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Biblioteca e Casa Carducci

Location

Piazza Carducci 5, 40125 Bologna. The house is situated on the circle of avenues surrounding the inner city of Bologna, between Porta Maggiore and Porta S. Stefano, on a square with an imposing monument to the poet by Leonardo Bistolfi (1859-1933).

Description

Casa Carducci contains the poet’s home, his library and his personal archive, and nowadays it is a beautiful example of a maison d’écrivain functioning as museum and library. It was opened in 1921 and since then it has been an important resource for students of Italian literature; visiting school parties and tourists - foreigners in particular - are enchanted by the atmosphere of the place.

Giosue Carducci (1835-1907) lived here from 1890 until his death. The Tuscan-born poet had a leading role not only in the literary world, as an author, poet and critic, but also in the political life of the newly unified Kingdom of Italy. From 1860 to 1903 he held the chair of Italian Eloquentia at the University of Bologna. In 1906 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

He rented an apartment in the house, originally a 16th-century church converted into a private residence, which had enough space for his huge library. ‘‘Today I admired my new home’’, Carducci wrote on 26 April 1890 to his close friend and biographer Giuseppe Chiarini. Margherita of Savoia, Queen of Italy and one of Carducci’s admirers, bought the library and subsequently the entire house, and transferred it all to the City Council after the poet’s death, in order to prevent any danger of the poet’s collections and mementos getting dispersed. Albano Sorbelli, Director of the Archiginnasio and a former pupil of Carducci, transformed this heritage over the years into a lively cultural establishment.

Images

The poet’s desk in the library

The poet’s desk (detail) (Photos: Riccardo Vlahov/IBACN)
Collection

There are some 45,000 items including books annotated by Carducci, pamphlets, offprints and periodicals, a few incunabula, 900 16th-century books, a number of rare literary manuscripts - ranging from Edmund Spenser to Victor Hugo, from Foscolo to Zola - as well as the author’s correspondence and autographs of his own works. Among special collections are the Zanichelli, the Cilliario and Italian literature of the 19th century. The library is housed in a number of rooms in the poet’s apartment, containing its original furniture, upholstery, personal belongings, photos, portraits, sculpture and a bust. The house very much conveys the atmosphere of middle-class life at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century.

There are five catalogues of sections of the collections: of Carducci’s own manuscripts, of the collection of manuscripts as a whole, of 16th-century printed books, of anonymous works, a card catalogue of the other printed books and a card catalogue of cuttings concerning Carducci, collected during his lifetime as well as by the library’s curators since his death.

Bibliography

Catalogo dei manoscritti di Giosue Carducci, a cura di A. Sorbelli. Bologna, Comune di Bologna, 1921-23. 2 vols.

Invito alla Biblioteca e Casa Carducci. Bologna, Lions Club Bologna Carducci, 1996.

Simonetta Santucci, ‘Botti e scaffali’. in: IBC informazioni commenti inchieste sui beni culturali, 5 n.1 January-March 1997.

Director

Pierangelo Bellettini

Opening hours

The library is open from Tuesday to Saturday 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., afternoons by arrangement. The librarians provide bibliographical information and research; interlibrary loans for exhibition purposes only. Guided tours of the Casa Carducci from Tuesday to Sunday 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., afternoons by pre-booking. Closed on national holidays.

Further information

Contact person: Simonetta Santucci.
Telephone and fax: 00 39 051 347 592
E-mail: CasaCarducci@comune.bologna.it

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