Fondo Rari

Rare books - About us

Working group:
Maria Alessandra Falcone (coordinator), Ornella Ferrari, Paola Ferrari, Donatella Gentili, Maria Salvatorina Graziani
Telefono: (+39) 06 4990 6778

The Working Group for the Enhancement and Conservation of the Rare Books of the Library of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità has been dealing with the ancient Fund of the Library  since 2008.

The Fund, commonly known as the "Rare Fund", is made up of over a thousand printed volumes, published between 1504 and 1830. There are 104 editions of the sixteenth century; 163 editions of the 17th century; 814 editions of the XVIII century; 74 editions of the nineteenth century. The collection is completed by 3 manuscripts produced in the 17th-18th centuries and 17 anatomical tables made by the young sculptor Antonio Canova (1757-1822).

The Fund includes works by some of the most representative authors of medical and scientific thought of all times, including Hippocrates, Galen, Avicenna, Mattioli, Mercuriale, Vesalio, Morgagni, Redi, Vallisneri, Lancisi etc.
Most of the volumes that make up the Fund were purchased by the ISS between the 1940s and 1950s.

Over the years, the Fund has undergone various cleaning and restoration interventions aimed at promoting their best  conservation.
The Fund is kept in a room dedicated to it (Sala Rari) and can be consulted by scholars with the authorization of the Director of the Library.

In 2008 the Library, thanks to a co-financed grant from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) and the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), launched the project (which ended in 2010) entitled: The Fund of Rare Books ( XVI-XIX century) in the medical-health field of the Library of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità from the print to the online version: a new resource available to the national and international scientific community.

This has allowed the realization of the following objectives:

To ensure greater visibility to the Fund, in addition to the online catalog, a printed catalog was also published consisting of two volumes:

In 2016, the over one thousand volumes of the Rari Fund were fully digitized by Google Books.
Most of the works are available in the full text version (full view), while only a small number have been digitized by Google in partial form (snippet view).
The link to the Full Text link Google Books in the catalog allows you to consult / download this material

To consult the Rare Fund Catalog, select the Ancient Book option in the search string.

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