On this page, we are showing interactive 3-D models reproducing some of the volumes stored on the shelves of the Historical Archive of INAF Astronomical Observatory of Palermo. In order to reproduce these objects, we used the technique of texturing, a methodology of graphic design, with which a primitive shape modelled in 3D is added to a texture taken by object scans, or by high-resolution photography.

For the texturing process, we used black-and-white photos and volume scans. The images obtained were processed with Photoshop and textures were uploaded and mapped using the software Cinema 4D to refine the object.


Volume by Giuseppe Piazzi “Della Specola Astronomica Dei Regi Studi di Palermo”[About the Astronomical Museum of Palermo Royal Studies] (1792)

This is a 3D model of a book kept at the INAF Observatory of Capodimonte, Naples. The model is interactive. By clicking on the various numbers, information will appear about the volume and its state of conservation.


Animated Model of the “Atlas céleste de Flamstéed”, 1776

This is the 3D model of a volume kept at INAF – Astronomical Observatory of Palermo. Inside it, we can see a detail: the ex libris of Giuseppe Piazzi, the first director of the Observatory, from 1790 to 1826.


Volume by Angelo Secchi “Le soleil, 1875-1877

In this book, Angelo Secchi presents the results of his studies, thus helping to increase the knowledge of the chemical-physical nature of the Sun.

These 3D models were realized by Laura Leonardi (INAF Astronomical Observatory of Palermo) within the project “Research and development of new modes and strategies of scientific communication through ICT in a research institute: 3D-modelling, augmented reality, virtual reality” 2019-2020, later published as part of the PRIN INAF project “Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for Science, Education and Outreach” 2021-2024.