Like the photo library and the collection of works of art, the Foundation’s library is based on the collection of books which Roberto Longhi left to the institution when he died.
When Roberto Longhi died there were from 20 to 25,000 books in his library divided into the following sections:
- Renaissance biographical sources;
- Chronicles of foreign visitors to Italy;
- Guides to cities, provinces and regions;
- Catalogues of museums and private collections;
- Sales Catalogues;
- Catalogues of exhibitions held in Italy and abroad;
- Monographs about old masters;
- Monographs about modern artists
- Books concerning modern and contemporary art movements;
- Catalogues of periodic exhibitions.
There was also a section of handbooks (dictionaries, textbooks, repertories and encyclopedias).
The current collection of books respects the general lines of Longhi’s collection. A few slight changes have been made to facilitate research as the collection has grown (to more than 30,000 books).
The library owns noteworthy first editions, rare and valuable books as well as a great number of monographs, topographical works, historical sources and a priceless collection of modern art miscellanies which includes hard to find exhibition catalogues.
A new section of books on still life painting was added when the association of Amici della Natura Morta Italiana was founded. Thanks to the contributions of the members of the association, we intend to increment this section with a particular focus on literature about Italian still life painting that will facilitate research on this painting genre.