The Library owns approximately 1,800 editions published before 1831; just over half of these are part of the book collections listed below, and the rest were purchased from antique bookshops. The antique editions bear on subjects that are connected with economics in a wider sense: agriculture, commerce, dissertations on usury, demography, trade, numismatics and tax legislation. However, works of a more general nature are also to be found (historical, encyclopaedic, moral) along with rare and valuable editions of classical and modern literature.

The Library preserves collections of works originally belonging to personalities from the worlds of economics, politics and law:

All the collections can be consulted (unless stated otherwise) by e-mailing the librarian at bibliotecabaffi@bancaditalia.it.

Alberto Beneduce collection

This collection consists of approximately 2,500 volumes originally belonging to Alberto Beneduce (1877-1944), a key economic figure of the 1930s. Financier, scholar and politician, he played a crucial role during those years in finding technical solutions for addressing the serious industrial and banking crisis; these solutions led to the creation of IRI (Institute for Industrial Reconstruction), the reorganisation of the banking sector in 1934 and the 1936 Banking Law. At the end of the 1960s, the family donated the collection to Donato Menichella (Governor of the Bank of Italy from 1948 to 1960), who had worked closely with Beneduce. Beneduce's private papers were also donated to the Bank together with these volumes; they are now kept at the Historical Archives.

This collection represents its owner's broad interests and manifold fields of activity; at the same time, it can provide an original key to understanding the main economic and financial events that characterised the period between the end of the nineteenth century and the early 1940s.

Not available for consultation at present.

Francesco Calasso collection

This collection belonged to Francesco Calasso (1904-1965), a distinguished jurist, teacher of the history of Italian law in various Italian universities, and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Rome from 1955 until his death. This collection is composed of more than 1,500 volumes and pamphlets. The antique portion comprises over 300 works; these include a large number of sixteenth-century publications, some of which are very valuable, both for their bibliographical features and for their content.

The bibliographic records of the volumes published before 1831 are in the library online catalogue; the others are available for consultation through the digitized version of the original card catalogue at the bottom of this page.

Filippo Carli collection

In 1970 Governor Guido Carli donated to the Library a collection of books which had belonged to his father, Filippo Carli (1876-1938), a professor of sociology and political economy.

A list of the 877 works in the collection was published on paper in two special issues of the Bollettino bibliografico della Biblioteca (31 October 1970 and 1 July 1973). In addition to texts on economics, economic history and corporatism, there are works on history stricto sensu, politics, law, psychology, philosophy, sociology, Italian translations of Latin and Greek classics, works of modern Italian, French and English literature.

Sergio Fenoaltea collection

As a young man Sergio Fenoaltea (1908-1995) was an active member of the anti-Fascist movement and among the founders of the liberal socialist Partito d'Azione political party. He held several important positions in the Comitato di liberazione nazionale. He was Undersecretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers under the Bonomi Government, member and later President of the Consulta nazionale, Ambassador to China, Canada, Belgium and the United States, and elected Senator in 1976.

His library, purchased in 1998, is composed of 5,282 volumes and brings together the works of distinguished thinkers, lawmakers and historians. The collection provides a virtually complete view of political thought from classical antiquity to the eighteenth century, and of world diplomacy. A number of literary works can also be found here, from the Latin and Greek classics to modern literature, especially Italian and French literature; rare and valuable texts include several editions from the 1700s, rich with engravings, that are worthy of note.

Pietro Oddo collection

Pietro Oddo (1877-1960) was secretary for numismatics to King Victor Emmanuel III. His collection of works came to the Bank of Italy in 1938, completing the acquisition of his collection of coins from Southern Italy and Sicily, part of which is on exhibit at the Bank's Money Museum. Composed of approximately 800 volumes written between 1517 and 1938, it comprises works of numismatic interest, both general and relating to particular periods, individual mints or materials connected with money (seals, cards, leaden seals, gems, medals). A large number of sales catalogues and issues of journals are also part of the collection. A project to catalogue the collection began in 1953 and the index cards, stored in four cabinets, can be consulted in the Reading Room. At present only 702 volumes, published from 1831 on, can be found in the electronic catalogue.

Lionel Robbins collection

This collection was acquired by the Bank in 1990 and is composed of the first two sections (from antiquity to Adam Smith and from Adam Smith to 1870) of the collection of books belonging to Sir Lionel Robbins (1899-1984), the eminent English economist, professor at the London School of Economics and drafter, together with Keynes, of the Bretton Woods agreements, president of the Royal Economic Society and of the British Academy, foreign member of the Accademia dei Lincei.

The collection comprises 1,474 volumes, many of which are first editions, some of them extremely rare; it is particularly representative of the monetary debate in England in the 1700s and 1800s. It contains a number of works of a historical and philosophical nature and particular attention is devoted to the bullionist controversy and to the basic theory of economic policy.

Carlo Rodanò collection

Carlo Rodanò (1891-1971), engineer, author of textbooks on economics and social and economic history, member of the editorial staff and head of unit at the Istituto dell'enciclopedia italiana, executive at the Research Department of Banca commerciale italiana, contributor for economics to the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly, collaborated with the Economic Research Department of the Bank of Italy during the 1930s and 1940s and established ties of friendship with the future Governor Paolo Baffi.

On his death some of the books that had belonged to him were donated to the Library by Paolo Baffi, then Director General, who had inherited the collection. A list of these volumes was published in the Bollettino bibliografico della Biblioteca (31 January 1972).

There are 81 works printed between 1900 and 1966, mostly from the inter-war period; the subjects are connected with commerce, industry, money and the American and English economies.

Ernesto Rossi collection

The collection comprises 675 volumes once belonging to Ernesto Rossi (1897-1967), economist, politician, journalist and anti-Fascist. He was one of the leading advocates of European federalism and helped to draft the Ventotene Manifesto.

The collection was donated to the Paolo Baffi Library in 2011 by Prof. Giulio Cifarelli and Mr. Claudio Treves, to whom it had been bequeathed. It comprises works on economics that Ada Rossi did not wish to pass, with the remainder of the library, to the Istituto Tecnico Vittorio Emanuele II of Bergamo, where she and her husband had taught.

The books that Ernesto Rossi kept with him during his long incarceration at Piacenza, Pallanza and Rome and during his exile on Ventotene are of particular historical interest. Not only do they contain precious material evidence, such as visas, stamps, drawings and expedients used to circumvent the prohibition on annotating books, but the quotations from them which appeared in his letters document his reading activity, his reflections and his efforts to translate the works written in English.

A catalogue, was published by the Bank in 2018 as the first issue of The Paolo Baffi Library: Collections and Studies.

Antique collection Salottino del Governatore

This small but precious collection brings together 150 rare and valuable editions. It was built up between 1941 and 1950 thanks to the love for books of Luigi Einaudi, who not only availed himself of the Head of the Bank's Press Office, Luigi Suttina (1883-1951), but was also helped by distinguished booklovers, such as Tammaro De Marinis.

Their objective was to create a small but prestigious museum of books while also conserving, during those difficult times, a cultural legacy that might otherwise become dispersed or be taken abroad. With the intent of illustrating the beauty of the printer's art, the collection brings together illustrated and richly bound editions, dating from 1477 to the early twentieth century.

A catalogue, enriched with biographical notes on authors, editors, binders and owners, and with photographs of the most important items, was published by the Bank in 1996 as the first issue of the Collana della Biblioteca Paolo Baffi.

Consultation by special request only; please contact the librarian at bibliotecabaffi@bancaditalia.it

Francesco Calasso collection - Catalogue 1

Francesco Calasso collection - Catalogue 2