The library was established in 1842, when, thanks to the work of Filippo Parlatore the Botanical Istitute and Museum were founded. Besides all current teaching and specialized materials, the library holds the collections of the Italian Botanical Society, the antique collection donated in the mid-1800s by the English botanist Philip Barker Webb and the manuscripts of the great Florentine botanist Pier Antonio Micheli, who lived between the 17th and 18th centuries. The library holds collections and miscellaneous materials (manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, drawings) donated by illustrious botanists - mainly ex-directors of the Institute, such as those of Odoardo Beccari, Stefano Sommier and Emilio Levier.
All material acquired before 1996 is available exclusively through the card catalogue as the cataloguing process is still ongoing.
The library collection consists of:
- 18,500 books + around 1,300 belonging to the Italian Botanical Society
- 1,654 journals + 751 belonging to the Italian Botanical Society. Of the 2,405 total journals available, 241 have a standing subscription, some of which in digital format.
Special interest collections available online:
- reading room with 30 seats, Webb research room with 10 seats
- 3 desktop PCs for research and catalogue searches
- wireless connection
Please note that the library is located in a LImited Traffic Zone ZTL
The library is on the ground floor of the building hosting the Botany Section of the Museum of Natural HIstory and has full wheelchair access.