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  • Municipal Library, seat of the Academy of Arts and Science of the Alpuan Alps, later of the Renewed, Massa.zoom in altra finestra
  • Municipal Library, seat of the Academy of the Renewed, Massa.zoom in altra finestra

Accademia di Scienze e Lettere delle Alpi Apuane, poi de' Rinnovati - Biblioteca Civica [Academy of Science and Literature of the Apuan Alps, then of the "Rinnovati" - Civic Library]

Founded in 1733 as the "Accademia dei Derelitti", (Academy of the Forsaken), its members were for the most part ecclesiastics who met in the Public Library of the Cybo Princes in Palazzo Ducale. After a first reform, dating from 1769, in which its field of interest was extended, in 1806 the Academy was re-established as the Scientific-Literary Society of the Apuan Alps. On March 16 of the same year the Society launched its activity with new statutes and the aim of promoting and disseminating the development of the Sciences and Arts.

In 1816, after the dispersion of the Cybo library, owned by the "Derelitti", the Academy was reborn as the "Accademia scientifico-letteraria dei Rinnovati". In 1842 it was transformed again, now more attentive to subjects of immediate utility to the city than to vast, generic interests. After ten years of inactivity, its meetings were resumed in 1860, but were then suspended from 1912 to 1948, and again from 1954 to 1982. Since 1985 the meetings of the "Rinnovati" have resumed, being held in the rooms of the Civic Library, where their heritage of books is kept.

The original nucleus of today’s library, consisting of the "Library" established by Cardinal Cybo, then inherited by the "Derelitti", was enlarged by the Society of the "Rinnovati". Duke Charles II assigned to their "Library" some rooms in Palazzo Ducale, where it was kept from 1701 up to 1932, when it was transferred to and incorporated in the municipal Library of the Lyceum. After 1945, the Accademia de' Rinnovati was requested to withdraw its library from the Lyceum. Having been left without premises or financial means, the Academy, thanks to the aid of the local administrations and the Bibliographic Department of Genoa, instituted the Civic Library, administered by the Commune of Massa in 1953.

Among the over 80,000 bibliographic units currently possessed by the Library, a great part of the ancient sources consists of 8,522 volumes and 1,613 pamphlets from the archives of the Accademia de' Rinnovati (some of the texts are kept at the "Pellegrino Rossi" Classical Lyceum). The library, consisting mainly of works from the humanist sphere (Italian, Latin and Greek classics, philosophical and historical texts, religious literature), also boasts an interesting collection of scientific texts of geographical and medical-philosophical nature. Important for their scientific value are the Gorgolini collection, consisting of 900 volumes concerning the American continent, especially as regards journeys and cultural anthropology, and the local history section, with approximately 3,000 volumes that record, under all aspects, the life and the personages of the historical Lunigiana area and of contemporary Tuscany.


Texts by Anna Toscano

English translation by Catherine Frost

Last update 19/feb/2008