Italian Libraries Database

The Italian Libraries Database is the natural outgrowth of the Italian Libraries Census Project, which addresses the need to provide an up-to-date general information tool on libraries in Italy using the database and printed inventories of the Catalogue of Italian Libraries, in order to promote knowledge on Italian libraries and to make it easier to access them.

The  Italian Libraries Database collects detailed information on libraries throughout the country. Unlike other similar databases, this is the only one including a wide array of library typologies: national, municipal and university libraries, as well as many school, ecclesiastical, academic and foundation  libraries.
All this information is available online 24/7 at The database includes a georeferencing tool to locate libraries.

Users whom ICCU has issued credentials to can update library data or add libraries to the database. The updating of data is also made possible by an import/export architecture whose focal point is an XML schema defined by ICCU together with regional administrations and several other bodies.
This format is already in use for exchanging data with the Veneto Region and with the National Office for Ecclesiatical Cultural Heritage (Ufficio Nazionale per i beni culturali ecclesiastici).

In June 2011 an agreement was signed between the ICCU Italian libraries Database and the National Office for Ecclesiatical Cultural Heritage for the updating and interoperability of the AICE database (Archives of the Ecclesiastical Cultural Institutes - Archivi degli Istituti Culturali Ecclesiastici).

A core element in the updating of databases is the ISIL code, an identification code compliant with the ISO 15511 standards (ISIL, International Standard Identifier for Libraries and related organizations) assigned by ICCU to each library added to the database.

An open source web application has been developed allowing each region to perform constant updates. This application is available to any region that doesn’t have a local database and that requires it.
Campania was the first region to sign an agreement with ICCU for adopting this application.

The website of the Italian Libraries, online since March 2013, was built using OpenCMS, an open-source, Java-based Content Management System.
The site is in compliance with existing standards on website accessibility. The site editorial content includes information pages, news and events. This content is produced by the website’s editorial team.

In order to search the libraries database, the website makes the following tools available to its users:

  • simple and advanced search masks
  • faceted navigation of search results
  • summary search results and viewing of the library full  data sheets.

Users can register themselves thanks to a special form, bookmark the libraries they are interested in, and save their search results. Furthermore, a photogallery of libraries and their holdings is under construction.

The database is also available from the Internet Culturale.

For more information: