And as the final post from our Library Spaces topic, we bring you this post from Anna Maria Tammaro, the ILN Country Coordinator for Italy
For more than 300 years Italian libraries were famous in the world, for their collections and their monumental buildings.
In the Renaissance period, the libraries were built to emphasize the dominant family. The Laurentian Library is an example: built by Michelangelo under the patronage of the Medici pope, Clement VII, was communicating that the Medici family were no longer mere merchants but members of intelligent and ecclesiastical society.
From the 17th century on, libraries were crucial to the development and dissemination of Enlightenment ideals. Early modern “universal libraries” such as the Palatina Library in Parma, enriched by Maria Luigia the wife of Napoleon, attempted to collect books on every subject to promote study and research.
The public libraries are more recent in Italy, using ancient buildings to create a community space.
Biblioteca Sala Borsa in Bologna is multimedia public library for general information documenting in particular the contemporary culture. It was opened in 2001 in Palazzo d’Accursio, the historic seat of the Municipality of Bologna and under the floor of the covered square transparent you can see archaeological remains due to the sedimentation of various civilizations: the Villanovan of the seventh century BC, that of the Etruscan Felsina, and those of the Roman Bononia founded in 189 BC.
In the case of Biblioteca San Giorgio, Pistoia the name of the library originates from the old factory of San Giorgio which the library has occupied when some abandoned industrial buildings were converted to this new feature. The area in which is the library, called Breda, was one of the most important Italian industry producing cars and rail vehicles,
The present concept of public libraries, as social space, is well represented by Biblioteca San Giovanni, Pesaro or “Il Pertini” at Cinisello Balsamo.
Biblioteca San Giovanni, Pesaro
These libraries became the center of the cultural life of the city, aggregating libraries, archives, museum and organizing events, courses, conferences, expositions or only offering a meeting place to their communities.
Il Pertini, Cinisello Balsamo