Drawings, prints, photographs and postcards

The collection of the Drawings and Prints Private Room is composed by thousands of drawings, prints and photographs that have a particular importance for the study of the Bolognese iconography, of the artistic life and the history of the city.

cover of Drawings, prints, photographs and postcards

The Palagi collection
About 4,000 drawings by the Bolognese artist and collector Pelagio Pleagi (1775- 1860) arrived in 1861 at the Archiginnasio, that preserves also his Archive.

The collection of drawings by various authors
About 2,500 drawings by various authors and different subjects, from the 16th to the 19th century.

The "Antolini" file
30 codes of architectural documentation of the first half of the 19th century, which had been collected by the architect Filippo Antolini (1787, Rome - 1858, Bologna) and concerning the Bolognese buildings.

Collections of prints according to subject
About 6,000 prints (17th - 21th centuries) that are divided according to subject: architecture, landscapes, archaeology, memorials, religious figures, festivals and theatrical scenes, engravings from paintings, chronicle and history, mythology, the cathedral of Orvieto, business cards, miscellaneous, lithographs, maps.

Collections of prints by various authors
About 6,500 works (16th - 19th centuries), many of which are of particular historical-artistic value.

The Gozzadini collection
About 3,500 works (16th - 19th centuries) collected in 53 files, most of which refer to local history, art and architecture. They come from the bequest of the Senator Giovanni Gozzadini which arrived in 1902 together with the rich Library. The collection includes loose prints (1320) or in volumes (26), and loose drawings (1543) or bound in albums (8) and about 500 photographs.

More than 250 maps of the city of Bologna and about 100 maps of the Bolognese territory from the sixteenth to the twentieth century..

About 14,000 portraits of illustrious men, many of whom are Bolognese. They were made by using different techniques (drawing, engraving, lithography, photography) from the 16th to the 21th century.

Ex libris
More than 1,600 exemplars: the oldest core dates back to the first decades of the twentieth century.

About 1,400 postcards from the first decades of the 20th century, with views, monuments and works of art.

The collection includes photographs taken from the beginning of the photographic technique (mid-nineteenth century) of the following subjects:

  • Bologna (about 2.000)
  • Distruzioni belliche e restauri (355)
  • Ventennio 1920-1940 (746)
  • Paesaggi e vedute non bolognesi (about 900)
  • Riproduzioni del patrimonio storico-artistico e letterario (about 1.000)
  • Archeologia (about 300)
  • Attività scientifiche, industriali e commerciali (about 300)
  • Esercito, guerre, colonie (about 200)
  • Ritratti (about 1000)

The iconographic material external to the Drawings and Prints Exhibition Room
Series of prints or volumes richly illustrated by the engravings, received by the library at different times, have been placed on the shelves of the rooms to which they belonged, according to the order by subject inaugurated by Luigi Frati in 1858.
The greatest concentration of engravings in volumes is in room 18, dedicated to the Archaeology and Fine Arts, then in room 17, which contains the "Country History or collection of works of Bolognese writers which concern Bologna", and in room 16, where the director Albano Sorbelli managed to arrange manuscripts, incunabula and other rare editions in 1939.

The reproductions of the iconographic material of the Drawings and Prints Private Room can be consulted in the Manuscripts Hall.