The Senate Library was established in 1848. On 21 June 2003 the Senate Library opened its doors to scholars and researchers in its new premises in the ancient buiding at Piazza della Minerva, behind the Pantheon, in the heart of Rome.
The Library offers scholars a wealth of books and documents of unquestioned historical and cultural value – which mirror its dual role as parliamentary and historical library. Its value has been further enhanced by computer-assisted procedures, the expansion of the information, documentation and reference services, as well as the opening of numerous open shelf specialist rooms.
The current collection amounts to more than 600,000 books and printed documents; 3,500 Italian and foreign periodicals; 400 Italian and foreign dailies (currently 90); 8,000 maps; 850 manuscripts; 80 incunabula; 2,000 16th century editions; 2,000 autograph documents.
The law and political collections, together with those referring to the history of political thought and the history of journalism, as well as a rich section of Italian and foreign parliamentary documents, are supplemented by a large number of special sections of great historical and bibliological value: the most important collection at the national level of Statutes of Communes and Corporations from the late Middle Ages until modern times; an exhaustive collection of legislation of old Italian states; a collection of invaluable old editions of local Italian history material; a rich heritage of early editions on civil and canon law; one of the largest existing collections of nineteenth-century periodicals; one of the most important newspaper and periodical collections in Italy.