Per piacer di porle in lista, or Random thoughts on some catalogues of scientific libraries in the 19th century

The organisation of the catalogues in three ancient scientific grandes écoles, the School of Bridges and Highways (founded in 1742), the School of Mining (founded in 1783), and the School of Science and Technology (founded in 1794), tells us about the disciplines taught in each establishment and the relative position of each of them. Mathematics is present in all of them, but during the 19th century a more "exact science" approach becomes apparent at the School of Science and Technology, and more of an "applied science" approach at the School of Mining and at the School of Bridges and Highways. And in spite of making a start on standardisation of bibliographic records, at the end of the 19th century, catalogues remain very specific, both in the classifications adopted and in the usage planned for them, according to the nature of the information given. They show a hierarchical mapping of knowledge, different for each school, because it is determined empirically.