The Querini Library

Education is our investment

The Library is general in nature and holds around 400,000 volumes including ancient works and modern books, and for more than 150 years it has been considered ‘the library of the Venetians’. It is open, even on holidays and free of charge, to anyone aged 16 and over. About 20,000 volumes can be consulted in its reading rooms, as well as over 200 magazines and periodicals, whilst both local and national newspapers are available every day.

Since the late 1970s, it has been classed as a ‘Civic Library of the Historical Centre’ thanks to a convention with the Municipality of Venice, recognising its role in serving the city.

The Library was founded in 1869, when the Fondazione was established and Count Giovanni stipulated in his will that the family library would become public. The old core body of works owned by the Querini Stampalia family has since grown thanks to ongoing acquisitions and donations from those who have wanted to make their own personal libraries, or parts of them, available to readers and scholars.

The Library's resources

Today, the Library’s documentary holdings comprise around 400,000 volumes; 120 archive boxes from the Querini Stampalia family archive; 1,300 manuscripts; 100 incunabula; 1,617 16th-century books; 20,250 editions from the 17th to the 19th century; 20,000 pamphlets; 3,269 notices of the Venetian Republic (also available in digital version); 4,000 periodicals, of which over 200 are current; 3,000 loose engravings; and 355 ancient geographical and cadastral maps.

Publications acquired after 1990 can be found in the National Library Service catalogue (OPAC) of the Polo SBN Venezia (National Library Service in Venice), as well as part of the earlier bibliographic holdings.

Over 840 manuscripts out of the nearly 1,300 held by the Library have been entered in the Nuova Biblioteca Manoscritta regional catalogue.

Card catalogues

The Library also has card and volume catalogues for works acquired before 1990.
For more information, please write to 

Opening hours

Library and Periodicals Library
Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 8 pm
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, 10 am to 7 pm
Closed Mondays

Special opening days
The Library is also open on the following days:
Easter Saturday; 2 June; Eve of the Feast of the Redeemer; 1 and 21 November; 8, 24, 26 and 31 December

Special closing days
The Library is also closed on the following days:
New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, 25 April, 1 May, 15 August, Christmas Day

Distribution service hours
Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 7.30 pm
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, 10 am to 6.30 pm
Consultation of ancient and rare materials, large-format newspapers and periodicals stored in external repositories must be scheduled by appointment. Please contact:


The Library is open to readers aged 16 and over.
To access the Library, you must first register for a card, free of charge.

How to register
Register for the Library by sending the completed registration form, signed on both pages, together with a scanned copy of a valid ID, to

Entry and accessibility

The Library is on the first floor of the building and can be reached using the lift.


Various services are available, some of which may also be activated online, in order to allow you to make the best use of the items held in the library. There is free Internet access available via the WiFi network.

The Library’s rooms reflect its history: next to the late 19th-century rooms, with period stuccoes and furnishings and lamps designed by Carlo Scarpa on the tables, there are also more modern rooms redesigned by Mario Botta.

The works available for consultation on the open shelves are organised by discipline according to the Dewey Decimal Classification:

  • 000 Library science, bibliography, museology
  • 100 Philosophy and psychology
  • 200 Religion
  • 300 Social sciences
  • 400 Language
  • 500 Science
  • 600 Technology
  • 700 Arts and recreation
  • 800 Literature
  • 900 History and geography


Three rooms are dedicated, respectively, to: repertories for the study of rare and precious materials (REPERTORI), language dictionaries (CONS.DIZ.) and materials about Venice and the Veneto region (CONS.VEN.).
One room is reserved for consulting large-format periodicals and ancient books, by reservation only.
The Periodicals Room houses the current year of around 200 current periodicals, in Italian, English and French, sorted alphabetically according to title, together with the issue of the day of local and national newspapers.

Volumes may be taken out directly by readers and, after consultation, should be left on the red trolleys. All other materials, which are stored in the book repositories, can be requested at the distribution desk (see Reading onsite). Tables are equipped with electrical sockets and WiFi is available free of charge. Standing desks are available for consulting online catalogues.

Most of the volumes held in the onsite library repositories can be requested there and then from the distribution desk, whilst older materials and periodicals must be reserved by sending an email to

  • Ancient and precious materials (location marks beginning with MSS. AUTOGR., BANCO, C. GEOGR., INC., OPUS., PIANO I, PER. D-G or indicated as reserved RIS., the volumes in the Intesa Sanpaolo Collection marked CARIVE) must be reserved in advance via email and will be provided to readers one at a time, requiring the reader to leave their ID while they are consulting the material. These materials may only be consulted in the specific room by the distribution desk. Materials in a poor state of conservation may not be available for consultation. Where photographic or facsimile reproductions are available (in particular engravings and maps), consultation of the copies takes priority over consultation of the originals, which will be provided to readers only in the event of justified study needs.
  • Large format periodicals classified as PER.A, including hard-bound newspapers, must be requested in advance via email, with up to three volumes being distributed per reader per day.
  • Most of the periodicals marked as PER.B and PER.C. are located in external repositories. Consultation must therefore be booked in advance at the distribution desk or via email.

NB: All volumes distributed to readers must be returned before leaving the Fondazione.
If you intend to continue consulting one or more modern publications over subsequent days or at a later time, we recommend making the distribution desk staff aware of this.

The purpose of this service is to assist readers in their bibliographical research, providing guidance and useful information for consulting printed and online catalogues and directories, accessing documents held by the Library and retrieving information from the Internet.

The bibliographic information service is not intended to replace users in their work, but rather to offer them support in fine-tuning research paths and the best use of the Library’s assets and services.

Besides being active onsite, the service is also available to users offsite, limited to locating books and periodicals held by the Library, checking bibliographical data and identifying sources and bibliographic tools for guidance.

General and analytical bibliographies are in any case excluded from the service.

Some of the modern materials are available to be personally loaned to users who are registered with the Library and resident in Veneto. Each user may borrow up to three volumes, for a period of one month, with renewal permitted as long as no reservations have been made by other users.

Volumes that can be loaned may be either requested at the distribution desk or reserved online via email or the OPAC SBN portal.

Inter-library loan is active and may be accessed by all libraries, which can forward their requests by email. The requesting library contributes to the cost of postage and secretarial services; special facilities are provided for the Library Network of the Municipality of Venice.

NB: Periodicals, volumes located in the open-shelf consultation rooms, those printed more than 50 years ago, personal libraries, some special classifications such as IST., MISC., Z, XZ, etc., and in any case all materials that are difficult to find or in a poor state of conservation are excluded from lending.

Since July 2012, the Library has had a lending point open in the supermarket on the island of Sant’Erasmo thanks to the collaboration with the Archeoclub d’Italia Association, Venice branch, and the Supermercato Vignotto market. This initiative takes into account the particular characteristics of the island, the so-called vegetable garden of Venice: famous for market gardening it lies in the northern lagoon and has nearly 700 inhabitants, but neither a library nor a newsstand.

The photocopying or scanning service is limited to publications owned by the Library and reserved for the personal use of readers, in compliance with current copyright legislation. This service is subject to a charge.

To ensure the protection of materials, publications prior to 1950 and large format bound materials (e.g., newspapers) or materials in a poor state of conservation are excluded from photocopying or scanning. For these materials, photographic reproduction may be requested if the condition of the original so permits.

Readers can make copies directly using the equipment provided by the distribution desk staff and following their instructions. When making copies, each reader is personally responsible for preserving the bibliographic materials and the use of the equipment.

There is a digital copy document delivery service available for materials requested by users unable to reach the library. Copies will be made in compliance with current copyright regulations and in any case up to a maximum of 50 pages. This service is subject to a charge.

Our reading suggestions

Reading lists selected periodically to delve deeper into current topics or those linked to the events held at the Fondazione, to discover unexpected sides of Venice and to read the works nominated for the most important literary prizes. Reading lists are available in the Library and may also be consulted online.

Discover our suggestions

Reading groups

Set dates that allow interested readers to meet, discover new reading experiences, delve into others and meet new authors. Every month, group members read a book on their own and then meet up to explore its themes together, voice their opinions and exchange views with the rest of the group. The groups currently active are 'Di libro in libro' and 'Scompaginati'. Participation is free and open to all.
For more information, please write to

Guided tours of the Library

An up-close and personal look at the Fondazione's sources, manuscripts and printed documents. Made-to-measure tours, dedicated to specific topics. Tours take place by reservation made at least one week in advance.

For information and reservations, please write to

Café: make your break a masterpiece

Bookshop: find inspiration, in style

Want to find out more?

Write to us for more information