Merli was a writer, historian, deputy in two legislatures (V and VI), president of the parliamentary committee on the problem of water, and is known for lending his name to the first anti-pollution law, no. 319, which was discussed and approved in 1976 and is still in force. Merli was one of the closest collaborators of President of the Republic of Italy Giovanni Gronchi and headed his press office. Promoter of the earliest initiatives on protecting the environment, when the eutrophication emergency struck and the Autorità dell’Adriatico (Adriatic Authority) was constituted, Merli became secretary, providing important information on the infrastructure and on projects to protect the coast and the sea. After having withdrawn from political life, he was deeply involved in historic research. He founded and directed, among other things “Quaderni di storia e cultura sociale”, publishing numerous studies on parliamentary history. In the last months of his life, he promoted a national committee for the recovery of submerged cultural heritage, launching collaboration projects throughout the Mediterranean area. He also founded the environmental association Movimento Azzurro.

The collection includes 4,744 SBN catalogued monographic publications.

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