Collection Development

Library - New Acquisitions
Library books in the American Academy of Rome colletion (photograph by Davide Franceschini)


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.

Visit the AAR Library catalog for a list of new orders and recently acquired books.

What We Collect

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, serials, series, conference proceedings, Festschriften, collected essays, electronic databases, ejournals, and ebooks.

If you notice lacunae in our collections, please contact us at <library [at] (library[at]aarome[dot]org)> or make a purchase suggestion through our online catalog (requires an active library account).

General Goals

Maintain a comprehensive, in-depth collection in classical studies and medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art and architecture in Italy.

Maintain a working collection in modern art and architecture in Italy, including landscape architecture, as well as Italian literature and history, especially dealing with Rome during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Serve as repository for publications by our Rome Prize Fellows and Residents.

Specific Fields

Classical Studies

Comprehensive coverage: 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; and Greek and Roman numismatics.

Selective coverage: Prehistoric archaeology—the Aegean, Near East, Egypt, Anatolia (exception: comprehensive coverage for pre-Roman Italic areas).

Medieval to Modern Art and Architecture

Comprehensive coverage: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque art and architecture.

Selective coverage: 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

Selective coverage: 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

Selective coverage: Medieval and Humanistic Latin (patristics, humanism). Medieval palaeography, manuscript studies.

American Literature

Selective coverage: Core collection of historical classics (Jerome gift, Library of America collection). Fellows’ writings: sought as gifts.


Selective coverage: 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).

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 (write to library [at] (library[at]aarome[dot]org) or call +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's 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 that 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 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.


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Photographic Archive

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Archaeological Study Collection

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Barbara Goldsmith Rare Book Room

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By appointment only