Reservations and consultation requests are recommended  and are made through the OPAC of the Polo SBN of Venice, starting one week before the chosen day.


Anyone aged over 16 who comes to the entrance desk with a library card or after creating an account on the OPAC site of PoloVEA SBN can enter the libraries. For users already registered in one of the Venetian libraries, it’s sufficient to send an email to to be associated with the Cini Foundation libraries. 


Instructions for seat reservation and consultation requests: Read the pdf


With over 300,000 items, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini libraries are an extraordinary resource for study and research in the fields of history, art history, music, literature, theatre and Oriental studies. The collections housed on the Island of San Giorgio are highly specialised and traditionally associated with the scholarly activities of the Foundation’s Institutes and Research Centres. The facilities for the library resources are organised round the New Manica Lunga library. Together with the 17th-century library designed by Baldassarre Longhena, now used as a reading room, it is the place most conducive to concentration and study.

The Nuova Manica Lunga can be seen as the focal point of the The Vittore Branca International Center for the Study of Italian Culture,  a residential centre for humanities studies, where Italian and foreign scholars can stay and spend a period of research in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini libraries.

The library collections are dedicated to the history of Venice, literature, music, theatre and opera, relations between Venice and the East and between Venice and Europe. The largest library in the Foundation, however, is the art history library, which has over 150,000 books and series of around 800 periodicals, including more than 200 current titles.


The services offered by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini libraries include:


Reference enquiries


In the library or online (, you can make reference enquiries; the library’s qualified staff will provide detailed bibliographic information.


Document delivery 


For information about this service, please contact




The Nuova Manica Lunga library has free WiFi for library users


Putting items on hold


Users are allowed to leave books they have consulted on the reading table for use the following day. 


Open shelf


To make finding books easier, the entire lower level of the bookcase in the corridor of the Nuova Manica Lunga is open shelf, as are the bookcases in the dedicated cells, the periodicals corridor and the Sala Longhena.


Books on request


For volume on request, it is necessary to book through the OPAC of PoloVEA SBN or, alternatively, fill in the request form directly at the library.


ATTENTION: To consult the books relating to the collections of the Institute of Theater and Opera (shelf mark: ROLANDI, MAL, AMOM, EPOV, GALL, GPOL, IIRT, LSQU, MILL, PSAM) it is necessary to send a request in advance by mail to


Items in the antique collections – including the Rolandi and Malipiero collections – can be consulted after making a justified request (pre-ordering by email to is recommended)


Book with DEP shelf mark should be requested in advance and may not be available in any case.




A microfilm reader is available only for consulting the microfilmed docuents kept at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini.


Searching catalogues


OPAC SBN Online collective catalogue of the SBN Libraries in Venice.


NBM New Manuscript Library – online catalogue of the cataloguing project of manuscripts in Venetian libraries


ARCHIVES OF OWNERS Census of ownership notes


JSTOR  A major online library of digitised academic journals

Thematic areas

Art history
The art history library (over 150,000 items) may be seen as a crossroads for Italian culture, where material often not found elsewhere may be consulted. The same applies to the series of periodicals, around 800, including over 200 current titles. The core of the art history library consists of specialised libraries, such as those of Giuseppe Fiocco, Rodolfo Gallo, Raymond van Marle, Antonio Muñoz and Achille Bertini Calosso. A very unusual, rare collection was donated by the bibliophile Tammaro De Marinis, a friend of Vittorio Cini and his advisor in building the Antique Books Collection, now in the Sala del Tesoro. The De Marinis collection of bibliographic and bibliological works is of considerable interest and value.

Venetian history
The Venetian history library consists of a remarkable collection of books and an even more substantial collection of specialised Italian and foreign journals (over 120 titles and appropriately chosen to complement scholarly collections in other Venetian institutions). Some of these publications cannot be found elsewhere in the Veneto or Italy and mainly deal with the history and culture of the territories that were underwent Venetian cultural influences. In addition to the library, there is a large microfilm collection that complements the enormous quantity of documents in the Venice State Archives at the Frari. Moreover, the library of the Institute for the History of the Venetian State and Society has a unique microfilm collection containing archives of Venetian interest whose originals are kept in non-Venetian archives and libraries (the resultant image of Venetian history thus supplements the picture provided by the archives in other city institutions, such as the Venice State Archives and the Biblioteca Marciana).

Theatre and opera

The Institute of Theatre and Opera has a rich library specialised in the performing arts. It includes the gradually acquired personal libraries of Gian Francesco Malipiero, Ulderico Rolandi, Francesco Gallia, Aurel M. Milloss, Luigi Squarzina, Pierluigi Samaritani, Elena Povoledo, Giovanni Poli and Arnaldo Momo. The library of the composer Malipiero has valuable cinquecentine and rare antique books, while that of Rolandi boasts numerous opera librettos from the second half of the 16th century to the early 20th century. Gallia’s library includes about 1,200 books on Wagnerian topics and that of the choreographer Milloss, over 3,000 items on dance and its history, rare monographs and specialised periodicals. The libraries of Squarzina, Samaritani, Povoledo, Poli and Momo contain many books on the history of the performing arts, opera, dance and all the arts that involved in staging a theatrical event, such as the art of acting, set design, costume design, lighting and photography


Consultation information
To consult books in former personal libraries (locations: EPOV, MILL, LSQU, MAL, ROL, AMOM and GPOL), authorisation is required by applying to

Items in the Rolandi and Malipiero collections (locations: ROLL and MAL) can be consulted by making a justified request (it is advisable to do so in advance by email to and ) as described in the Regulations (max. 3 volumes for each request).

Items may only be consulted in the Manica Lunga Library.

Comparative civilisations and spiritualities
In 1958, libraries with items illustrating relations between Venice and the Far East and Venice and Eastern Europe were established with an endowment of 36,000 books – precious bibliographic resources for the study of the Greek-Byzantine, Islamic (Turkish and Arab), Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Buddhist civilisations –  plus a microfilm collection of the “Rare Books from the Imperial Library of Beijing” (over a 1,000 rolls of film edited by the US Library of Congress).
In 1971, the Oriental section was enhanced by the donation of Alain Daniélou’s entire personal library, which is of vital importance for knowledge and study of Indian music.

The often unique periodicals (300 titles) are valued not only for their unusual fields of interest but also because they supplement the collections in Venetian city and university libraries.

In 2012, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini acquired the personal library of the journalist and writer Tiziano Terzani. This important collection includes about 6,000 books on art, the cultural history of Eastern countries and accounts by Western travellers. It perfectly complements the existing collection in the Oriental section of the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations and Spiritualities (formerly the Institutes of “Venice and the East” and “Venice and Europe”).


The main core of the specialized library of the Institute for Music is the book collection of the musicologist Pierluigi Petrobelli (1932-2012). In addition to witnessing his numerous research fields (Tartini’s work, musical dramaturgy, Mozart and Verdi’s theater, late medieval and Renaissance polyphony), the collection offers a very broad overview of Italian and international musicology of the second half of the twentieth century. To these precious materials is added a significant corpus of recently acquired volumes that reflects the research lines of the Institute and represents an important update on the musicological research of recent years: author philology and sketch studies, the study of musical performance, the musical theater of the second half of the twentieth century, the forms of improvisation.

Antique books

The Fondazione Giorgio Cini’s antique books collection was begun at the time of the creation of the Foundation thanks to the donation by founder Vittorio Cini of a collection of 15th- and 16th-century volumes previously kept in his residence of Monselice Castle.

Exceptionally interesting because of its rare illustrated editions and many items unique worldwide, the antique books holding is the sum of the collections of Victor Masséna, Prince of Essling, the bibliophile Tammaro De Marinis and Vittorio Cini himself. Over time the collection has gradually been increased through further donations from illustrious scholars, such as Antonio Muñoz and Alessandro Dudan, and the significant recent bequest made by another generous private collector, the Milanese lawyer Cesare Grassetti.

The over 3,000 items in the collection of incunables and cinquecentine include many beautifully crafted books meant for a cultural elite, or commissioned in religious milieus. But there are also numerous works for a more popular readership often supplemented with pictures to make up for shortcomings in literacy of the less educated classes. This makes the Fondazione Giorgio Cini antique books holding one of the most important collections of Renaissance illustrated books in the world.

In addition to the usual research tools, in the Nuova Manica Lunga scholars can consult the valuable specialist library once owned by Tammaro De Marinis, which provides easy access to indices, essays and catalogues of fundamental importance in the study of antique books.