Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma

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Central National Library of Rome
Biblioteca nazionale centrale di Roma.jpg

Way from Viale Castro Pretorio to the BNCR

founding March 14, 1876
Duration 7 million volumes
(as of December 2016)
Library type National Library
place Castro Pretorio , Rome
operator state
Website [1]
Palazzo del Collegio Romano, formerly the seat of the Bibliotheca Secreta and the BNCR, today the seat of the Ministry of Culture , to which the BNCR is subordinate

The Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma (BNCR) is a national library in Rome . Along with the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (BNCF) in Florence, it is one of the two central Italian national libraries . Both have the right to deposit copies . With an inventory of over seven million volumes, the BNCF is the second largest in Italy .

The BNCR is located in the Roman district of Castro Pretorio , at Viale Castro Pretorio 105 , at the metro station of the same name .


After the Kingdom of Italy emerged from the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in 1861 , Florence took over from Turin as the capital in 1865 . In Florence, the Biblioteca Magliabechiana had been merged with the Palatina to form the new national library in 1861 . When Rome in 1870 after the removal of the rest of the Papal States was declared the capital of Italy, the National Library did not move from Florence to Rome. Instead, a second national library was built in Rome from 1873. These two libraries have been called the "Central National Library" since 1885 in order to emphasize them compared to the other, lower-ranking Italian national libraries.

The National Library in Rome was opened on March 14, 1876 in the Palazzo del Collegio Romano , at the former seat of the Collegio Romano . In 1873, on the basis of a decree on the nationalization of church libraries, the holdings (45,000 volumes) of the Jesuits' Bibliotheca Secreta, founded in 1551, were taken over. In addition, there were the holdings of 69 nationalized convent libraries . At the same time, personnel were sent to support the neighboring, also nationalized Biblioteca Casanatense . For a certain period of time, the two libraries were not only connected in terms of administration, but also structurally through a transition.

From 1965 to 1975 a new library building was built on part of the barracks of the same name . An international-style building complex with exhibition and conference rooms and a ten-storey warehouse building was built on 50,000 square meters . After the turn of the millennium, the interior of the complex was extensively modernized.

For a long time the National Library in Rome was named after King Victor Emmanuel II . The name is no longer part of the official name.


While the library in Florence mainly collects the literature published in Italy, the library in Rome also acquires the media published abroad about Italy.

The BNCR describes its tasks as follows: "Collecting and preserving Italian literature, documenting the main foreign writings, especially those relating to our country, creating a national bibliographic service, disseminating and making available the existing collections."

Ten years after the first all-Italian library regulations of 1869, the BNCR was granted legal deposit in 1880. In order to do justice to the claim of literary diversity and completeness in the country together with the BNCF, it comprised all modern literature. As with the BNCF, the basis was the royal decree of 1885, which obliged the BNCR to publish the Bollettino delle opere moderne straniere (BOMS); a general catalog, which was supposed to keep current records of the foreign publications collected in the 37 most important Italian libraries. The catalog is now distributed in print. 400 copies are sent to state, municipal and provincial public libraries, university libraries and institutions and secondary schools within Italy. 125 copies of the catalog are distributed abroad. A CD-ROM version has also been available since 1999.


At the end of 2016, the BNCR had around seven million volumes, 50,000 periodicals (15,000 current), 2,000 incunabula , 8,000 manuscripts, 25,000 prints from the 16th century, 120,000 autographs , 20,000 maps, as well as university publications and drawings.

There are special collections such as Note, for example: the Giuseppe Ceccarelli (Ceccarius) collection; the Vittorio Emanuel and Ceccarius photographic archive; oriental special collections (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Slavic); a Roman department. The original works Zibaldone ( Giuseppe Gioachino Belli ), Vedute di Roma con scene di costume (Giacomo Macchiavelli), La Fontana dei Fiumi a Piazza Navona ( Caspar van Wittel ) and the Codex Statuta mercatorum urbis are particularly valuable .

In the inner city of Rome, the publicly accessible parliamentary library Polo bibliotecario parlamentare, together with the adjacent Biblioteca Casanatense, meanwhile rival the BNCR.


The BNCR is a library that is fully accessible to anyone over the age of 18. In addition to the national bibliography Bollettino delle opere moderne straniere , it offers other services for its users.

The inventory of the BNCR is recorded in various general and special catalogs. There are both systematic and alphabetical catalogs for monographs, periodicals, university publications, manuscripts, manuscripts, geographical maps and the special collections mentioned. All catalogs follow the rules of DDC or RICA and ISBD and were drawn up with the assistance of the Servizio Bibliotecario Nazionale (SBN).

All general and special catalogs are also available online. The BNCR OPAC , which was created together with the SBN, offers various search options: the basic search (by author, title, subject, keyword, etc.), the search for “modern” books (by author, title, publisher, subject, keyword etc.), the search for old stocks (by author, title, publisher, place of publication, keyword etc.) and the search for music fonts (by name, title, form etc.). The data record makes a linked search possible. Another offer by the BNCR is to list all electronic resources available within the library (catalogs, databases , CD-ROM, etc.) and thus make them accessible to the user.

The BNCR, like the BNCF, is affiliated with the Digital Library of Italy ( Biblioteca Digitale Italiana ). The international standard format UNIMARC applies to data exchange in the BNCR, as in the BNCF.

The BNCR is also an important point of contact for other bibliographic services. The Bibliographical Information Office, Centro Nazionale di Informazioni Bibliografiche , was set up in Rome in 1931, and since then it has published the INDEX Translationum , an international bibliography of translations , published by UNESCO . In the same year, under the responsibility of the BNCR, the Indice generale degli incunaboli (IGI) was published for the first time , the complete catalog of Italy's cradle prints covering the period from 1500 to 1900. In the course of this, a separate set of rules was drawn up for the inventory and cataloging of manuscripts and insignia. The Centro nazionale per lo studio del manoscritto (Center for Manuscript Studies) has been in Rome since 1989. It holds more than 100,000 microfilms of all manuscripts available in Italian public and private libraries.


  • Günther Näther: Librarianship in Italy. An introduction . Saur, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-598-10759-5

See also

Web links

Commons : Central National Library Rome  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

Coordinates: 41 ° 54 ′ 24.3 "  N , 12 ° 30 ′ 29"  E