The Teresian Library is a historical library commissioned by the Austrian Empress Maria Teresa in 1780. An indispensable destination for all bibliophiles and lovers and ancient readings, it is located in the former Jesuits' convent in via Roberto Ardigò in Mantua and can be visited free of charge in its famous rooms, as well as books are all available upon request.
Biblioteca Teresiana History
The Imperial Regia Library of Mantua was opened to the public in March 1780, as part of a vast program of reform of cultural and educational institutions commissioned by Maria Theresa of Austria, an exponent of the Hapsburg policy that was born throughout the territory Lombard a network of public libraries ordered on the territory.
Since then, the library has been deeply rooted in the social and cultural fabric of the city of Mantua, finding its seat in a wing of the Palazzo degli Studi that the Jesuits had built by architect Alfonso Torregiani in 1753. Initially the rooms assigned correspond to the current called "prima teresiana" and "secondo teresiane", while in the following century the adjoining rooms began to be used. The renovation of the rooms was entrusted to the architect Paolo Pozzo, who designed the majestic wooden shelves, inspired by the style of Fischer von Erlach, architect of the Viennese Hofbibliothek.
In the first years the acquisitions mainly concerned the library funds of the suppressed Carmelite and Carthusian convents which added to the volumes of the Jesuit College. To these were added donations and legacies of individuals and thanks to appropriations of the Habsburg administration were also acquired collections of interest mainly naturalistic. The further monastic suppression in the Napoleonic era led to the arrival of precious bibliographical patrimony from the convents of Santa Maria delle Grazie, of San Benedetto in Polirone, of Dominicans, Franciscans, Capuchins, increasing the initial endowment of about 6,000 volumes to about 40,000 in 1823.
Hundreds of illuminated or drawn manuscripts, manuscripts, incunabula and a conspicuous collection of modern production as well as a precious collection of drawings and prints, to which are added continuously donations from artists and collectors and acquisitions on the antique market.