Villa I Tatti
The Biblioteca Berenson is one of the world's leading resources for research on the late Middle Ages and Renaissance in Italy. The library possesses an extensive collection mainly of published materials in history, fine and applied arts, music, literature, science, religion, and philosophy of Italy from circa 1200 to 1650, a rich collection of international scholarly journals, and an exceptional repository of visual materials on Italian Renaissance art. The library also has substantial holdings in the fields of classical studies and archaeology, medieval studies, the Mediterranean region, Renaissance Europe, and Asian and Islamic art and archaeology, as well as a noteworthy collection of historical and current art auction catalogues. Included as integral parts of the Biblioteca Berenson are the Morrill Music Library, the Oriental and Islamic Collection, the Berenson Fototeca , and the Berenson Archive.
The library's combined holdings currently number about 130,000 volumes, including 1,020 titles printed before 1800, 1,100 periodical titles, of which nearly 500 are currently received, and approximately 15,000 auction catalogues. In addition, the library possesses over 1,300 microfilm reels and approximately 35,000 microfiches.
The Fototeca Berenson has more than 300,000 photos and related materials. It also contains many photographs showing paintings or other objects before restoration, as well as images of works now destroyed or whose whereabouts are unknown.
Villa I Tatti is a founding member of IRIS, a
consortium of six Florentine research libraries specialising in art history and
the humanities which share a single catalogue. In addition to the Biblioteca
Berenson, IRIS includes the libraries of the Nederlands
Interuniversitair Kunsthistorisch Instituut, the Fondazione di Studi di
Storia dell'Arte "R. Longhi," the Soprintendenza ai Beni Artistici e
Storici per le Province di Firenze e Pistoia (Uffizi), the Istituto
Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento, and the Opificio delle Pietre
Almost all of the holdings of the Biblioteca Berenson are included in the IRIS OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue). Holdings that do not yet appear in the catalogue include the majority of the library's approximately 1,600 early music manuscripts; some 400 CD sound recordings; and approximately 5,000 titles of early printed works from the collection of Leopoldo Cicognara, which the library possesses on microfiche. Card or printed catalogues are available for these resources. In addition, a separate database of art auction catalogues will be made available in autumn 2000, through the IRIS OPAC. At that time about half of the library's sales catalogues will be catalogued, with the remainder added by the end of the academic year. Holdings of the Biblioteca Berenson , though only up to 1994, are also included in Harvard University's HOLLIS catalogue.
The Library is open to the public Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 18:00. It is closed on Italian national holidays and on other holidays observed by I Tatti; during the month of August; over the Christmas - New Year's break; and during conferences and lectures (see calendar for exact dates). Researchers wishing to use the Library are advised to telephone or send an email in advance to make sure the Library will be open when they plan to come.
<http://www.itatti.it>, accessed 27 March 2003.