Library of Contemporary Art
Consult the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) of the “Guido Ballo” Library of Contemporary Art
The history of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera’s library goes back to 1778 when the Administrator, Carlo Bianconi, started to collect and keep books, prints, engravings, drawings and xylographs in his office.
His successor, the painter, writer and intellectual Giuseppe Bossi, who was the Administrator from 1802 to 1807, also understood the importance and benefit of having a well-stocked library for art studies. He himself was willing to spend large sums in order to see the library kept current and up-to-date; he acquired a number of rare and invaluable books as well as prestigious collections through exchanges and purchases.
The library is also a depository for drawings and prints, as well as an archive and that is the reason why, in the current premises, inaugurated by President Sandro Pertini in 1984, all the resources relating to the Accademia’s Patrimony and assets are deposited: in the gallery there is the Archive with the Historical Resources of the Library, in the basement there is the Contemporary Art Library, the Painting Collection, the Drawings and Prints Room.
The Accademia’s Library of Contemporary Art , located in the underground levels of the building, is illuminated by a large skylight making it a particularly bright space.
It has approximately 25,000 volumes and numerous periodicals. It is a single room with open shelves which run all the way around the Reading Room which holds approximately 60 seats.
The computerized cataloguing of the entire contemporary collection is underway. Bibliographic research must be carried out using first the library’s OPAC and subsequently the card catalogs.
Students are granted on-site consultation of the material while teachers can access the lending service. The reorganization and reclassification of library material carried out in previous years, allows only the teaching staff to have direct access to the consultation of the different sections. There is, however, also for students, a section dedicated to direct consultations and reference use of Encyclopedias, general texts and dictionaries.
Acquisitions take place on an annual basis through the form of purchases and donations aimed at completing the already available series and keeping the library up-to-date. In the Reading Room there are nine computers available both for research work and for personal study use.
The library also has a periodicals section, made up in part by newspapers which have now been discontinued and by current subscriptions.
The Library is open to students and teaching staff of the Accademia and external scholars, only upon authorized request
From Monday to Thursday from 9.00 to 17.50
Fridays from 9.30 to 16.50
Library Manager: Mr. Emanuel Sacchini