There is very little literature about Mossotti's life, particularly for the years of his youth, so I mostly referred back to original documents and letters preserved in the Archive of State of Milan, the Archive of State of Pavia, the Library of the Observatory of Brera in Milan, the Library of the Politechnic in Milan and the Public Records Office in London. Most of the published material comes from the British Library, the Science Museum Library of London, the Library of the Museum of the Risorgimento in Milan and the Sormani Library in Milan.
I have listed all the documents I have consulted (but not necessarily referenced in this project) in the bibliography, dividing them into three categories. The references marked with an L (e.g. L13) are either published material or groups of manuscripts: for example, L15 indicates the whole box of letters labelled as cart. 146, fasc. 12 found under the catalogue Autografi at the Archive of State of Milan. The single manuscripts consulted are marked with an M (e.g. M10). References marked with an X stand for excerpts of material listed under ``L"; for every ``X" reference there is an indication of which book it comes from. For example, X6 is an article written by Mossotti published in a journal in 1818, and it comes from L21. I indicated with the sign ``NA" all those references that could not be ascribed to a single author, like for example the box of letters in the archives of state.
The most controversial sources for this period of Mossotti's life are the obituaries. Although they usually tend to be biased towards the exaltation of Mossotti, there are good chances that in stating facts that preceeded his fame these sources may be (up to a point) fairly reliable. There is, however, a number of discrepancies concerning some dates in the obituaries, mostly to do with the publication years of Mossotti's early works. According to Zanobi Bicchierai (X2), Mossotti published the paper Sul movimento di un fluido che sorte da un vase e della pressione che fa sulle pareti dello stesso in 1813; in Giovanni Codazza Commemoration (X1), the same work is dated 1814, whilst the Bibliography of the works of O. Mossotti, compiled in 1941 by the Brera Observatoire reports 1816. In a letter dated 22 August 1818 from de Cesaris to the Government (M17), the date for Mossotti's paper is 1814, and this seems to be the most likely date. Bicchierai mentions that Mossotti published in 1814 a paper Sopra un'elice che si scatta, whilst in the Bibliography of the works of O. Mossotti we find a paper published in 1820 named Sul movimento di un elice che si scatta. The anticipation of the publication dates of Mossotti's early works is probably a way of making it look as though his works were highly regarded from a very early age. This is not completely false: among his colleagues he was highly esteemed, and considered as an extremely valuable mathematician, but Bicchierai clearly overrates his fame.