The Bank of Italy's Library was established in 1894. It is divided into an economics section, named after Paolo Baffi, Governor from 1975 to 1979, containing specialist volumes on banking, finance and general economics, and a law section. Both provide the Bank's staff with an important research tool and are also open for consultation by the general public, particularly academics, economists, experts from other institutions and university students.

The Paolo Baffi Library cooperates closely with several national and international libraries and organizations. It is part of Associazione Italiana Biblioteche (AIB), Catalogo italiano dei periodici (ACNP), Catalogo degli articoli dei periodici italiani di economia, diritto, scienze sociali e storia (Essper), NILDE (Network Inter Library Document Exchange) and Associazione degli utenti italiani Ex Libris (ITALE). At international level, it participates in the ESCB Information Management Network, coordinated by the European Central Bank, in the Central Bank and International Financial Institutions Librarians' Discussion List (Cbfalist), managed by the Bank of International Settlements, and in the Central Bank and International Financial Institution Librarians' Group (CBIFILG).

Services for the citizen

The Library and the Law Library allow the Public:

  • consult via internet the Library catalogue and the catalogue of on-line resources
  • consult the catalogue and collections in the reading rooms
  • make photocopies, within the limits of copyright law
  • get remote bibliographical and documentary information services.

For further information click here.

Library holdings

The Library owns more than 226,000 volumes, as well as approximately 10,000 titles of periodicals on paper and over 143,000 electronic resources.

In the Paolo Baffi Library approximately 1,800 of the works were published before 1831; they include incunabula, sixteenth-century publications, and a number of works from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, amongst which some highly precious editions are to be found, such as the editio princeps of Luca Pacioli's Summa de arithmetica (1494) and the first edition of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776).

Of special note are the collections of books originally belonging to important figures, such as the economist Lionel Robbins, the intellectual Ernesto Rossi, the numismatist Pietro Oddo, the jurist Francesco Calasso, and Ambassador Sergio Fenoaltea, to which should be added the precious collection of antiquarian books. The Library also owns many reels of microfilm reproducing papers from the archives of the economists of the Cambridge school (Keynes, Kaldor, Kahn, Joan and Austin Robinson), the contents of the library of Piero Sraffa, and the important economics libraries Goldsmiths'-Kress Library and Seligman Collection.

The Law Library owns approximately 100 works published before 1831 as well as  works from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Particularly precious items are the 1584 edition of Justinian's Corpus iuris civilis and the 1572 edition of Baldo degli Ubaldi's Commentaria.


In 2018, the Paolo Baffi Library launched the series entitled 'The Paolo Baffi Library: Collections and Studies', which promotes its work through the publication of bibliographies, catalogues of holdings, guides and studies. All the studies published before 2018 can be read here.

Related Topics

The Paolo Baffi Library: Collections and Studies

The series The Paolo Baffi Library: Collections and Studies will raise the profile of the Library and promote its work through the publication of bibliographies, catalogues of holdings, guides and studies.

The authors are responsible for the opinions expressed and any conclusions drawn, which do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Italy.

Reading room Library services

The Bank of Italy's collections are managed by two libraries: the Paolo Baffi Library, which specializes in banking, finance and economics, and the legal library, which specializes in banking and financial law. The total collection amounts to 150,000 volumes, 8,500 periodical publications on paper, and 1,300 electronic resources.