Vol. 121, No. 1 (Supplement) 2016
Supplement abstract

The original slides of Camillo Golgi

Published 2017-10-06


  • History of neuroscience,
  • Camillo Golgi

How to Cite

Bentivoglio, M., Ferrari, S., Laperchia, C., Fabene, P. F., Berzero, A., & Mazzarello, P. (2017). The original slides of Camillo Golgi. Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 121(1), 12. Retrieved from https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/ijae/article/view/2150


As it is well known, Camillo Golgi (1843-1926) reported in 1873 his discovery of the black reaction (reazione nera), based on nervous tissue hardening in potassium dichromate and impregnation with silver nitrate. This method first revealed neurons, including their processes, in their entirety, thus providing the tool for a breakthrough in the knowledge on the structure of the nervous system. Professor of Histology and of General Pathology, Camillo Golgi worked for decades at the University of Pavia, leading a very active laboratory. Most of the original histological preparations of Golgi’s laboratory have unfortunately been lost. However, some slides are still kept at the Museum of the University of Pavia (“Sistema Museale di Ateneo”) but they have not been examined in detail until now. This presentation will provide an account of Golgi’s original slides available nowadays. Images from these preparations (e.g. from the hippocampus, cerebellum, and spinal cord), mostly based on Golgi impregnation, will be shown and compared with Golgi’s drawings and his descriptions of neuronal wiring. The presentation is thus aimed at showing, for the first time, the images which have led to the pioneering observations made by Camillo Golgi, which have opened the field of neurohistology and neuroanatomy and have contributed to the foundations of modern neuroscience.