(Remember to bring your passport when you go to the library)

Before going to the library, check the OPAC (National Library Service) at the internet address:

The service has been joined by many public and private libraries and it is quite reliable, at least for recent literature.

'Biblioteca di Archeologia e Storia dell'Arte' (area: Piazza Venezia – Via del Corso)  

Piazza Venezia, 3 -  00187 ROMA
Telefono (+39) 06/6780802 / 6789965 - Fax (+39) 06 6781167  - 

Opening hours: Mon.-Fri.8,30 - 19,30; Sat.9,30-13,00

(It contains 500.000 volumes; it is the most important Italian art history library in Rome. The library is housed in a XVth century historical building and it is easily reachable by bus. Many books are available on the shelves, so that you can help yourself and save a lot of time. Go to the library –first floor-, get your entry card by leaving your passport and leave your bags outside the reading room. Once you get into the library, go to the “sala cataloghi” where you can make your research on the online catalogue and on the “paper catalogue” (older books have not been included into the digital catalogue, so be prepared to handwritten fiches!). Look the codes corresponding to the book collocation and check if the book you need is available or if it is necessary to ask it at the “distribution desk” or “distribuzione”. In this case you will be asked to fill a form. Books are given within an average time of 20 minutes, but the service stops during lunch time. It is possible to ask for photocopies, but you have to fill a form which must be subscribed by a library officer, then you have to order and to pay the photocopies near the distribution desk. Magazines can be consulted downstairs in the “sala periodici”: you can make only three requests per day. Bring your entry card when you move from a room to another).

‘American Academy in Rome’ (area: Gianicolo)

Via Angelo Masina 5 - 00153 Roma - Tel.: 06/58461 - Internet site: 

(It contains over 130,000 volumes in the fields of Classical studies and the history of art. The access is generally restricted to graduate students with a letter of their professor. But you can try…)

'Bibliotheek van het Nederlands Instituut te Rome' (area: Villa Borghese – Galleria Naz. d’Arte Moderna)

Open from Monday to Friday 9,30-12,30 and 13,30-16.30

Via Omero 10/12 - 00197 Roma - Tel.: 06.32696232.

Internet site:
Telnet: Library code: NIR.

(Small library, but very quite, comfortable and “easy”. Many volumes in the fields of Classical studies and the history of art).

‘Bibliotheca Hertziana’ (Max Plank Institute) (area: Piazza di Spagna – Trinità dei Monti)

The library is actually closed for an extended period, but you can make research on the online catalogue at the internet address:

‘Photographic Collection of the Bibliotheca Hertziana” (open)
Via Gregoriana 22 - 00187 Rome

Opening Hours: Mon.- Fri. 9 - 19 h; Sat. 9 - 13 h (Fri. 3rd Oct 2003 closed)

(contains about 80.000 photographs of approximately 40.000 objects)

‘Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma’ (area: Stazione Termini –  not far from Università “La Sapienza”)

Viale Castro Pretorio, 105 - 00185 - Roma
Tel. +39 0649891

Open from Monday to Friday 8,30-19,00 and Saturday 8,30-13,30

Internet Site:

Art and Archeology Section:
Tel. +390649891 -  Fax +39064457635 - E-mail

(Basically, this library is a nightmare. It is a huge building, with a huge “general” collection and some special sections (including an art history section). The real problem is the distribution of books, which can take more than 30 minutes. Except for some special sections, all books must be required by filling a form at the distribution desk. You can make photocopies on your own, which is of course very practical. There is a cafeteria inside).

How to get to the library:

By Tube: line B, Castro Pretorio Station; By Bus: 75, 310, 492, 649.


Other “historical libraries”, not specialized in the field of art history:

Biblioteca di Storia Moderna e Contemporanea (area: Piazza Venezia – Torre Argentina)

Via M. Caetani, 32 – 00186 Roma

Tel. 066828171 – Email:

Open Mon-Fri. 8,30-19,30 – Sat. 8,30-13,30

Internet site:

(it contains more than 350.000 volumes, mainly in the field of modern and contemporary history)

 Biblioteca Casanatense (area: Piazza Venezia)

N.B. only a few number of readers are actually allowed to enter the library

Via Sant’Ignazio, 2 – 00186 Roma

Telephone: 06-6976031

Open Mon-Fri. 8,00-19,00; Sat. 8,00-13,30

Internet site:

 Biblioteca Vallicelliana (area: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II – Torre Argentina)

Piazza della Chiesa Nuova, 18 – Roma

Open Mon. Fri. Sat.: 8,15-13,30; Tue Wen. Thur. 8,15-19,15

Info at:

Internet site:

Biblioteca Angelica (area: Piazza Navona - Pantheon)

Piazza Sant’Agostino, 8 - Roma

Open: Mon.-Fri. 8,30-18,30; Sat. 8,30-13,30

Telephone: 06/6868041-6875874-6873967
Fax :06/6832312

Internet site:

(It contains more than 200.000 volumes, of which about 100.000 ancient books, from XVth to XVIIIth century)

 Biblioteca Corsiniana (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei)

via della Lungara, 10 - 00165 ROMA

Tel. 06/68027239-06/6861983 - fax 06/6877195

(huge collections of manuscripts and old printed books; the library is housed in the historical Palazzo Corsini, seat of the most important cultural Italian institution, the Accademia dei Lincei. In the same palace is also the Galleria Corsini, containing works by Caravaggio, Poussin, Salvator Rosa, etc.; in front of the Palace is the famous XVIth century Villa Farnesina, decorated by Raffaello and his followers)

 Biblioteca della Fondazione M. Besso

Largo di Torre Argentina, 11 - 00186 ROMA

Tel. 06/6865611 - fax 06/68216313

Intenet Site:

(it contains about 60.000 volumes)