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History of art

History of Art Branch Library

Address & Contacts

Via della Pergola, 56 - 50121 Firenze · Map
Tel. 055.2756058/59/50 - E-mail: biblet(AT)

Opening Hours


CLOSED from 11 to 17 August

Opening hours from 2 to 27 August:


(scorri a destra)


The library holds books on history of art, including minor arts, fashion, jewellery, photography. Items are on open shelves and fully accessible.

The library is located in the ancient deconsecrated church of Orbatello, which during the 1300s was used as a hospice for women. The library was set up by Roberto Salvini (Firenze 1912-1985), tenured professor of History of Art in Florence from 1956 to 1985. In the the reading named after him, there is his private collection donated by his wife in 1986. It comprises around 5,000 volumes and 20 journal titles.

The History of Art branch consists of: 

  • over 25,000 books
  • 300 journals, of which 26 with a standing subscription
  • historical collections: Fondo Roberto Salvini, Fondo Charles De Tolnay (in italian), and Fondo fotografico Mario Salmi, containing numerous photographs of art pieces, used by Mario Salmi during his courses of History of Art. This collection has been transferred in the History of Art Phototeque at the Department of History of Art SAGAS, via Gino Capponi 9, 1st floor, room 4.
General reading room plan (in italian) and first floor rooms.

Some volumes of history of theatre and performing arts are held in the "performing art reading room" at the Department of History, Archaeology, Geography, Fine and Performing Arts SAGAS, in via Gino Capponi 9. The reading room is open on mondays and fridays 9.30 am to 1 pm, and on  thursdays 9.30 am to 6 pm.

Reading and Loans

The entire collection is on open shelves. The ground floor room contains the majority of the material (over 15,000 volumes);  journals and books on miniature, minor arts including texts on design, history of costume, textiles, chinaware, jewellery, coins and musical instruments, are located on the first floor.

The documents of the Fondo Salvini, located on the ground floor, are available upon request.

All of the items are normally for reference use only, except for teaching staff and researchers of the University of Florence. Some items are available for overnight or weekend loan. A maximum of two items can be borrowed one hour before closing time and must be returned by 10 am the next business day. Reference books, rare and antique books, maps, atlases, journals and miscellaenous articles are not for loan. 

Reading Rooms

80 seats, of which 8 with power sockets for laptops and 2 with desktop PCs.

last update: 13-Feb-2018
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