BorGal is a project designed and coordinated by Federica Favino, in collaboration with Stanford Center for Spatial and textual Analysis (CESTA) and with the technical assistance of Lab1100. BorGal focuses on the Italian physiologist, physicist, and mathematician Giovanni Alfonso Borelli (1608-1679), a leading figure among the natural philosophers belonging to ‘Galileo’s school’. He was the only one of his generation to adapt Galileo’s methodology – that is experimental practice along with a mechanistic and geometrical epistemic model – to the different branches of scientific research; like Galileo’s, his experimentalism was based on a strong theoretical and even ‘ideological’ approach.

BorGal aims at emphasizing Borelli’s role in the making of European scientific thought and community, by taking advantage of his still scattered correspondence.

We have been working at recovering this corpus by merging metadata on published and unpublished letters, as well as on the epistles known only indirectly, and by processing the data they provide through Digital Humanities tools.

Our final goal is to map, chart, ‘heuristically’ visualize and provide open access for scholars and the general public to the multi-layered and spatial dimensions of ‘Borelli’s galaxy’ (places, people, works, letters, instruments, objects, information…), as well as to the way ‘Galileo’s heritage’ took shape while circulating across the ‘Republic of Letters.