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Biblioteca Berenson

The Biblioteca Berenson is the library of Villa I Tatti – The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies,one of the world's leading institutions for advanced research in all aspects of late-medieval and early modern Italy. The research center and library are located in Florence, Italy.

Added Names/Aliases: Berenson Library, Villa I Tatti Library
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HOURS OF OPERATION

 
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
General Hours
I Tatti Appointees
 
 

CONTACT INFORMATION

 
Contact by Phone
011-39 055 603 251:
Contact by Email / Web
library@itatti.harvard.edu
Website
 
Official Website
Baloon
Villa I Tatti, Via di Vincigliata 26, 50135 Florence, Italy
Map
 
 

ABOUT

 

Originating as the personal library of art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), the Biblioteca Berenson now provides a wide range of scholarly resources in all disciplines – art history, history, music, literature, and more – for the study of late-medieval and early modern Italy and closely related fields. An invaluable point of reference for I Tatti's scholarly community, the library also welcomes other Harvard affiliates, local researchers and visiting scholars from around the world.

Originating as the personal library of art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), the Biblioteca Berenson now provides a wide range of scholarly resources in all disciplines – art history, history, music, literature, and more – for the study of late-medieval and early modern Italy and closely related fields. An invaluable point of reference for I Tatti's scholarly community, the library also welcomes other Harvard affiliates, local researchers and visiting scholars from around the world.

Originating as the personal library of art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), the Biblioteca Berenson now provides a wide range of scholarly resources in all disciplines – art history, history, music, literature, and more – for the study of late-medieval and early modern Italy and closely related fields. An invaluable point of reference for I Tatti's scholarly community, the library also welcomes other Harvard affiliates, local researchers and visiting scholars from around the world.

Originating as the personal library of art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), the Biblioteca Berenson now provides a wide range of scholarly resources in all disciplines – art history, history, music, literature, and more – for the study of late-medieval and early modern Italy and closely related fields. An invaluable point of reference for I Tatti's scholarly community, the library also welcomes other Harvard affiliates, local researchers and visiting scholars from around the world.

Originating as the personal library of art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), the Biblioteca Berenson now provides a wide range of scholarly resources in all disciplines – art history, history, music, literature, and more – for the study of late-medieval and early modern Italy and closely related fields. An invaluable point of reference for I Tatti's scholarly community, the library also welcomes other Harvard affiliates, local researchers and visiting scholars from around the world.

Originating as the personal library of art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), the Biblioteca Berenson now provides a wide range of scholarly resources in all disciplines – art history, history, music, literature, and more – for the study of late-medieval and early modern Italy and closely related fields. An invaluable point of reference for I Tatti's scholarly community, the library also welcomes other Harvard affiliates, local researchers and visiting scholars from around the world.

Originating as the personal library of art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), the Biblioteca Berenson now provides a wide range of scholarly resources in all disciplines – art history, history, music, literature, and more – for the study of late-medieval and early modern Italy and closely related fields. An invaluable point of reference for I Tatti's scholarly community, the library also welcomes other Harvard affiliates, local researchers and visiting scholars from around the world.

Originating as the personal library of art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), the Biblioteca Berenson now provides a wide range of scholarly resources in all disciplines – art history, history, music, literature, and more – for the study of late-medieval and early modern Italy and closely related fields. An invaluable point of reference for I Tatti's scholarly community, the library also welcomes other Harvard affiliates, local researchers and visiting scholars from around the world.

Originating as the personal library of art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), the Biblioteca Berenson now provides a wide range of scholarly resources in all disciplines – art history, history, music, literature, and more – for the study of late-medieval and early modern Italy and closely related fields. An invaluable point of reference for I Tatti's scholarly community, the library also welcomes other Harvard affiliates, local researchers and visiting scholars from around the world.

Originating as the personal library of art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), the Biblioteca Berenson now provides a wide range of scholarly resources in all disciplines – art history, history, music, literature, and more – for the study of late-medieval and early modern Italy and closely related fields. An invaluable point of reference for I Tatti's scholarly community, the library also welcomes other Harvard affiliates, local researchers and visiting scholars from around the world.

 

Collections

 

General Collection

The library provides in-depth coverage of scholarship on the history, fine and applied arts, music, literature, religion and philosophy, law, politics, science and medicine, and other aspects of late medieval and early modern Italy, ca. 1200-1700. It also collects selected works in such related fields as classical and medieval studies and texts, Byzantine, Islamic, and Mediterranean studies, and the Renaissance period in Europe and beyond.Overall the library holds some 175,000 items in print. For more on its collections, see the library's website.   

Archives and Manuscripts

The photograph archive, originating with the Berensons' pioneering critical work, is an outstanding resource for the study of the history and collecting of art.  Now holding around 250,000 prints and related materials, the collection contains images of artworks in many media ranging from antiquity to post-impressionism and from Europe and north Africa to south and east Asia. Its central focus is Italian art, especially painting and drawing, of the later Middle Ages and Renaissance between 1250 and 1600. The small but growing historical archive holds the extensive personal papers and correspondence of Bernard and Mary Berenson, in addition to the papers of a dozen other notable individuals and institutions of the 20th century.  

Special Collections

Though the library does not systematically collect rare books, it owns several thousand early printed books and important modern works that include many rare and some unique items. Some 10,000 pre-1830 books are also held on microforms. A collection of 15,000 art auction catalogs, many annotated, contains considerable rare materials.  The Morrill Music Library, a unit of the Biblioteca Berenson, has a significant collection of published scores, early music manuscripts and treatises on microfilm, and CD recordings of medieval and Renaissance music, and is considered one of the preeminent resources in Italy for early European music,  The library also has a noteworthy collection of books and photographs, including much that is rare, concerning Islamic and east Asian art.

 
 

LIBRARY STAFF

 
Dressen, Angela adressen@itatti.harvard.edu Request an Appointment
Karlan, Jocelyn jkarlan@itatti.harvard.edu
Klic, Lukas Librarian for Information Services and Digital Initiatives lklic@itatti.harvard.edu
Rocke, Michael mrocke@itatti.harvard.edu Request an Appointment
 

VISITOR POLICIES

 
  • Access
  • The Berenson Library is a research facility whose primary mission is to support the research needs of current appointees of the Harvard Center and, secondarily, those of former I Tatti appointees and the Harvard University community.  The library welcomes other qualified scholars, post-graduate researchers, and visitors with legitimate reasons to consult our collections.  The general research collection of books and periodicals is located on open stacks, freely accessible to all readers.  Materials in Special Collections, the archives, and a few other sections must be requested at the public services desk and retrieved by library staff.  Material in the archives is accessible by appointment only; please contact the archives by email.) From anywhere within the library, all patrons have access to Harvard Library's vast range of online journals and other electronic resources.

  • Visitor
  • Users with a valid Harvard ID who are not current or former I Tatti fellows may enter the library by presenting their ID to security at the entrance.  Other researchers are asked to present a letter of introduction and photo ID or, if a university professor, current faculty identification. Visitors must complete an application form at the front desk and will receive a reader's card valid for one year and renewable without limit. Exceptions for undergraduate students or others may be made only on written request to the Director of the library.

  • Circulation
  • Anyone with a valid Berenson Library reader's card or Harvard ID may borrow most library materials for varying lengths of time. Materials of all kinds must be consulted on site, and are never to be removed from the main complex of the Library, studies, and Villa. For additional circulation policies and procedures, see the library's website.

 
 

ACCESSIBILITY

 
  • A historic building on different levels in a hilly, semi-rural area, the library is only partially wheelchair accessible.  The staff of the Berenson Library is committed to meeting the needs of all persons with disabilities, and to assist them to use our resources as easily and efficently as possible. Patrons with disabilities should consult with the public services staff in advance (+39-055-603251 ext. 27, libraryatitatti [dot] harvard [dot] edu) to arrange their visit.