The Casanatense Library is a library set up by the Dominican fathers of the Convent of S. Maria sopra Minerva in Rome in 1701, at the behest of Cardinal Girolamo Casanate. From a first nucleus of over 25,000 volumes it has expanded over time to the current 400,000 volumes, 6,000 manuscripts and 2,200 incunabula in the context of a sumptuous Baroque architecture.
Biblioteca Casanatense History
Built in the area of a cloister of Minerva, designed by the architect Antonio Maria Borioni, the Casanatense Library was established by the Dominican fathers of the Convent of S. Maria sopra Minerva in Rome on the will of Cardinal Girolamo Casanatese. its rich book collection, with over 20,000 volumes. La Casanatense was inaugurated on November 3, 1701, soon becoming one of the most important and supplied libraries of the time. He led the library among Roman libraries making the Library an internationally renowned Institute also for the enlightened purchasing policy and for the expert library and bibliographic activity, linked above all to the figure of Agnani, Schiara and above all of Giovanni Battista Audiffredi who directed it since 1759 to 1794 and its alphabetical catalog.
In 1884, following the law on the suppression of religious corporations, the library passed to the Italian State and today is a peripheral institution of the Ministry for cultural heritage and activities.
The book heritage over the years has expanded well beyond the original biblical-historical-theological-historical nucleus, presenting over 400,000 volumes, incunabula, manuscripts, prints, drawings and scientific apparatus such as the Armillary Sphere, still placed in the monumental Hall, and terrestrial and celestial globes, reflecting the interest with which from the beginning the Dominicans followed the progress made in the fields of cartography and cosmology, well integrated the precious geographic and astronomical funds that were being established in the Casanatense. The editions from 1830 to the present day constitute the "modern" side of the Library's heritage, constantly updated on the line of thematic routes marked by the Dominican Fathers who founded it.