Italian collections

This section gives some idea of the main areas of current purchasing, and a selective list of notable accessions is included. Email Chris Taylor for further information:

Modern printed collections

Italian is the Library's third most significant foreign language collecting area after French and German. Purchasing concentrates on books published in Italian, supplementing books and journals about Italy published in the United Kingdom which are received by legal deposit. Relevant publications from North America and Australia are also purchased. There are over one hundred subscriptions to Italian newspapers, journals, standing orders and monograph series.

Italian history is an important area of interest. Works on all periods are collected such as the Renaissance, Risorgimento and Fascist era. Books on Italian politics and contemporary affairs are acquired, including works on the electoral system, elections, constitution, parties, key issues, biographies of and works by the main political figures. Topics such as the influence of the Catholic Church are well represented, both in modern and early collections.

Italian literature and philosophy from all periods and by all key writers continue to be a significant part of purchasing. Collecting concentrates on the complete works of important authors, critical editions, conference proceedings and criticism.

A selection of books on Italian cinema and the Italian language are acquired. Reference works such as bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, biographical and statistical works are purchased for all the above subject areas.

Non-current material and special collections

Non-legal Italian books collected by the Advocates Library are now held in the National Library. These have been supplemented by the donation, purchase or deposit of special collections:

  • The Borghese Collection
  • Blairs College Collection: includes books from the Scots College in Rome
  • Newhailes Collection
  • Newbattle Collection
  • Tyninghame Collection.

The Borghese Collection comprises approximately 8,000 Papal bulls, briefs and proclamations, printed in the Papal States between 1550 and 1700.

Non-print collections

The Library holds the microforms 'Archivio biografico italiano, Italian books before 1601 and Italian books 1601-1700'.


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