The Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries and for Bibliographic Information, technical and scientific contact point for the General Directorate for Libraries, Cultural Institutes and Copyright, is responsible at instituonal level for promoting and coordinating the cataloguing and documentation of the book heritage held in public libraries, with particular reference to the realization of the National Library Service (SBN).

In support of its cataloguing activities, the Institute drafts, produces and disseminates guidelines and standards for the cataloguing of relevant materials, from manuscripts to multimedia documents.

Moreover, it coordinates projects concerning cataloguing, digitisation and long-term preservation of digital documents created thanks to modern information technology.

In its attempt to improve knowledge on bibliographic collections and make them easier to access, ICCU promotes and coordinates a national census of manuscripts, a census of the 16th century Italian editions and the Italian libraries database.