Printed works

The Library possesses approximately 850,000 volumes and booklets. The original nucleus of the collections is composed of convent library book funds that were acquired by the Municipal Government of Bologna after the suppression of the religious congregations. The Library has been continuously enriched over the ages through acquisitions and donations. Among the monographs, about 2,500 15th century editions (incunabula) and approximately 15,000 16th century editions deserve special mention.
The section dedicated to periodicals is composed of 7,500 titles, of which over 1300 are in print.


The Library houses noteworthy manuscript collections dating from the 10th century to the present (in particular, the 16th-19th centuries). The collections are primarily of documentary, historical and textual interest but also include pieces of noteworthy bibliophilic rarity and artistic and antiquarian value.
The original nucleus, which came from the libraries of the religious congregations that were suppressed during the Napoleonic Age, has grown over the ages thanks to acquisitions and the donations of learned collectors and personages in Bologna.

The material is divided into 4 sections:
A manuscripts: approximately 3,000 manuscripts from every time period, and of every language and subject, not directly relating to Bologna.
B manuscripts: roughly 5,000 manuscripts pertaining to Bolognese history, culture and life.
Gozzadini manuscripts: 445 manuscripts with topics that mainly concern Bologna and are part of the bequest made by the Count and Senator Giovanni Gozzadini.
Special Funds: approximately 260 archives, collections of letters and special collections (for a total of about 5,500 pieces) chiefly concerning families, personages and subjects related to Bologna.
Drawings and prints

The collection is composed of thousands of drawings and prints that are especially significant in the study of Bologna's iconography, art and history.

The collection is composed of thousands of drawings and prints that are especially significant in the study of Bologna's iconography, art and history.

Palagi Collection
3,949 drawings by this Bolognese artist and collector acquired by the Archiginnasio in 1861

Collection of Drawings from Various Artists
approximately 2,300 pieces from various artists and of different subjects, from the 16th-19th centuries, many of which are rare and valuable

Collection of Prints by Subject, 17th-19th centuries
5,500 pieces divided according to subject: architecture, landscapes, archeology, funerary monuments, religious subjects, feasts and theatrical scenes, etchings from paintings, events and history, mythology, the Duomo of Orvieto, business cards, subjects, lithographs, panoramas of Bologna

Collection of Prints of Various Artists, 16th-19th centuries
roughly 6,500 pieces, many of which are of great historical-artistic value

Gozzadini Collection
3,500 pieces gathered in 53 portfolios: prints, loose or bound, and drawings that mainly concern local history, art and architecture. The collection is a bequest of the senator Giovanni Gozzadini

"Antolini" Portfolio
33 nuclei of architectural documentation pertaining to buildings in Bologna (164 drawings)

256 maps of the city of Bologna and 60 of the city's territory from the 16th-20th centuries, and 2,055 various maps

Portrait Collection
14,900 portraits of famous people (mostly from Bologna) executed with different techniques (drawings, etchings, lithographs, photographs) from the 16th-20th centuries

over 1,400 specimens: the original nucleus dates back to the first decades of the 20th century


The collection consists of photographs from the origins of photographic art (mid-19th century) up to the early decades of the 20th century. The collection is composed of hundreds of pieces that pertain to the following subjects: photos relating to the city of Bologna: panoramas, public works, ceremonies, historic events, municipal services photos and panoramas that are not of Bologna reproductions of the historical-artistic and literary patrimony archeological documentation portraits scientific, industrial and commercial activities the army, wars and colonies.

Archiweb - The Digital Library of the Archiginnasio

Archiginnasio Digital Library, involves more than 40 digital collections for a total of around 1,500,000 images focused mainly on the history of Bologna: books, journals, archival documents, manuscripts, announcements, photographs, printed material, museum objects.
Archiweb - The Digital Library

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