Cultural institutions in Italy

Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento Italiano - Turin
This is one of the best libraries for Italian political and social history between the end of the 18th century and the First World War. It has 137,000 books and pamphlets, including the complete collection of the 'Atti del Parlamento Subalpino e Italiano' from 1848 onwards, and 950 different periodicals. The archive, in turn, contains manuscripts (e.g. by Camillo Cavour, Massimo D'Azeglio, Giuseppe Mazzini and Silvio Pellico), posters (a special collection is devoted to the Roman Republic of 1849), edicts and proclamations from 17th to 20th century. The Grandi collection, on Mazzini's thought, is worth mentioning for its completeness.

Centro Studi Piero Gobetti - Turin
Founded in 1961, its library specializes in 20th-century history and politics and has more than 50,000 titles. The newspaper library holds 3800 periodicals. Besides Piero Gobetti and Ada Prospero's libraries, it also has part of the libraries of Franco Antonicelli and Norberto Bobbio. The historic archive includes Piero and Ada Gobetti's documents, several collections regarding 20th-century history and the labour movement.

Archivio Doria - Centro di Studio e Documentazione di Storia Economica
This is a research and documentation centre for economic history in Genoa and holds documents and account books, dating from the 16th to 20th century, on the economic history of the city of Genoa.

Accademia dei Concordi in Rovigo
Founded in the 16th century as a salon, the Accademia dei Concordi is now a primary resource for Rovigo history. Its library holds maps, archives and manuscripts, including some important Bibles and rabbinical texts, as well as a more generalized collection. The Accademia is open to researchers.

Fondazione Arnoldo e Alberto Mondadori
This foundation owns one of the most important archives on the history of publishing in Italy in the 20th century. The 'Fondo Pareri di Lettura' (collection of reviewers' opinions) is worth mentioning.

Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli - Milano
This archive is mainly devoted to the history of socialist and labour movements of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Istituto Lombardo Accademia di Scienze e Lettere
The institute has a library preserving more than 400,000 volumes. Besides several incunabula and cinquecentine, it holds more than 2600 periodicals. The institute also owns an archive, which preserves manuscripts and documents regarding personalities such as Carlo Amoretti, Carlo Cattaneo, Giovanni Gherardini, Pietro Giordani, Pio Rajna and Carlo Salvioni. It also holds a large collection of manuscripts by Alessandro Volta.

Fondazione Luigi Micheletti - Brescia
Its collection of 45,000 volumes specializes in contemporary history. A newspaper and a photographic library are attached to the main library. The foundation also owns an archive devoted to 20th-century political and social movements.

Olivetti Library and Archive
One of the main collections of the library are the books published by Edizioni di Comunità (the publishing house founded by Adriano Olivetti and one of Italy's most important publishing houses in the postwar period). Another section of the library is dedicated to advertising, industrial design, architecture, town planning and organization of labour. Olivetti's major cultural projects and art events are the subject of the collection of Exhibition Catalogues and Restoration Notebooks series. The archive is composed of

  • a Media Archive, comprising a series of sections for general reference and research
  • a People Archive, containing material on the key entrepreneurial figures in the Olivetti family
  • an Olivetti Company Archive, collecting documents produced by the various Olivetti companies, centres, divisions and departments
  • an Archive of Personalities associated with Olivetti

Accademia Roveretana degli Agiati - Rovereto (Trento)
Founded in 1750 as an intellectual hub for the area, the Accademia Roveretana has since the 19th century been actively promoting culture by organizing conferences, exhibitions, etc. It has a rich archive and library, as well as a collection of works of art. Researchers are welcome.

Fondazione Querini Stampalia
The library holds about 300,0000 volumes (32,000 on open shelves), 1200 manuscripts, 97 incunabula, 4000 periodicals (500 of them current), 2634 etchings, 355 maps and, above all, 100 boxes belonging to the Querini Stampalia Archive which include rare incunabula and about 1600 cinquecentine.

Fondazione Giorgio Cini - Venice
The library holds more than 140,000 volumes from the private collections of intellectuals such as G. Fiocco, R. Gallo, R. van Marle, A. Dudan, A. Muñoz, A. Salvadori, G. Bertini Calosso. It is mainly devoted to the history of art. The foundation's archive holds numerous collections devoted mainly to the history of music, opera and theatre, such as the collections named after Respighi, Malipiero, Casella, Rota, Togni, Milloss, Chilesotti, Rudge, Boito, Sartori, Duse and Rolandi. It also has an important collection of cinquecentine.

Accademia di Agricoltura Scienze e Lettere di Verona
Its archive, dating from 1768, contains thousands of letters, posters, memoirs and maps. The library, in turn, holds 25,000 monographs, 828 periodicals, 359 boxes of pamphlets and 395 boxes of manuscripts, 118 cinquecentine, 1200 prints and 1360 photographs and postcards and 63 maps. The collections of history of art and natural sciences are especially notable.

Accademia Galileiana di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti - Padua
Its library specializes in periodicals and the academic proceedings of more than 200 foreign and Italian academies. It also holds the library of the disbanded Accademia veneto-trentino-istriana.

Accademia Nazionale di Scienze Lettere ed Arti di Modena. Già Accademia dei Dissonanti
Its library, holding more than 130,000 items, is composed of two sections: a collection of works and pamphlets donated by its members, and a collection of periodicals received from other academies from the 19th century on. The archive belonged to scientist Paolo Ruffini. It is therefore mainly devoted to medical and mathematical material.

Istituto Gramsci Emilia-Romagna
This institute holds different collections concerning political activity and social life in Italy in the 20th century, including the archive of the cooperative society of workers in Budrio (1884-1961), the minutes of the CLN (National Liberation Committee) of Emilia-Romagna (1945-1946) and the archive of the provincial federation of the Communist party (1945-1991).

Accademia La Colombaria - Florence
The Academy possesses about 25,000 volumes: it is worth noting the 1071 volumes that remain of the old 'Colombaria' site and the legacy of part of Giacomo Devoto's library (1975) that also includes 9115 miscellaneous pieces.

Accademia della Crusca - Florence
Its collections are mainly devoted to the history of language and linguistics. It has about 100,000 volumes, 500 periodicals (200 of them current), 1067 cinquecentine, 42 incunabula, and 147 manuscripts. To gain entry, students need to produce a letter signed by their supervisor.

Gabinetto Scientifico-Letterario 'G. P. Vieusseux' - Florence
This acted as a bridge between Italian and European culture in the 19th century. Its library holds 300,000 books in Italian, French, English and German, mainly devoted to travel literature, 19th- and 20th-century history and biographical works. It also has 2700 periodical titles in several languages, 350 of which are current. Its archive, in turn, holds 130 collections including more than 500,000 documents and 50,000 volumes, focusing mainly on contemporary personalities in the fields of literature, music, theatre, architecture, painting and photography.

Accademia dei Rozzi - Siena
Its archive contains 2,500 publications, including extensive materials on the theatre and the history of the academy.

Accademia Petrarca - Arezzo
The library holds 15,000 works, including the former library of Francesco Redi as well as numerous incunabula and cinquecentine. It also preserves the Passerini Dantean library.

Archivio Storico Istituto Nazionale per la Storia del Movimento di Liberazione in Italia - Milan
This website gives access to the catalogues of INSMLI historical archives.

Accademia dei Lincei in Rome
Its library is composed of three main sections:

  • Corsiniana - the former library of the Corsini family, including a large collection of manuscripts
  • Accademica - containing the publications of the academy itself and of other academies with which the Accademia dei Lincei is in contact
  • Orientale - specializing in Arabic and Islamic studies
  • Collections worth mentioning include:
    - the Ersilia Lovatelli collection, of archaeological interest
    - the Levi-Civita collection, of mathematical interest
    - the Verginelli Rota collection, preserving ancient hermetic texts
    - the Gabrieli collection for Arabic studies

Istituto Treccani - Rome
This was the reference library for the compilers of the Treccani Encyclopaedia. Its collections (which include 110,000 volumes) are largely of general-interest, but they have 900 periodical titles, 600 of which are current, and a collection of dictionaries and encyclopedias dating back to the 16th century.

Library and Archive of RAI - Rome
This site provides a large amount of online video- audio- and photo-material, as well as papers and publications concerning activities and broadcasts of Italian state TV since its foundation in 1954.

IRTEM - Istituto di Ricerca per il Teatro Musicale - Rome
Besides holding 3700 reference volumes specializing in the fields of discography and videography, IRTEM has a collection of musical scores consisting of approximately 700 volumes, including the complete works of Goffredo Petrassi, Ennio Morricone and Franco Mannino. A separate section is dedicated to a unique collection of 2200 programme-booklets (theatrical performances and concert programmes). IRTEM also has an archive composed of two major sections:

  • the Contemporary Music Sound Archive, a collection that consists of approximately 6900 contemporary music recordings on LP, CD, MC and DAT
  • the Videoarchive of Opera and Ballet, consisting of approximately 1400 items (VHS, CDV, and DVD)

Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia - Rome
Founded in 1878, its library holds 110,000 volumes, 30 different periodical titles, 6000 manuscripts, and 2 incunabula. With its 1000 manuscripts and 2000 publications of vocal music from the 17th to the 19th century, the Fondo Mario is worth highlighting. The archive also has a photographic, a music and ethnomusicology section. The Academy also holds an historic archive, composed of two sections:

  • the ancient section (1600-1870), which includes congregational registers and stocktaking records
  • the modern section (1870-today), which preserves all documents regarding the concert activity of the academy

Fondazione Gramsci - Rome
The archive is composed of 4 major collections:

  • the historic archive of the Italian Communist Party from its foundation in 1921 to its dissolution in 1991
  • the historical archive for women 'Camilla Ravera'
  • the Sibilla Aleramo Archive
  • the Luchino Visconti Archive

Archivio 68
This is a collection of bibliographic and documentary material regarding the history of social and political movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

Circolo Gianni Bosio - Rome
This is a cultural association for the preservation of culture, memory, oral, and musical expressiveness of non-hegemonic classes and the popular world.

Società Napoletana di Storia Patria
With 300,000 volumes and 3000 periodicals and pamphlets, its library is the largest of the country specializing in the history and culture of Southern Italy.

Accademia Pontaniana
Its collections are subdivided into:

  • Proceedings of the Academy from 1825 onwards
  • Angevin registers and Aragonese sources
  • Torraca library of Italian literature
  • 19th century collection
  • Proceedings of other academies

Accademia Cosentina - Cosenza
Its library is one of the most important of Southern Italy. It preserves 200,000 volumes, with a large collection on Calabria, more than 60 incunabula, 16th-century illuminated chorales and manuscripts dating from the 16th to the 18th century. At the moment there is no official website, but you can find news about the Accademia on the Comune di Cosenza website.

Centro Studi Feliciano Rossitto - Ragusa
The library has a rich historical section, particularly of contemporary history, a literary section of poetry and fiction, economy, ethnology, school, pedagogy, science, philosophy and non-fiction. The archives are particularly important for the evolution of the political and union world that marked the history of Sicily and cover the years between the Italian Unification and the second post-war period.

Istituto di Formazione politica 'Pedro Arrupe'
This holds a specialized subject library whose collections mainly cover sociology, political sciences, economics, law, ethics and social work. Besides major reference works, it has 607 current periodical publications and the complete collection of ISTAT (National Institute of Statistics) publications since 1972: censuses, yearbooks and bulletins.