Students are reminded that in order to access the library and the Buonarroti Archive, a letter of introduction to the Institute of belonging is required, and it is mandatory to arrange an appointment (fax, telephone or e-mail) with the secretarial office of the Casa Buonarroti.
For the consultation of the Buonarroti Archives it is necessary the prior authorization of the Archival and Tuscan Bibliographic Superintendency.
The appointment is subject to the granting of the aforementioned authorization.Students can access the Library upon written presentation of the Institute of belonging.
The library and the Buonarroti Archive are open every day from Monday to Friday from 9am to 1.15pm.
The history of the book heritage now owned by the Casa Buonarroti Foundation is long and complex: and to tell its story also means trying to write a sort of story parallel to the most famous one of the Casa Buonarroti and its owners. As the Casa Buonarroti can not be called Michelangelo’s house, so in the library of the Buonarroti House one can not obviously find that library of Michelangelo whose study is a subject of great fascination, even if we know very little about it. But today the library is no longer even a family library.
The reconstruction of the age-old physiognomy of this book heritage led to advance hypothesis on the seventeenth-century library of the scholar Michelangelo the Younger, to investigate that of the antiquarian Filippo, who lived in the House in the first half of the eighteenth century; to revisit what is left of the family books, to reconstruct in its early days the library of the Casa Buonarroti Foundation, founded in 1859 by the last Grand Duke; to define, finally, the successive stages of the enlargements.
In this story, an undoubtedly significant episode is the acquisition by the Municipality of Florence, and the consequent assignment on loan to the Buonarroti House, fifteen years ago, of a large sector (4157 titles) of the personal library of Charles de Tolnay, director of the House from 1965 to his death, which took place in 1981: this is how he finally got to have a fund of Michelangelesque bibliography that was all the more significant as it was collected over the years by a specialist.
But it is certainly not negligible the presence of other donations and other funds: the approximately one hundred and fifty pieces from the library of the scholar Domenico Tordi (1857-1933), almost all works by Vittoria Colonna; or the cards of Jacques Mesnil (1872-1940), the scholar in love with Florence, who wrote important essays on the art of the fifteenth century but also revolutionary pamphlets; or again, the preparatory materials and the manuscript of a classic of the Michelangelesque bibliography, the work on portraits of the artist published by Ernst Steinmann in 1913.
Currently, the Library consists of about 11,000 volumes, 41 magazines, and about 200 rare books, including 44 five hundred. In addition, the 169 precious volumes of the Buonarroti Archive are part of the Library, whose consultation is strictly limited to specialists.
In the library of the Buonarroti House you can consult a photo library ordered by authors, made up of over 10,000 pieces, and dedicated mainly to the work of Michelangelo but also to artists of the Italian and Flemish Renaissance. The computer cataloging of the Carteggio by Michelangelo il Giovane can be consulted.