The Braidense National Library, one of the largest Italian libraries, was founded in 1770 by the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria from the bottom of Count Pertusati. Located in the prestigious Palazzo di Brera complex, today it has manuscripts, incunabula, autographs, 19th century prints, literary, juridical, theological works and large works of general consultation.
Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense History
Among the largest Italian libraries, the Braidense National Library, today employed by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, was established in 1770 by the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria who decided to allocate the fund of Count Carlo Pertusati to public use. , as it considered the Ambrosian Library insufficient in this regard, rich in manuscripts but not in printed books.
Opened to the public in 1786 in the imposing Brera Palace, a building built by the Jesuits in 1600, from the beginning of its history it has expanded its heritage with important book collections such as the Fund Albrecht von Haller, distinguished physician, botanist and bibliophile Swiss, with valuable scientific texts or that of Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, rich in almost 3,000 works including editions of Latin and Greek classics from the 16th century. The suppression of the religious congregations, decreed by the emperor Joseph II, led to the incorporation of part of the funds of ancient cloistered libraries and subsequently also the duplicates of the Imperial Library of Vienna. Since 2003, the Braidense National Library has also hosted the Archivio Storico Ricordi, one of the most important private music collections in the world.
The heritage of Braidense today consists of about 1,500,000 units, including over 2000 manuscripts, 2,000 incunabula, 40,000 autographs, over 23,000 periodicals, photographic prints prior to 1950, and thousands of microfilm reels.
The Library has four reading rooms, three of which are specialized, a room for catalogs, distribution, reproduction and loan, and an entrance hall which can be accessed through the grand staircase.