Italian resources

3. Resources in the rest of the world

3.3 libraries

National libraries with resources relevant for Italian studies

Biblioteca Nacional in Portugal

Biblioteca Nacional in Spain

Bibliothèque Nationale in France

Library of Congress in the United States

Bibliothèque Nationale Suisse in Switzerland

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Austria

University and specialized libraries

The Houghton Library, Harvard University

University of Austin Texas Library

Robarts Library in Canada
The John P. Robarts Library houses the social sciences and humanities research resources. The Robarts Library complex is also home to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, whose collections include the:

  • Italian Play Collection (a large collection of Italian plays, with particular emphasis on the Renaissance period)
  • Libretti Collection (approximately 4000 works, primarily in Italian, first performed after 1815)
  • Rime Collection (lyric anthologies of Italian poetry, or collections of poems by one author)

Sheridan Libraries of the Johns Hopkins University
These hold a treasure trove of rare books including incunabula, medieval manuscripts, fine press books, historical manuscript collections, and other special materials.

J.R. Ritman Library - Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica
This collection offers a wealth of information for the study of the Hermetic tradition, which has
exerted a notable influence over the past 2000 years, for instance in 2nd-century Alexandria (Gnostic movements), in the 13th century (European mysticism), in the second half of the 15th century in Italy (revival of interest in Hermetic philosophy) and in the first half of the 17th century in Germany (Rosicrucians and theosophical movements).

Getty Research Institute Library
The library consists of approximately 800,000 volumes of books, serials, and auction catalogues. The special collections encompass rare books, historical photographs, and original archival materials for the study of visual arts and culture. The photo study collection, which contains approximately two million study photographs, documents works of fine and decorative arts and architecture from the ancient world through to the 20th century. Materials concerning French, German, Russian, Italian, and American avant-garde (e.g. Futurism) are a special strength.

James Ford Bell Library 
The James Ford Bell Library is a collection of 20,000 rare books, 2500 maps, and 2500 manuscripts from the period 1400-1800, documenting the expansion of Europe. Books by merchants, travellers, explorers, missionaries, and colonists record their experiences in their own words. Emphasis is placed on the books, manuscripts, and maps that relate to the origin and development of international trade.

The Harvard College Library
The Italian collection is among the richest in the world and is closely tied in with library collections elsewhere in the Harvard system (including the Biblioteca Berenson at Villa 'I Tatti' in Florence).