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The Culture of Emilia-Romagna

Libraries and archives


Malatestiana Library, Cesena
Malatestiana Library, Cesena
Emilia-Romagna possesses an extraordinary wealth of libraries and archives which conserve and make available to the public a priceless heritage which is constantly expanding and developing. During the Middle Ages there were clerks who copied folios: these were the parts in which – in true entrepreneurial style – the works of the masters were subdivided so that they could be copied at the same time and then distributed among the students who flocked to Bologna from all over the reading world. In the closing
The code
A code
decades of the fourteenth century business was brisk in the typesetting trade as the art of Gutenberg gained recognition: names like Benedetto Faelli and Bordoni are now known to experts and non-experts alike.

Through the centuries a publishing industry developed which had its share of colourful personalities which grew, and continue to grow, in this fertile topsoil. Links with Academe, school and the art world have always been strong. The mention of the names Zanichelli, Cappelli, Calderini, Guanda, Franco Maria Ricci, Forni, Pàtron, Il Mulino is enough to make

University Library, Great Hall, Bologna
University Library, Great Hall, Bologna
the point. Even though certain of these publishing houses have moved elsewhere, the fact remains that they trace their roots to a cultivated and stimulating environment which set great store by its legacy of books and documents. Today there are newspapers, magazines, periodicals of every description, cigarette cards everyone has heard of Panini and multi-media publications. Various forms of the written word which, now as in the past, find their readers who come to consult them in the same centuries-old libraries. The International Children’s Book Fair in Bologna is a date in the diary of the world’s book trade: and once again Emilia-Romagna finds itself, by virtue of its books, at the crossroads where ideas are translated into words and images. Where library and publishing facilities keep abreast of the industry’s latest developments and welcome visitors from all over the reading world. 


  Libraries and historical archives in Emilia-Romagna

Trisi Library, Lugo
Trisi Library, Lugo
In Emilia-Romagna there are state-owned libraries, local municipal libraries and libraries run by the Church (about 1300). Together they form an immense cultural heritage. Roughly 466 of them are local libraries dispersed throughout the region and performing an inestimable service to their users. Local libraries alone account for some 12 million volumes, both ancient and modern, and 84,000 periodicals. A pearl of rare price, the only example of an ancient library which has survived intact to the present day, can be seen in Cesena’s Malatestiana, a library set up by the express wishes of Malatesta Novello in the Fourteenth century.

Other world famous libraries are: Bologna’s Archiginnasio, Ravenna’s Classense, Reggio-Emilia’s Panizzi, the Ariostea in Ferrara, the Palatina in Parma, Rimini’s Gambalunga and Modena’s Estense

Old book
Old book
Library. All of them contain collections and bequests which tell the story of their close links with local – and not so local –culture. 

To this list of libraries we should then add the historical archives which belong to local authorites, cultural institutes and research centres. Since 1983 Emilia-Romagna’s Superintendent for books and documents has been coordinating and implementing a regional library policy which aims at standardizing procedures for cataloguing and retrieval of information in conformity with national and international norms. The archives of Giosue Carducci, Marini Moretti, Riccardo Bachelli, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Cesare Zavattini and Luciano Anceshi are all on Emilia-Romagna’s soil. There is no shortage of photographs (totalling about 2.5 million), prints and engravings of immense artistic value, and bequests of musical interest (more than 120). In the book industry belles lettres and criticism are prominent on the publishers’ lists, as is writing for children and young adults.

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Pubblicato il 28/10/2011 — ultima modifica 21/07/2015
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Regione Emilia-Romagna (CF 800.625.903.79) - Viale Aldo Moro 52, 40127 Bologna - Centralino: 051.5271

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