy.

Complete library in PDF.(for a more practical consultation) logopdf