The Rare Books Section has a triple purpose: to provide scholars with primary sources for research; to proceed with specialized cataloguing of old books
(i.e. those which were printed before the year 1800); and, finally, to increase the Library's holdings of old and precious books.
The first concrete project of the new Section is to insert the printed catalogue of incunabula (Studi e testi, 380-383) into the OPAC. In a second phase, it hopes to create a more in-depth catalogue of the incunabula, which will also be made available on-line. A further project is the description of the Library's sixteenth-century printed books, in collaboration with the EDIT16 project of the ICCU, the largest project on a national scale in Italy. In addition, the Section deals with the acquisition and the administration of electronic resources concerning old books; with the preparation of exhibits; and with problems connected to the conservation of old books.
The Section intends to stimulate collaboration between researchers and curators and proposes to devote special attention to new, computer-based technologies. We hope for a closer collaboration with other libraries with important collections of old books, in order to develop optimal conservation practices, including those which address security problems.