The Library of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz is one of the oldest public research libraries dedicated to art history. In 1897, together with the Photothek, it formed the basis upon which the newly founded Institute was to build and grow. Conceived from the start as an essential work tool that would provide the best possible support for academics from around the world conducting research in Florence, the Library remains committed to this goal right up to today. In the 125 years of its existence, it has developed – under widely diverging and at times difficult conditions – into one of the world's most prestigious libraries of art history, intensively used by an international readership. The profile of the collection, the shelf classification system, the maintenance of the catalogue, as well as convenience of consultation, are all subject to constant adjustments in line with the changing scientific demands and innovations in library science. At the same time they reflect, from a historical perspective, the dynamic developments in the methodology of the discipline in general and the shifts of interest that have likewise taken place within research into the history of Italian art and its local, national and global relationships in particular. The Library today offers access to some 300,000 volumes and a further 50,000 individual periodicals. With around 7,000 new acquisitions annually and subscriptions to over 1,000 current journals, the Library's holdings are continually being updated and their scope widened. Complementary to the print holdings, access to electronic publications and discipline-related resources has also been gradually expanded in the last ten years. At present, over 2,500 licensed e-journals and some 100,000 e-books in the fields of art history and neighbouring disciplines can be consulted through the Institute's network.

Bibliothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz

Via Giuseppe Giusti 44
50121 Firenze / Italy

Phone: +39 055 24911-1
Fax: +39 055 24911-55

Opening hours:
Mon – Fri, 9am – 8pm


Jan Simane Head of the Library

Phone: +39 055 24911-31

User ID Cards

User ID Cards, which allow access to the Library and Photothek, can be obtained via e-mail.

Please read the information on how to apply for a user ID card before sending your application including the completed application form and safety form to

Rare book consultation

Requests are processed from Monday to Friday, 11am or 3pm at the Library helpdesk in Room MAN/A on the 1st floor. The corresponding order forms are also there.


Library patrons have access to photocopiers and digital scanners (on their own USB flash drive).

Library helpdesk

The Library helpdesk, located in Room Man/A on the 1st floor, is staffed every day from 10.30am – 12.30pm and 2 – 4pm for all queries relating to using the Library. Outside these hours, in urgent cases it is also possible to speak to a member of Library staff in their office.


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