The “Società dei Naturalisti” was founded in 1865 by a group of scholars – nearly all of them university teachers – with the specific purpose of promoting the study of Natural History, in particular in the territory of Modena and surrounding areas. In 1899, it adopted the name still in use to date of “Società dei Naturalisti e Matematici di Modena”, further widening the horizon of scientific interests which has always favoured the contacts between scientists and researchers and the dissemination of scientific culture at all levels, for well-balanced civic growth.

The original Statute of the Society describes in detail the means for attaining the social purposes, which were reaffirmed in the successive statutes of 1905, 1928, 1948, 1974, which led to legal recognition of the Society. Finally, in 1998, new additions were necessary in order to uniform the statute to the legislative norms concerning the non-profit associations.

The Society pursues the statutory goals mainly by publishing a scientific journal, originally named simply “Annuario”, and now “Atti della Società dei Naturalisti e Matematici di Modena”. So far, this journal has published 147 volumes out of 151 years of the Society, containing reports, news and information regarding management, administrative life and initiatives organized every year, such as conferences or guided tours to museums and places of particular natural interest. The most qualifying part of this journal, however, is the collection of scientific articles presented by members and other scientists.

The present editorial format of this review goes back to 1896 and, since volume 79 of 1948, it shows on the cover the logo of the Society, which is taken from the illuminated Bible of Borso d’Este. It was realized by professor Benvenuto Boccolari and adopted as the seal of the association by professor Luigi Musajo.

For the future, the purpose of our Society is to maintain and strengthen the relationships between university scholars and various associations, which pursue scientific interests, as well as museums and libraries. Our Society aims also to enrich the book heritage of its own Library by exchanging the issues of our journal with the publications from other Italian and international scientific institutions. In addition, it promotes relationships with agencies which operate on the local territory for the conservation of natural environments and organizes cultural activities aimed at making young people aware of the topics concerning nature.

These intentions have been carried forward by our Society since its very foundation and have been pursued by all its leaders.