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The ancient Lancisiana Library reopens to the public

Biblioteca Lancisiana Foto Asl Roma 1
from 7 August 2021 to 31 October 2021

A place of extraordinary beauty set in the upper loggia of the 16th-century Palazzo del Commendatore, inside the oldest European public hospital: following restoration and consolidation works, the Lancisiana Library reopens to the public. Housed within the monumental complex of Santo Spirito in Sassia, it was founded in 1711 by physician Giovanni Maria Lancisi and centered upon the study of the history of medicine.  

The Library owns a unique heritage, with almost almost 20 thousand volumes, including about 1,600 Cinquecentine (16th-century editions), manuscripts and printed books from the 14th to the 19th century. The very rich collection includes the illuminated codex Liber Fraternitatis Sanctis Spiritus in Saxia de Urbe, with thousands of signatures of popes, kings, nobles and ordinary people that were members of the Confraternita Ospitaliera di Santo Spirito and lifelong benefactors of the hospital. The restoration made it possible to recover the fresco on the vault of the reading room, an 18th-century artwork attributed to Gregorio Guglielmi, and to complete the static improvements of the vault, roof, flooring and systems.

Finally, the new project Lancisiana Virtual Library opens up the history of the library to a wider public. It is a multimedia, interactive and multilingual visit entrusted to a life-size holographic character, the first librarian of the Lancisiana Cristoforo Carsughi.

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Biblioteca Lancisiana Foto Asl Roma 1