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The Biblioteca antica  

The hall of the Biblioteca anticaThe Biblioteca antica gets its name because its nucleus derives directly from the ancient Ducal collections, whose origins date back to the 13th century, to differentiate it from the Biblioteca Nuova which contains 19th century texts.

The original collection was dismantled in the first half of the 18th century and the works were divided between the Biblioteca della Regia Università, the library of the Congregazione di Superga and the new premises of the Archivi di Corte.

The choice of the books to allocate to the Archives reflected the determination – according to a memorandum of 1776 by superintendent Vittorio Amedeo Platzaert – “to illustrate and supplement the materials that are contained in the Archives themselves” («alla illustrazione, e supplemento delle materie, che nelli Archivj medesimi si contengono»). They were to serve primarily to back up the work done by ministers and to support the study of the Archives themselves, although there were also some ‘non-functional’ works, which remained part of the Library.

New, consistent acquisitions were made in 1775-1776, and during the French occupation the Library was temporarily transferred to the premises of the Accademia delle Scienze (1804), and many works also left Turin for Paris. Today the Biblioteca antica collection totals approximately 6300 works including manuscripts, 14th and 15th century incunabula and 16th-18th century codices.

It is all conserved in a room dedicated to the Sezione Corte on the fourth floor of the Palazzo by Juvarra, where they were allocated back in 1839. This was also the period when the alphabetical catalogue by title and author, divided into “printed texts” and “manuscripts”, that is still the access key to the works, was first drafted.

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Tuesday, 13 October 2009 10:18
Last Updated ( Friday, 30 September 2011 08:24 )
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