Ajaccio City Library

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Ajaccio City Library

The Ajaccio City Library ( French La Bibliothèque Municipale d'Ajaccio ) is a library in Ajaccio , the capital of the island of Corsica .


It is located in the north wing of Palais Fesch in downtown Ajaccio, north of the old town on Rue Cardinal Fesch .

Design and history

It was founded in 1801 by the French Minister of the Interior, Lucien Bonaparte , who sent 12,310 volumes to Corsica from the libraries of Parisian religious orders and the royal residences of Meudon and Marly . In terms of content, these volumes primarily comprised historical treatises but also theological texts and stories. Initially, the library was housed in the Jesuit monastery Ajaccio . Later, 8,130 volumes on historical, scientific, artistic and theological topics from the collection of Cardinal Joseph Fesch as well as various other donations were added. Roland Bonaparte donated 5,000 volumes in 1888, and the Corsican tax officer Louis Campi bequeathed 557 volumes from the 17th to 19th centuries on Corsican history to the library.

The library was then moved to its current location. The renovation work in the palace took place between 1858 and 1862 under the direction of the architects Jean Caseneuve and Jêrome Maglioli . It was originally intended to operate the library as part of the Fesch Museum. In today's library hall, 30 meters long, 10 meters high and 9 meters wide, it was planned to accommodate large-format paintings up to ten meters high, which is why large windows were arranged in the upper area of ​​the wing. However, this equipment turned out to be ideal for the reading room. Walnut shelves designed by Caseneuve were built in. The approximately 5.5 meter long table and other furniture are also made of walnut. The library was opened on May 22, 1865. Other data give the year 1868. Initially, access was via the main entrance of the palace, but today there is direct access from the Rue Cardinal Fesch to the west .

Two stone lions in the entrance area were created by Antonio Canova and are copies of lions on the tomb of Pope Clement XIII. in St. Peter's Basilica . The 16 windows of the library are equipped with special anti-UV protection. During the installation of an electric meter , human bones were found in the library floor.


Today the publicly accessible library comprises 40,000 volumes from the 15th to the 19th century.

The works include 29 incunabula and 220 manuscripts. The oldest work is the manuscript Roman des deduis by Gace de la Buigne from 1359. Many of the manuscripts date from the 17th and 18th centuries and deal with questions of theology, law and church history. Some of them are historical notebooks. The incunabula are mostly printed in Italy , the oldest being De civitate Dei des Augustine . During a renovation of the library, 17 of the incunabula were stolen, but were found two years later. Well-known works are also 23 volumes of the Atlas Blaeu from the 17th century; 27 volumes of the Encyclopédie by Denis Diderot and d'Alembert from the 18th century and 37 volumes of the Histoire Naturelle by Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon from the 18th century.

About 4000 volumes deal specifically with Corsican topics. The holdings left by Louis Campi also include the unpublished manuscript from 1786 by Joseph Mari Arrighi and the manuscript Colonna Sagra from 1686 .

In 2003, work on the conservation of the stock began. The library's RISM library seal is F-AJ .


  • The history treasures of Ajaccio municipal library , leaflet without a year, 2018 or earlier

Web links

Commons : Ajaccio Municipal Library  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Bibliothèque Municipale on www.ajaccio-tourisme.com (French)
  2. ^ The history treasures of Ajaccio municipal library , leaflet without year, page 2
  3. Bibliothèque Municipale on www.ajaccio-tourisme.com (French)
  4. ^ The history treasures of Ajaccio municipal library , leaflet without year, page 2
  5. ^ The history treasures of Ajaccio municipal library , leaflet without the year, page 4
  6. Bibliothèque Municipale on www.ajaccio-tourisme.com (French)

Coordinates: 41 ° 55 ′ 19.7 "  N , 8 ° 44 ′ 19.8"  E