Saturday, October 16, 2010

Roman public libraries

Roman public libraries

Introducing the concept:
Early Rome had a strong focus on learning and education so thus the upper class and middle class found that books were very precise assets. However only rich people had the money to buy books so the lower class didn’t have books and also had no way to assess the information providing in these books. Julius cesure the emperor at that time saw this problem and to ratify it asked his friend to create a collection of books for him and build a building to house these books which would be for the public however he was murder before this could happen so the first public libraries was not build until later.

Early history:
The first public library in Rome was built by Asinius Pollio soon after this Augustus opened the another two public libraries soon afterward.Asinius library collection had both Greek and Latin books and  then. The books in this library could not be borrowed and only looked at and the opening hours where in the evening each day for patrons. These days the library did not stand the test of times and lays in ruins which create a great historic landmark in rome and are a fantastic torist atraction.

All the popular libraries in Rome reflect the use of stones pillars and domes in the main structure of each building this is because they were all comissioned to be design by architects around the 18th century . Roman public libraries have two things in common they are very old and made of similar material such as stone, marble and wood. Each of the public libraries i studied also had the same large range of old books spaning from 20,000 to 30,000 books in total.The design and layout of the old public libraries also gave the public access to things long enjoyed by the wealthier classes such as gardens, sculpture, and, most prominently, bathhouses. Below are pictures of the different popular libraries.

Roman public libraries are also have similar
architecture to most public libraries around the world if you look at the pictures below you can see all the building from the diffrent libraries have a dome structure reading rooms and similar layout.

State library of Victoria.
The national British library.
The Casanatense Library.

                                                                 General information :
Angelica Library
If you look at the picture directly above that is of the Angelica Library this library consisted of very old works dated back to the end of the 15th century the library consist of over 20,000 items donated by Angelo Rocca. All the books in the library focus on religion in Rome.

The Casanatense Library
I spoke about this library briefly in my blog. The library was founded in 1701 by the Dominicans of the Monastery of Santa. Much of the libraries collection was donated by the Neapolitan cardinal Girolamo Casanate’s private library and focuses on a number of different subjects.

Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuele II
The national library of Rome the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuele II in Rome was founded in 1875.  The library contains 3,0000 books, 1,883 incunabula, 6,169 manuscripts and 30,000 autographs.

Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuele II information:

PlanetWare Inc 2010, Rome - National Library, PlanetWare Inc, viewed 18 October 2010

The Casanatense Library and The Angelica Library
Ariane Varela Braga 2010, Rome's historic libraries, WordPress Entries (RSS), viewed 18 October 2010

Early history and design information :
Private Libraries in Ancient Rome,viewed 19 October 2010


Introducing the consept: Most information is from britanica online restricted assess to only swinburne students.

That concludes my blog on roman public libraries some areas and i hope everyone ejoyed reading.

Some suggestions for me for next time would be think very carefully before creating my topic plan. i think in area one i should have just researched old public libraries and public libraries in roman history and just got rid of the other area then focus mainly on history which i could find the most information on as i couldn't find a lot of information on areas two and three.


  1. Hi Melonie. There are still a number of major issues with your blog. The content is still inadequate and the scope poorly defined.The spelling and grammar needs better proof-reading and correction. There are some formatting issues and inconsistencies in the use of fonts. Images are not linked to their source pages. A blog list of all your fellow students' blogs is still missing.

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