The Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze is a public national library in Florence
, the largest in Italy
and one of most important in Europe
, one of the two central libraries of Italy, along with the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Rome
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 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.
The National Library System (SBN), located in the BNCF, is responsible for the automation of library services and the indexing of national holdings.
Unfortunately, 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.