Biblioteca Malatestiana - Cesena
The Malatestiana library is the only example of a monastic-humanist library perfectly preserved in the building, furnishings and book collection, as UNESCO acknowledged in 2005 by including it in the Memory of the World Register, with the following reasons: “The library contains works on philosophy, theology and writings of biblical nature, as much as scientific and classical literature, from varying sources. It is a rare example of a complete and marvellous collection preserved since the middle of the 15th century, just prior to the advent of printing in Europe. The collection is a unique example of a humanist library of the Renaissance, a time in which the first appraisals of Christian writings and teachings paved the way for a variety of secular considerations”.
The origins of the library are tied to the name of Malatesta Novello, the last lord of Cesena, who took under himself the project of the friars of Saint Francis of constructing a library for their convent. The building was completed in 1452 and opened to the public on the 15th August 1454. The library contains 343 manuscripts, dating from the IX to the XV century, written in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Beside the collection of books owned by the Franciscan convent, this include 126 codices commissioned by Malatesta Novello, and the manuscripts donated by Novello’s physician Giovanni di Marco.
The hall in front of the ancient library hosts the Biblioteca Piana, originally the private library of pope Pius VII Chiaramonti, sold by his heirs to the Italian State in 1942. In the same hall are exhibited eight choir books, commissioned by cardinal Bessarione and dating from the middle of the XV century, and seven choir books, belonging to the Archive of Cesena’s Cathedral and dating between 1480 and 1495.
At the beginning of the XIX century a new City Library was created, beside the ancient Malatestiana Library. It holds 300.000 modern and ancient books, among which 307 incunables, about 4000 books printed in the XVI century, and several manuscripts dating from the XVI to the XIX century and concerning the history of Cesena
- Indirizzo: Piazza Bufalini, 1
- Città: Cesena (FC)
- Tel: +39 0547610892 / +39 0547356327