Living in Prato :
Education and welfare

Roncioniana Library

The oldest library in the city

The Roncioniana library is the oldest library in the city and is located in Piazza San Francesco, in the historical centre of Prato. Created by the testamentary disposition of a local nobleman, Marco di Emilio Roncioni, it was inaugurated in 1722 in another location. In 1766 it was moved permanently to Palazzo Roncioni, an elegant building of great artistic and architectural value which houses many elements of interest: the niche containing a majolica sculpture by Andrea della Robbia, the beautiful reading room adorned by a fresco by Luigi Catani, two 16th-century globes by Mercatore, and wooden shelves. Right from the outset the library was a public, multidisciplinary institution, managed by a librarian chosen from among the canons of the city's clergy, with the support of the Council of Elders, which used to consist of the representatives of six noble families of Prato.
It is a historic, conservation library that houses rich collections of general and local interest, including the manuscripts (from the 13th to the 19th century) of the Roncioni collection (literature, local history, local personalities), the Cesare Guasti collection (manuscripts and works by Guasti), and the Caccini Del Vernaccia collection (economic history from the 15th to the 17th century).

The remarkably extensive collection of 19th-century local newspapers and historical magazines boasts a unique range of titles. Library services include consultation, specialized bibliographical advice, bibliographical and historical searches, interlibrary loan, restoration of library material, and conferences.

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