logo Museo Galileo - Institute and Museum of the History of Science
  • Reading room of the Foresiana Library, Portoferraio.zoom in altra finestra
  • Former seat of the Foresiana Library in Via Garibaldi, Portoferraio.zoom in altra finestra

Biblioteca Comunale Foresiana [Foresiana Municipal Library]

The Foresiana Library originated from Napoleon’s donation of his own library to the city of Portoferraio, in 1815. Around 1920 it was enriched by numerous volumes donated by the Elban man of letters and patron of the arts Mario Foresi, for whom the Library is named, and later by the donations of Giorgio Roster and Alberto Reiter. The Library possesses manuscripts and works of great historical, artistic and scientific interest as regards the Island of Elba, including rare editions from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, and is the most complete centre of documentation on the Tuscan Archipelago. Today the Napoleonic material, still municipal property, is kept in the Palazzina dei Mulini at Portoferraio.

Noteworthy among the documents, for its scientific interest, is the precious Herbier by Joseph Antoir. This herbarium, compiled around 1810-1830, contains both Italian and foreign plants. At present it is the subject of study directed by the University of Pisa.

The library now occupies its new quarters in the "De Laugier" cultural centre.


Texts by Mara Miniati

English translation by Catherine Frost

Last update 22/gen/2008