Convent collections

Convents were suppressed in the Duchy of Parma in different moments.

In 1768, in particular, the Jesuit Order was suppressed as well as the convents of San Martino de' Bocci and Chiaravalle della Colomba. Whilst the consistency of the libraries belonging to the latter convents is not clear, the Jesuit libraries are well known due to the inventories that the director of the Palatina Paolo Maria Paciaudi had prepared with long lists of precious items that he  commandeered for the Library. These items were then dislocated in the Library and are not easily recognizable except for a group of publications that can be connected to Jesuit history and activity.

The second suppression seems to have taken place in two different moments: in 1805 and 1810. The first phase seemed not to have touched the Library but during the second  the officers in charge prepared detailed lists of the libraries of the convents suppressed.  The director of the Palatina, Angelo Pezzana, added the word 'Reservé' to the items he wanted for the Library and integrated them into the collections. In this case as well it is extremely difficult to distinguish the items coming from the different religious houses suppressed from the rest of the Palatine collections.

The Library would not have a Suppressed Convents collection if this system had continued to be used.

As a consequence of the Unification of Italy and the tense relationship between the Church and the newly established State, in 1866 the last suppression took place.

This time, all books belonging to the suppressed religious houses were delivered separately to the Library and  numbered progressively in different series. Therefore the Library holds:

  • 3000 items from the Convento dell'Annunciata: Conv. Ann. 1-1273;
  • 4600 items from the Convento dei Cappuccini: Conv. Cap. 1-2283;
  • 3000 items from the Conventi Riformati: Conv. Rif. 1-1960;
  • 15000 items from from the Biblioteca di San Giovanni Evangelista: Conv. Ben. 1-6103.

In total the Convent collections would have held more than 25000 volumes if the librarians had not extracted from them a number of items (manuscripts and incunabula) in order to enrich the other  collections of the Library. The Convent collections were greatly damaged during the air raid of 1944 and only in these last decades they have been reordered and restored.