History of our Library

The Province of Naples entrusted to the Royal High School of Agriculture, established by the Ministry of Agriculture with the Decree 14th January 1872, the previous Royal Palace of the Borbons of Portici, which had been bought from the State Property Office (Law 3rd July 1871).

From the academic year 1924/25, the School became High Institute of Agriculture, then, in the academic year 1935/36, turned into Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Naples.

The Library was originated with the School (1872). Its book and periodical heritage began with the first purchased items, but grew bigger thanks to the exchange with institutions worldwide of its Yearbook, published from 1878 to 1898. Later on the publication took the name of Annals of the Royal High School of Agriculture in Portici (up to 1935), then Annals of the Faculty of Agriculture of Portici (from 1937 to 2004, which is the last year of this publication).

The Library got the Big Hall of m. m. 19,40 x 9,50, turned into reading room and deposit of single works from the start. Later on, an adjacent room of m. 15 x 9,50 was added to the reading room, and was used as an open shelved current periodical consultation room up to 2016. Since 1906, illustrious scholars had considered this library, that already possessed 15.600 publications, 5.200 booklets and 150 periodicals included, the second most important in the Reign of Italy for literature of agriculture subjects, after the library of the Ministry of Agriculture in Rome.
In 1918, the library heritage was enriched by an important donation, the Library Comes, consisting of 1.757 volumes, of which 181 Miscellaneae about varios branches of Natural Sciences and Agriculture.
In 1919, the Library Baldassarre gifted 324 volumes, of which 12 Miscellaneae.

When the High Institute of Agriculture, that was under the Ministry of Agriculture, switched to the Ministry of Public Education, a new book inventory became necassary, and many books belonging to the Faculty Library shifted to the libraries of various Institutes. The books were given the Institutes' inventory numbers.

During  the Second World War, many areas of the Faculty got occupied by the Allies for over two years and, in this period, more than 2000 volumes got lost.

After 1950, the shelves and the wooden cupboards, too old and insufficient, were replaced with two layer metallic shelves. In 1955 all the library heritage went under a process of reorganisation and rearrangement. During the years, this process has been carried out by the library staff that has catalogued according to the Italian rules of catalogation by author (RICA) and shelved the books following the Decimal Dewey Classification. The most driven to accomplish this process was Dr. Marina Golia Guardati, who joined the library staff on June 1959. At first she assisted the libray supervisor, Prof. Valeria Mezzetti Bambacioni. Later on she became the first library Director.
Marina Guardati introduced the use of the Decimal Dewey Classification for arranging the books on the shelves (first time in Italy, after the National Library of Florence), and published a Catalogue of the Periodicals owned by the Library and by the Institutes of the Faculty (1st edition 1966, 2nd edition 1970). In those years, the periodicals suspended were updated, gaps got filled in, new periodicals and monographs got purchased.

Big donations kept arriving, such as the 375 volumes of Donation Ierna, in 1951, the 67 volumes of Donation Bottini, in 1984, and the 107 volumes of Donation Sarli in 1998.

In June 1977 Marina Guardati left the library and her Director position. Young ladies librarians stepped in, but Prof. Ermenegildo Tremblay was appointed as official manager. Some years later, Olimpia Petriccione became the Library Director, and she covered this role until she got retired on 31st May 2009. This was the time of automation. Olimpia Petriccione uploaded the whole monograph catalogue to SAB (Library Automation System), then to the University catalogue Aleph500. In the same period, the periodicals got catalogued on ACNP, Italian Catalogue of the Periodicals.

Thanks to this work, almost all the library heritage has been digitalised, and the catalogues of the monographs and periodicals can be accessed on-line.

From 2009 up to 2015 the Director role was covered by Patrizio Napolitano and Giovanna Ameno. From 2015 Nicola Madonna is the Library Director.

In compliance with the Decree of the General Director DG/2013/574 of 14.02.2013, the Central Library of Faculty of Agriculture got Library of Agriculture Area, and pertains to the University Library System, meeting the educational and research need of the Department of Agriculture.

Since the final months of 2016, the Department of Agriculture, the Library of Agriculture Area, and the Centre MUSA agreed upon a new arrangement of the Library's spaces within the Royal Palace, sticking to what has been established in the Convention ... for the enhancement and the public fruition of the Royal Palace of Portici stipulated on 21st June 2013 among these Institutions and the Regional Direction for Cultural and Landscape Heritage of Campania and the Superintendence for Architectonical, Landscape, Historical, Artistical and ethnoanthropological Heritage of Napoli and province. In particular, it was decided that the Royal Palace's piano nobile was to be turned into a Museum area.

Therefore, since the end of 2016, the Interior Room doesn't belong to the Library any longer. The periodicals and all the stuff that were kept in it are now placed in the area of the previous little Court Theatre.