Access, Rules, and Policies
Policies concerning access for outside readers and book donations as well as the Library Code of Conduct can be found here.
ACCESS TO OUTSIDE READERS
The general qualification is an advanced degree (master's or doctorate) or laurea magistrale in the humanities or affiliation with one of the URBS institutes. All prospective readers must complete a Library Access Form and submit a letter of introduction from their home institution detailing academic background and current research project. This letter must be written not by the requestor himself, but by another person (head of the institution, supervisor, else); in the case of unaffiliated individuals by another reader or authoritative person. The letter can be submitted via e-mail, regular mail or fax. IMPORTANT: Upon submitting your written request, you must wait for a response from us before showing up at the Gate. Students in their fifth year (il secondo livello) who are working on a thesis, may ask to consult up to five items uniquely held by the AAR. These readers should contact the Library in advance in order to schedule an appointment. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel.: 06-5846419 or 06-5846418. Prior to the arrival of the reader, the library staff will pull the requested items and have them ready in time for the appointment. We accept new and renewing readers Mon-Fri 9:30-12:00 and in the afternoons by appointment. Applicants who have been approved for a library card, but have not come to the library to collect it within three months, will have to re-apply. Any reader who has been absent for 5 years or more (except a returning Fellow of the AAR) will be treated as a new reader and must bring a new letter of introduction.
A qualified outside reader who is resident in Rome or plans to be here for several months may be issued a one-year reader's card with a photo ID (tessera). The one-year card is renewable also within the Mon-Fri 9:30-12:00 schedule if there are no problems.
Short-term cards, without photos, will be issued for persons who use the Library for a shorter period of time, up to three months.
Special provisions for the summer: As the Library becomes very crowded in June and July, and the quality of service suffers, we issue only short-term cards from May-July, unless the reader has written to us earlier to request a regular reader's card.
Use of specific materials
A reader may be referred by another URBS library (with the appropriate form) for a specific title or volume or for access to the Library.
ACCESS TO THE AAR COMMUNITY
Any member of the residential community (Fellows, Residents, VA/VS, and professional staff in residence) may have 24-hour access to the Library, via his/her normal key-card. This access will be granted only after an orientation to the Library. The 24-hour access can be withdrawn if the user does not return a borrowed library item within two days of a recall. The access will be restored upon the return of the item(s). Temporary guests may be admitted to the Library on a case-by-case basis, but will not normally get 24-hour access.
Because of the Academy's long-standing relationship with the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies, ICCS students will be issued short-term cards.
Individual readers' cards are issued to all summer course participants. After hour access is provided to the NEH participants, who use the Library intensively. Names of Summer School and Pottery participants are on a list to pick up a key at the Gate. 10 keys are provided for this purpose.
LIBRARY CODE OF CONDUCT
Rules of the American Academy in Rome and its Library.
The American Academy in Rome and its Library is a private institution. Our rules must be respected. If a reader of the Library does not adhere to these rules, Library access may be discontinued.
The Library operates on the honor system. If we are to continue the practice of open shelves (unlike virtually all Italian libraries), these minimal security measures are critical. It may become necessary to discontinue public access to our books and scanners altogether if readers are found to handle books carelessly.
• Do not bring food and drink into the Library. They can cause permanent damage to the books.
• Do not bring bags into the Library. Only small purses and laptops are allowed. Lockers are provided to the left of the reception area.
• Coats and jackets may not be brought into the Library. There are hangers to the left of the reception area.
• Mobile phones may not be used in the Library.
• When a book is being used, a grey cardboard phantom/dummy must always be filled out with title/author, call no., the reader’s name and desk number and put in place of the book on the shelf.
• The books used must be returned to the designated tables/desks in the staircase area of each floor.
Patrons have access to a self-service book scanner. Please take care when scanning or taking digital photographs of the Library’s books. We ask that patrons refrain from photocopying the books because of the damage it causes.
If the Library seems cold it is because the AAR has one general heating system and the hours the heat is on reflect the needs of the residents of the building. Be sure to dress warmly during the winter.
BOOK ACCEPTANCE POLICY
The Library welcomes the gift of books in its areas of collecting – Classical Studies, the Italian Middle Ages and Renaissance -- especially Art and Architecture, but also Political, Social and Intellectual History -- Italian Language and Literature (highly selectively), Contemporary Art Theory (highly selectively), and Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Music (highly selectively) -- whether single volumes or entire collections.
Lists of titles of particular interest are continually updated in our lists of Desiderata. Donors should check with the Library (e-mail: email@example.com or tel. +39-06-5846419) before making a donation and include a list of the books donated. It is preferred that the donor first check the Library Catalog to find out if it is already in the collection and avoid duplication. The Library provides a letter of receipt and in each book donated a book plate which carries the donor’s or other designated name; however, the Library does not estimate the value of the book(s). The cost of cataloging varies, depending on the rarity of the volumes. We are most grateful if donors are able to cover the costs of cataloging and/or shipping. In the case of large collections, the Library will make every effort to keep all donated works, but it reserves the right not to accession individual books determined to be less relevant to the collections. Proceeds of the sale of such volumes will be used to benefit the collections. Books will be integrated into existing classifications rather than kept together as a group.
The Arthur & Janet C. Ross Library contains 155,000 volumes in the fields of classical studies and the history of (Italian) art and architecture (chiefly medieval and renaissance) with strong collections in ancient Mediterranean art and archaeology, classical literature, ancient topography (including the history of the city of Rome), and related fields, such as epigraphy, numismatics, and papyrology.
The Library maintains a good working collection in the history of art and architecture, especially the Renaissance. Small but noteworthy collections include contemporary art and architecture, landscape architecture, Italian history and literature, American literature, historical travel books, and music. [See NEW ACQUISITIONS LIST for a detailed description of our acquisitions policy.]
There is a rare book collection made up of chiefly 16th-18th century imprints in classics, classical archaeology, Italian art and architecture, including sizeable collections of Roman guidebooks and early art treatises.
The Library acquires ca. 2,500 volumes per year. It subscribes to ca. 600 current periodicals. Gifts are welcome in the core areas of collecting, especially the publications of our Fellows and readers. See also Special Collections.
Services the Library offers, including requesting storage items, in-process items, rare books, interlibrary loan, scanning and photocopying, and computing.
Requesting Storage Items
American Academy items found in the catalog with the collection designation STORAGE may be requested using the online request form, which is also accessible in the catalog. One trip (11:30 am) is made daily to retrieve these items. A maximum of one item may be requested per day. If you accompany the staff person to storage, you may consult more than one title. NB: Please check the online catalog carefully, also for print sources now available online.
Requesting In-Process Items
In-process items are easily identifiable. Instead of a call number they have only an accession number (e.g., 127989) and no collection information. These items may be requested at the Library's Front Desk. Titles that are on order will display in the catalog with the status "ordered". Should an item have no information attached to it, please contact the Front Desk.
Requesting Rare Books
American Academy items found in the catalog with the collection designation RARE BOOKS may be requested using the online request form. Following the request, the Barbara Goldsmith Rare Book Room will be opened from 2:30-4:30 p.m. that same day for consultation.
Scanning, Digital Photography, and Photocopying
A photocopier and a self-service book scanner are available in the Library. Scans may be saved to a pen drive (USB key) or sent to an e-mail account. Readers are asked to prefer the self-service scanner or a digital camera over the photocopier. Photocopying materials published prior to 1900 is prohibited. Readers who are found mishandling books will have their library privileges restricted or withdrawn. It is the responsibility of the user to make sure that copyright laws are not infringed.
Use of the scanner is free.
Photocopying cards may be purchased in the following denominations:
5 € = 25 scans
10 € = 60 scans
NOTE: when photocopying the cost is dependent upon format and black / white versus color.
For photography a copy stand and light are available in the Library (for analog cameras Tungsten film is required with the use of the lighting). No fee is requested for the use of the copy stand nor is there a fee required if the images are strictly for study purposes. Digital cameras are permitted in the library.
Professional Photography Services
Fees are charged for assisted photography (e.g., of rare books) and for the publication of reproductions. Please contact the Library's Front Desk for more information (06-5846419).
Assigned Carrels and Shelves
Assigned carrels are reserved for: affiliated fellows without studies or studios at the Academy (e.g., Mellon-East Central Visiting Scholars); partners of fellows who are also scholars or writers; and selected outside readers who use the collection intensively (reserving up to 20 books at a time). All other readers who wish to reserve up to 5 books at a time may do so on the book shelves in the catalog area. Course reserves and reserved shelves for special projects or group study are located in the Frank Brown Room. Reading tables will be kept clear.
Computing and Internet Access
The library offers wi-fi access for its users. All tables and desks are also wired for Internet access via cable which must be supplied by the user. Please restrict Internet use to scholarly endeavors. Pen drives may be used to download data; no printers are available.
Fellows, Residents, and other members of the AAR community are allowed to sign out books to their rooms, studios or studies, with the understanding that these books can be recalled for another reader. Recalled items must be returned within three days. If a user leaves Rome for more than three days, she or he must return the borrowed item(s) before leaving. Reference books marked with a special sticker do not circulate.
Fellows and other members of the AAR community are encouraged to use other libraries in Rome for materials not found in our Library. Interlibrary loan services for materials not found in Rome are available to members of the AAR community only; outside readers are asked to use the interlibrary services of the Biblioteca Nazionale. As we do not lend books ourselves, we generally request articles or parts of books in the form of photocopies or digital documents.
Library Guides and Histories
New Acquisitions List
Click here for a list of new orders and recently acquired books.
WHAT WE COLLECT
The Library actively develops and maintains the strength of its core collections. Publications in areas beyond our core mission are acquired as possible. Gifts are welcome in all areas of scholarly inquiry and artistic production relating to the mission of the Academy.
The Library welcomes gifts to the collection. For more information on donating books to the Library, see our Book Acceptance Policy under Rules and Policies.
Comprehensive coverage means most scholarly primary and secondary source materials as well as reference literature. Selective coverage means all important, major titles. Most formats/materials are of interest: monographs, microform, serials, series, conference proceedings, Festschriften, collected essays, electronic databases, e-journals and e-books.
Lists of lacunae of particular interest are continually updated. See our Desiderata Lists below for more information.
Maintain a comprehensive, in-depth collection in Classical Studies and Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Art and Architecture in Italy.
Maintain a working collection in a few other fields.
Italian Literature and History, especially dealing with Rome during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Greek and Latin philology (language and literature)
Greek, Etruscan, Italic, and Roman archaeology
Greek, Etruscan, Italic, Roman art and architecture
Topography of the ancient world
Ancient history (Greece, Roman Empire)
Ancient philosophy (Greek and Roman)
Ancient religion and mythology (including Greek, Etruscan, Roman, early Christianity)
Greek, Latin, Etruscan, Italic epigraphy
Greek and Latin palaeography
Greek and Latin papyrology
Greek and Roman numismatics
Prehistoric archaeology -- the Aegean, Near East, Egypt, Anatolia (exception: comprehensive coverage for pre-Roman Italic areas).
Medieval to Modern Art and Architecture
Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque art and architecture.
Post-Baroque art and architecture (includes landscape architecture and urban design). Rome is covered better than other Italian cities. Artists working in Rome after 1700 are covered selectively.
Medieval to Modern History
Emphasis on Rome and Italy, especially Italian medieval and Renaissance history, and the history of papal Rome and the Curia (Curial intellectuals, bureaucrats, and families). History of religious institutions and patronage. History of humanism and the classical tradition. History of science, the Inquisition.
Medieval to Modern Literature and Philosophy
Medieval and Humanistic Latin (patristics, humanism). Medieval palaeography, manuscript studies.
Core collection of historical classics (Jerome gift, Library of America collection).
Fellows' writings: sought as gifts.
Medieval and Byzantine music
Historical collection from three sources:
Gifts (chiefly scores, including Fellows’ works)
Strunk collection of music history, with a special emphasis on Byzantine music
American scores (USIS gift and Fellows’ works)
The Library is searching for copies of the following publications for its collections--please consider donating a copy:
Classical Studies Desiderata
A list of desiderata for the library of titles in classics and archaeology.
Post-Classical Studies Desiderata
A list of desiderata for the library of contextual materials in medieval and Renaissance studies.