Multimedia Library


A space for the study and consultation of books, scores, sheet music, manuscripts, periodicals, photographs, documents, audio and video recordings and other materials that constitute the musical heritage of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia.

The Multimedia Library is equipped with multimedia workstations for listening and enjoying digital documents from Accademia and Teche Rai. You can also buy books, periodicals, CDs and DVDs published by the Accademia.

All catalogues are available through the web portal..

The Library holds the entire heritage of the Accademia. It consists of about 130,000 volumes and publications, mainly scores and sheet music, printed books, periodicals and manuscripts about music. Opened in 1877, the Library has an important collection of about 7,000 ancient manuscripts (nearly all of them catalogued), about 1,500 editions dating before 1830, librettos and programs. So far, 1,450 manuscripts and about 400 editions prior to 1830 have been digitalized.

The Historical Archive preserves the complete documentation of the life of the institution from 1651 until today. More than 1,000 linear meters of documents, including: materials and records on paper (registers, minutes, letters and correspondence, administrative records and account books); posters, playbills, program notes, press and reviews. Through the chronological search in the “Events” database all information and materials related to the Accademia’s activities from 1895 until today can be traced: about more than 20.000 events, especially concerts.

The Audio-visual Archives contain a sound heritage, published and unpublished, which increased during the 20th century through numerous donations, important collections on vinyls, lacquers and digital formats, as well as live recordings of the Santa Cecilia concert seasons. Performances of the greatest conductors of the past (Toscanini, Furtwängler, De Sabata, Molinari, Karajan) are kept together with those of the finest conductors and performers of the present. The archives collect 26,000 media, of which 14,000 are catalogued.

Ethnomusicology Archives. Thanks to field research of the Centro Nazionale di Studi sulla Musica Populare (National Center for Studies in Folk Music), founded in collaboration with the RAI, since 1948 the Accademia has assembled valuable recordings of music from Italian and Mediterranean oral traditions, result of the work by Giorgio Nataletti, Diego Carpitella, Ernesto De Martino, Alan Lomax and other scholars who passionately dedicated to the collection and study of these particular repertories. The archives preserve more than 22,000 audio recordings, 11,000 of them classified, about half converted into digital audio tracks.

The Photo Archive is the visual evidence of the Accademia’s activities; especially the concert seasons from mid-20th century to the present. It also holds historical portrait collections of prominent personalities from late-19th century (from musical and theatrical culture), as well as the photographic documentation of the field research in the Ethnomusicology Archives and of the musical instruments and visual works from the art collection. More than 40,000 photographs are conserved in the archive, 10,000 of which are included in the database.

Art Collection.The Accademia’s collection of visual works of art, consisting of around one hundred works, including paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures, began to take shape a long ago and continued over the centuries. The Collection has been continuously enriched according to criteria as casual as spontaneous, since most items have been donated by patrons and academics. Portraits of musicians and of the main characters in the history of the Accademia are predominant in the collection.