The Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory Library holds modern publications consisting of more than 13.000 books and a wide collection of periodicals, over 900 serials of which 108 have online access.
The holdings cover the international astronomical and astrophysical research starting from about the 1950s.
The collection includes theoretical and observational studies of the solar system, stellar physics, external galaxies, interstellar medium, high energy astrophysics and modern optics.
The Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory Library is a part of the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) Library and Historical Archives Services.
The library also organizes and hosts cultural events. It is an open space for public communication of science. From 2016, the central hall "houses" the piano that Albert Einstein gave to his sister Maja during his stay in Florence. It has been the "star" of many of Arcetri musical events.
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Search in INAF Libraries Catalogue (OPAC BIblioWin)
From the year 2011, the holdings of the INAF Observatories Libraries have merged in a national catalogue. Bologna and Teramo Libraries are still not included, for the time being.
If you want, search on Arcetri Library catalogue
Arcetri Libray catalogue
INAF Libraries (OPAC BiblioWin)
Search in Catalogue of PRINT journals hold by all the Italian Astronomical Observatories Libraries
Search in the Catalogue of INAF ONLINE JOURNALS (INAF Digital Library)
Search in The Italian Catalogue of Periodicals ACNP contains Italian and
International journals, both print and online formats, owned by partecipating Italian libraries.
Arcetri Technical Report
Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory Publications
CFA Wolbach Library
The James Melville Gilliss Library
National Radio Astronomy Observatory Library
The library acquires books and documentary material. For purchase orders, examined by a "special commission", please fillout the form.
The history of the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory library is linked to that of the Specola Tower of Florence.The Specola (from the Latin specula : look out , observe)or the Imperial Observatory, was built in 1775 on the highest part of the Torrigiani Palace where the Royal and Imperial Museum of Physics and Natural History of Florence was hosted. The museum had no library, so, in 1807 Abbot Felice Fontana, the director, founded the main library. He acquired the most important european scientific texts and merged them with the historical holdings of the Cesarea Lotaringia Palatinian Library and the Lorenese Palatina Library. This marked the birth of the new library. Its catalog held eight classes. Astronomy and mathematics were the first class which contained rare books (incunaboli) like Opus preclantissimum astrolabj (1475) of Andalone dal Nero.
In 1872 when the Specola "moved" to the Arcetri hills, the collection of the antique and rare books remained in the museum's library and today is preserved at the Museo Galileo in Florence. Right from the start the library dealt whith astronomical research. The books in the new library were mainly for astronomers use. In the following years the library holdings were connected with scientific interests and biographies of the observatory's directors, starting with Wilheim Tempel whose name is linked to his beautiful drawings of celestial objects. In 1879 Tempel with his drawings won the famous Lincei Prize. When Tempel died (1889) the Arcetri building and library were neglected for years.
In 1894 Antonio Abetti (1846-1928) became the director of the Observatory. One of his aims was to reorganize the library. The first catalogue was created in 1906. At this time the library had about 1860 items including ephemerides, serials, observatory annals, stellar catalogues, celestial atlases, books of astronomy, mathematics, geodesy, geography and the complete works of Galileo Galilei. Abetti recommenced the publications of the Memorie del R.Osservatorio ad Arcetri
(1896/1962), the first observatory serial publication devoted to research activity of the "arcetrini" astronomers. Giorgio Abetti was the observatory director from 1921 until 1953 and left his indelible mark on Italian astronomical rersearch. He made the library an important centre of preservation, storage and access to the international studies
of astronomy and astrophysics.