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Biblioteca Umberto I (San Michele in Bosco)

Via Giulio Cesare Pupilli, 1 – 40136 Bologna (BO)

Phone +39 051 6366315

Fax +39 051 6366358

Date of last update: 06/08/2019, 11:11

History of the library

The Central Library, titled so after King Umberto I, arose from the sixteenth-century rooms where once the books of the Olivetani Monks were kept. There is controversy as to the exact date of the construction of the first library of the convent of Saint Michele in Bosco: to some it was raised towards the end of the 15th century, while others suggest the year 1517 under the Priorate of Barnaba Cevenini.
It is certain that in 1677 Taddeo Pepoli, prior of the convent, decided on his own account to refresh the library, entrusting the task of architecture to Gian Giacomo Monti, and the task of painting to Domenico Maria Canuti.
With the suppression of the religious in 1797, the library suffered great damage: the antique 16th century shelves were destroyed while the precious miniature books and manuscripts were dispersed.
The convent went through a dark period in these years and they had to wait until 1841, the year in which the complex became the residential place of the Legato Pontificio Spinola, for the rooms painted by Canuti to regain their once lost prestigious value: in fact the rooms of the library were used as a Hall of Princes, Cardinals, Knights and famous politicians until 1880, when Professor Rizzoli acquired the convent to reconstruct as an Orthopedic Hospital.
But the library only regained its greatness when in 1922, the then current director of the Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, Vittorio Putti, restored the rooms and used these to hold all the old and wellworn books.
In the year 1762 Father Rosini da Lendinara finally completed the world globe, still available to be seen in the library, composed so only from maps and descriptions of expert explorers.
And so the estate, set up in 1900, thanks to the donations of the Bologna Province to honour the memory of King Umberto I, was initiated as a library, representing one of the most complete and rarest collection of books in the entire field of orthopedics.

Area of interest

Medical books, a collection of orthopedic texts.


The text is taken from the site of Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli

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Monday 10am - 4pm;
Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday 10am - 2:30pm;
Friday 10am - 1:30pm
Saturday 9am - 1pm
(open on the fourth Saturday of the month); closed on Saturday in July.  Holiday closings: August and Christmastime.
For groups, please send email to biblioteca@ior.it - to Dr Tomba - Dr Vigano’

Summer holidays: from 27th July to 24th August 2019. Opens on Monday 26th August.