The Parmense collection

Delle rime di M. Pietro Bembo Terza impressione (Stampate in Roma : per Valerio Dorico et Luigi fratelli : ad istantia di M. Carlo Gualteruzzi, nel mese di Ottobre, 1548) Nel recto della carta note manoscritte di Michele Colombo.

The Parmense collection records the growth of the institution and comprises all the manuscripts and printed items as well as the documents and art objects which have entered the Library since its first opening. The collection started with Paolo Maria Paciaudi who directed the Library between 1761-1774 and 1778-1785. When the Library was first opened to the public it counted already around 24.000 volumes.

Ireneo Affò, although having lesser means than his predecessor Paciaudi, managed to purchase the library of the surgeon Antonio Galli, the so-called Gridario of the Parma States and other items interesting for local history (e.g. those belonging to Captain Giuseppe Ferrari).     

Under the many years of Angelo Pezzana's directorship (1804-1862) several new and complete collections were acquired by the Library. As well as the more famous De Rossi and Ortalli collections, he purchased the libraries belonging to Antonio Bertioli (1810) and Filippo Linati (1841) and the collections belonging to ??? Giard (1841), the Sanvitale family (1838 and 1841), Bartolomeo Gamba, Francesco Pizzetti and Ferdinando Cornacchia (1842), Michele Colombo and his pupil Bonaventura Porta (1843-1844) and Angelo Schenoni (1846). Amongst these the Gamba, Colomba and Porta collections deserve a special mention.

In Spring 1842 Angelo Pezzana bought for 10.500 liras four thousand volumes belonging to the scholar Bartolomeo Gamba. He used these texts for his fundamental study of the Italian language: Serie di testi di lingua.

The priest Michele Colombo (1747-1838) was interested in the Sciences as well as travelling and collecting manuscripts and printed books. In Parma he worked as a tutor for the Porta family. His library (the Colombiana) entered the Palatina Library in 1843 and amongst its treasures there is the De perspectiva pingendi by Piero della Francesca, a rich collection of letters and the Porta collection that is important for its texts of natural history.

Also noteworthy are the:

Miscellanea Erudita

It consists of a collection of around 15.000 booklets, treaties and academic productions printed in Parma and its surroundings between the 16th and 19th centuries which, apart from its contents, is also interesting for the history of printing in Parma.


Spanish collection:

The Library owns a great quantity of handwritten or printed material in Spanish or of Spanish interest mostly due to the origins of the Bourbon Parma dynasty.   The Spanish 'Siglo de oro' collection is specially noteworthy: viz. the collection of the works by Lope de Vega and 'Comedias de diferentes autores'. The first consists of 47 volumes containing 124 handwritten and 267 printed works; the second 87 volumes with 800 works some of which still to be ascribed.