Arts Library

Biblioteca delle Arti

biblioteca delle arti icona

The Library of the Civic Museums of Reggio Emilia exists since the time of Gaetano Chierici, the founder of the Museo di Storia Patria (1870). It is called the Library of Arts and since many decades, is a fundamental point of reference for archaeologists, art historians and scholars of anthropological and ethnographic disciplines: it is specialized in Archeology and History of Art and can count on a 60.000 volumes and over 600 magazines.
It was located in the historic building of the Palazzo dei Musei, but since 2009 it has moved to the rooms overlooking Piazza della Vittoria, the heart of the city, where the Valli Theater and the Ariosto Theater are located, inside the Palazzo Parmeggiani. It is distributed over three floors and is accessible to the disabled by elevator.

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    The building, which stands on the site of the ancient church of S. Egidio, was renovated in the first half of the nineteenth century and was connected to the arcade, designed by Giuseppe Marchelli, to serve the carriages of the nearby theater (Portico delle Carrozze). Purchased by Luigi Parmeggiani in 1921, the entire block was restored by the architect Ascanio Ferrari.
    Like all museum libraries, it was born in the nineteenth century to provide the director and conservators with the tools to manage the assets entrusted to them in the best possible way. Only later it opened itself to the attendance of an interested audience. It was refounded on new and more solid foundations on 6th April 1969, by Giancarlo Ambrosetti, the director of the museums, who maintained its contiguity with the Palazzo dei Musei collections. In 1987 it was opened to public; in 1995 the digital cataloguing of library volumes was introduced and in 2003 it provided new services such as the issue of library cards and book loans. On April 29, 2009 begins its third season with the transfer to its current location with new and welcoming spaces, which fits it right in the centre of the city’s cultural hub, a stone’s throw from the Theaters, the Centro Gerra, the University, from the Palazzo dei Musei. The over 60,000 volumes are divided into five sections: Archeology, History of Art, Emeroteca, Ancient and Rare (with eighteenth and nineteenth century editions), and Ragazzi. The Archeology and Art History sections offer material for research concerning history and the art of civilizations mainly of the Reggio area, starting from the Palaeolithic period, through Prehistory, to the whole ancient Age and then from the Middle Ages to the present day. It is naturally possible to broaden our gaze to the Italian peninsula, to Europe, to the Mediterranean, to the whole world. Along with range of specialized in-depth books, there is no lack of informative works, such as an entire section dedicated to artistic techniques, which can provide valuable support to those who want to test their natural talent.
    The same features are offered by the Emeroteca (of over 600 titles), in which, alongside the main scientific journals, it is possible to find high-circulation information magazines. The Library is open-shelf. Access to the book heritage is free, except for rare and precious books, for which the aid of the room attendant is needed.
    The Library of Arts participates in the automated cataloging system of the Polo Reggiano, within the National Library System. The offered services include, in addition to consulting the online catalog and photocopying in accordance with the procedures established by current legislation, the loan at home and interlibrary loan. It is usually the site of collateral activities: from the presentation of new volumes, to conferences, animated readings, projections. In the kids section, the main activities are the educational workshops for school groups and meetings, which can be booked here  Didart – Centro di documentazione per la didattica dell’arte


p.zza della Vittoria, 5
42121 Reggio Emilia
Tel. +39 0522456809


opening times