The Library of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei e Corsiniana The Library of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei e Corsiniana owes its name to the dual origin of the collections kept on its premises. The Corsiniana Library was donated to the Academy in 1883 by Prince Tommaso Corsini, on the occasion of the sale to the Italian State of the palace belonging to his family, located at Via della Lungara. The palace was to become the new headquarters of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. Its library would later host the collections of the Academy. The cultural project of the Academy, established in 1603 by Federico Cesi, attached the utmost significance to the role played by the library. In fact, together with the museum, it represented the core of the Lyceums, conceived as the meeting place of scholars from the different branches of knowledge. The Library reflected the manifold scientific interests of the original Academy; it included works dealing with philosophy, mathematics, architecture, astronomy, geography, philology, ancient and modem literature, but it also comprised oriental, astrological, alchemic and hermetic texts, thus bearing witness to the variety and breadth of the lines of the Lincei research. Through observation and experimentation, it purposed to «read this great, truthful and universal book of the world». On Cesi's death, in 1630, nearly the entire Library was purchased by a member of the Lincei Academy, Cassiano dal Pozzo. In 1714, the Library was sold by Cassiano's heirs to Cardinal Alessandro Albani. The collection, ravaged during the 1798 revolutionary risings, was auctioned off in 1857. A large part of it was lost in the wreck of the ship that was taking the volumes to the Berlin Imperial Library, for which they had been purchased. The Corsini family’s Library instead reflected the tastes in book collecting of the powerful and noble family from Florence. From the 18th to the 19th Century, the Corsini had put together an extremely rich collection of manuscripts. Among these of particular importance are several illuminated breviaries, incunabula (worthy of note the editio princeps of Vitruvio’s De architectura enriched by drawings and postils by Sangallo il Gobbo), 16th century books, drawings and engravings: a collection whose true aim was to document the totality of knowledge. Thus, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and the Corsiniana Library is not the mere outcome of heterogeneous material fortuitously accumulated over the years, but it is rather a complex body of volumes, archival and documental resources that today permits us to attain a comprehensive knowledge of the history of Italian and European culture and scientific research. The Library today The Library is divided into three sections: the Corsiniana Section; the Academic Section, which includes the original nucleus of Cesi's Library, the Historical Archive of the Lincei and the volumes granted to the Academy through donation, legacy or purchase; the Oriental Section, that was set up in 1924 after Leone Caetani donated his splendid orientalistic library which was added to the Michele Amari Fund acquired in 1889. Melissographia Rome, 1625 The major collections housed in the Library include the VerginelliRota collection of rare alchemic and hermetic manuscripts, that closely follows one of the thematic areas already present in the original Lincei Library. Also noteworthy are the CaetaniLovatelli historical/artistic collection comprising books which once belonged to the Accademia d’Italia (1926-1944), the several volumes donated by Benito Mussolini, the Roman poet Cesare Pascarella’s collection together with the voluminous correspondence of the major Italian scientists of the 19th and 20th century such as Marconi, Volta, Levi-Civita. gitalization and facsimile reproduction (from card indexes, printed and volume catalogues, to manuscripts and archive correspondence). The Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana has also cooperated in this initiative. The Library hosts several exhibitions, whose purpose is to valorise its collections. Alongside conservation of the collections is a policy of purchases on the book and, whenever possible, antique markets (as for the recent purchase of several drawings belonging to Cassiano dal Pozzo’s Museo cartaceo and several volumes belonging to Federico Cesi). In the periodical section, the Library perpetuates the ancient Academic tradition of gifts and exchanges revived by Quintino Sella, President of the Academy from 1874 to 1884. Stamp impressed on the books in Federico Cesi’s Library bearing the lynx and the inscription EX BIBLIOTH[ECA] LYNCAEA FEDERICI CAESII L[YNCEORUM] P[RINCIPIS] MARCH[IONIS] MONT[IS] CAELII Services Vitruvio, De Architectura incunable with drawings of Giovan Battista da Sangallo il Gobbo Rome (ca.1486) A concise description of all the collections owned by the Academy is available at www.lincei.it. The Library has adopted an attentive policy for conserving, increasing and enhancing its collections. Within this framework, it has begun an intense campaign of di- The Library is open to the general public. It is also possible to organize group visits. Consultation services also include reference and reproduction. Direct, national and international library loans are permitted. The Library participates in the National Library Service (SBN RML 10 Library Pole of the public State libraries - Biblioroma). The catalogue may be accessed on line at www.opac.sbn.it. A number of additional paper inventories and catalogues may be consulted on the Academy’s website. The collection of periodicals has been almost entirely added to the on line catalogue of periodicals of the Italian National Research Council (ACNP), that may be accessed on line at www.acnp.cib.unibo.it. Federico Cesi’s portrait (17th c .) Library of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei e Corsiniana Palazzo Corsini Via della Lungara 10 00165 Rome Telephone: (+39) 06 680271 (+39) 06 6861983 Fax (+39) 06 68027343 E-mail: [email protected] Web site: www.lincei.it Opening hours: Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Thursday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday closed. The library is closed in August.