|National Central Library of Florence|
|Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze|
|Type||Public, national library|
|Size||6,000,000 books, 2,689,672 pamphlets, 1,000,000+ autographs, 120,000 magazines, 29,000 16th century editions, 25,000 manuscripts and 4,000 Incunabula.|
|Access and use|
|Access requirements||Open to anyone|
The National Central Library of Florence (Italian: Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, BNCF) is a public national library in Florence, the largest in Italy and one of the most important in Europe, one of the two central libraries of Italy, along with the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma.
The library was founded in 1714 when scholar Antonio Magliabechi bequeathed his entire collection of books, encompassing approximately 30,000 volumes, to the city of Florence. By 1743, it was required that a copy of every work published in Tuscany be submitted to the library. Originally known as the Magliabechiana, the library was opened to the public in 1747. Its holdings were combined with those of the Biblioteca Palatina Lorenese in 1861, and by 1885, the library had been renamed as the National Central Library of Florence, or the BNCF. Since 1870, the library has collected copies of all Italian publications.
Since 1935, the collections have been housed in a building designed by Cesare Bazzani and V. Mazzei, located along the Arno River in the quarter of Santa Croce. Before this, they were found in various rooms belonging to the Uffizi Gallery.
The National Library System (SBN), located in the BNCF, is responsible for the automation of library services and the indexing of national holdings.
A major flood of the Arno River in 1966 damaged nearly one-third of the library's holdings, most notably its periodicals and Palatine and Magliabechi collections. The Restoration Center was subsequently established and may be credited with saving many of these priceless artifacts. However, much work remains to be done and some items are forever lost.
The library curates the Nuovo soggettario, a "subject indexing tool for various types of resources".
Arno river facade
The library beside Santa Croce
The distribution hall
The catalogues room
The reading room
Manuscripts from the National Library being washed and dried in the boiler room of Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station, after the November 1966 flood