Obres antigues de química i alquímia a les biblioteques espanyoles (Any Internacional Química 2011)

Amb motiu de l’Any Internacional de la Química -que ha tingut ressò en diferents institucions oficials espanyoles i catalanes com la UAB i la Biblioteca de Ciència i Tecnologia de la universitat– la  Unidad de Recursos de Información Científica para la Investigación y el Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica  presenten a  tota la comunitat científica el “Proyecto de digitalización de Obras antiguas de Química y Alquimia”, el qual s’ha basat en el: “Proyecto de Identificación de Obras Antiguas de Química y Alquimia en las Bibliotecas Españolas” desenvolupat per l’Instituto de Catálisis i Petroleoquímica.

La classificació temàtica dels fons antics relacionats amb les ciències té una problemàtica especial, ja que van ser escrites en èpoques anteriors a la definició de les diferents disciplines científiques tal i com les coneixem actualment. Per altra banda, aquest tipus de documentació es  caracteritza per incorporar en el mateix text materials de naturalesa diversa, la qual cosa fa encara més complex el procés d’atribució de matèries específiques. Aquesta situació afecta d’una manera especial a la química, on els títols es troben classificats sota un gran nombre de categories , cosa que dificulta tant l’ús i apreciació d’aquest valuós patrimoni bibliogràfic.

El fons antic conservat en les diferents biblioteques del CSIC, alberga un important nombre d’obres rellevants per a la història de la química impreses abans de 1830, la data que es pren generalment com a referència per separar el fons antic del modern. A partir dels documents inclosos en el catàleg en línia, s’han identificat fins ara prop de 700 obres amb un contingut químic rellevant, entre les quals predominen les impreses al segle XVIII, amb un 60% aproximadament del total. En quant a la seva localització, el 60% es troben a la biblioteca del Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales i la resta a la Biblioteca Historica Marques de Valdecilla de la UCM, la Biblioteca Nacional de España. Un cop identificades, es va procedir a la digitalització de la majoria d’elles, més de 400, que es conserven a la Xarxa de biblioteques del CSIC i identificades al seu catàleg.

El conjunt d’obres identificades ofereix un panorama molt complet de la història de la química, i constitueix una veritable guia a la història d’aquesta disciplina científica. A partir dels materials recopilats, podem seguir el procés de l’evolució de la química des de l’època de la alquímia, ben representada amb mig centenar d’obres impreses entre els segles XVI i XVIII, fins les primeres dècades del segle XIX, en què apareix ja amb els seus trets característics ben diferenciats. Hi trobarem entre elles les obres dels autors més destacats, al costat  d’altres als quals el temps ha relegat a un segon pla, lluny del reconeixement que els hi van prodigar els seus contemporanis. Podem seguir les acalorades disputes entre els partidaris dem la teoria del flogist defensada per Becher i els químics que, encapçalats Lavoisier, acabarien per assentar les bases de la química tal com l’entenem ara. A més de la seva utilitat com a instrument per conèixer què és i com funciona la natura, que està feta la matèria, la química ha estat sempre un vessant pràctic, amb una incidència directa en la vida material, i les obres que tracten sobre l’aplicació de la química a aspectes com la metal lúrgia, la farmàcia, l’agricultura, o la química tèxtil i de colorants, estan ben representades.

Entre les obres allotjades al portal i que destaquem per la nostra audiència:

Ortus sanitatis : De herbis et plantis, De Animalibus [et] reptilibus, De Auibus, et uolatibus, De Piscibus [et] natatilibus, De Lapidibus [et] in terre uenis nasce[n] tibus. De Urinis et ea[rum] speciebus / [Bartholomaeus Montagnana] ; Tabula medicinalis cum directorio generali per omnes tractatus.-[Argentinae, Estrasburgo : s.n., s.a.]. (Johannes Pruess, A. 21 octubre [1497].).  [Cataleg CSIC] – [Obra en línia] o la Materia Medicinal de la Nueva España de Francisco Hernández de Toledo (1576) entre altres matèries.

Accediu a aquest portal:

Portal PoQ  i el seu catàleg Obras antiguas de Química y Alquimia en las Bibliotecas Españolas. Per altres portals similars podeu visitar els enllaços que figuren al web del projecte.

The International Year of Chemistry 2011 –Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

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