Founded by Augustinian bishop Angelo Rocca in 1604, the Angelica library (Biblioteca Angelica), the first public library in Europe.
Located close to Piazza Navona, remains an important cultural attraction because of its vast bibliographic collection, featuring manuscripts and incunabula which belonged to the Augustinians.The library is a type of museum, replete with works of art book bindings, Italian literature, periodical press, special evidences related to the Church history, as well as important objects that show the historical importance of the Library from its foundation.
Before it was founded as the first public library in 1604 by Angelo Rocca, who donated his collection of 20,000 books, the Angelica Library was part of a monastery only accessible by monks. The library quickly amassed an important collection of books including donations by Lukas Holstenius in 1661, who was curator of the Vatican library, the banned books, the collections of cardinal Domenico Passionei, the selection of Bodoni’s editions, the musical manuscripts, the city views, the Hebrew texts, the herbaria and botanical books. The importance of the library’s collection is also due to the Augustinians who were allowed by the Pope to keep censored books, libri prohibiti that had escaped judgement from the Santo Uffizio, the organization in charge of protecting and promoting the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
The Angelica owns 460 unbound geographical maps, of which 85 are manuscript nautical charts produced in the Netherlands, numerous atlases and around 10,000 maps bound in volumes. Of notable interest are two pairs of geographical globes by W. J. Blaeu from the end of 16th century. Inside the library is also a collection of drawings of City Views from southern Italy dating from the 16th century.The Angelica and Gucci
To celebrate the publication of “A Magazine Curated By Alessandro Michele”, Gucci invited friends of the House and contributors for a private party held at the Angelica Library. The Angelica is also the setting of the Gucci Pre-Fall 2017 look book, shot by Derek Ridgers.
Piazza di Sant'Agostino, 8