News about Sicily

More than 5,000 volumes “closed” for 20 years: a (forgotten) library reopens in Palermo

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It was built in the early 90s as a special section of the Central Library of the “Alberto Bombace” Sicilian Region.
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It was the year 2000 when it was closed and the space since then used for administrative activities.

Finally the Library “Leonardo Sciascia” reopens to the publicwith a new layout and with a plaque on display at the entrance to remember Sebastiano Tusa, the archaeologist and former councilor of cultural heritage, who tragically died in 2019.

Not everyone knows it, especially the younger ones because of the many years of closure.
It is located within the premises of the Regional Department of Cultural Heritage, in via delle Croci in Palermo.

It was built in the early 90s as a special section of the Central Library of the Sicilian Region “Alberto Bombace”, and is equipped with 11 comfortable reading stations in addition to the table for the room attendant who is equipped with a computer through which the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) can be consulted, the Online catalog of the Central Library of the Sicilian Region and the computerized catalog with the publications contained within the library itself.

The collection is actually made up of 5613 volumeswhich also includes publications belonging to the ESP Fund of the Central Library, a fund consisting of selected volumes to be exhibited at exhibitions or events.

The collections, identified with the BC signature, were created by choosing from the BCRS endowments works concerning cultural heritage, especially Sicilian ones, and works published by the Department’s institutes, the result of their scientific elaboration.

Falling, as we said, into disuse in 2000, the space was over time used for administrative activities of the Department and the book collection returned to the Central Library.
Now the library reopens, hosting valuable volumes and allowing the public to access it for study and consultation.

The premises of the Library will be accessible to the public for three days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), from 9.00 to 13.00, with access from the main entrance of the Department of Cultural Heritage in via delle Croci and in compliance with the current provisions.
from the anti-Covid legislation.

«Reopening the Library – says the regional councilor for cultural heritage and Sicilian identity, Alberto Samonà – is a gesture of great symbolic value.
It means giving back to the community a part of one’s memory in a place that offers the best conditions for research and study.
Thanks to the peculiarity of the volumes contained, the library offers Palermo and Sicily a whole important garrison dedicated to cultural heritage ».

Something you don’t know
To the Central Library of the Sicilian Region, the law has attributed the role of documentary archive of the editorial production in Sicily.

Already in 1977, the year of birth of the Regional Department of Cultural Heritage, the Central Library, in collaboration with the Department and, in any case, before the start of the computerization of libraries, created a special section where to place the rich editorial production of ” Department of Cultural Heritage, with the signature ESP, in order to be able to quickly identify the volumes published by the Department, also through its peripheral offices.

In this regard, it should be remembered that the law has attributed to the Central Library of the Sicilian Region the role of documentary archive of the publishing production in Sicily, precisely in agreement with the councilorship.

Subsequently, the space was enriched by a second section in which the volumes relating to cultural heritage with regard to Sicily were placed, even if not published by the Department.

As for the editorial activitythe Department of Cultural Heritage operates as a publishing house specializing in cultural heritage, with a production of over 80 titles every year, ranking among the medium-sized publishing houses according to Italian standards.

In the period 1977-2018, 2,924 works were published, including paper volumes, CDs, DVDs, videotapes, musical scores and periodicals, in addition to 1,285 works concerning the editorial production linked to the initiatives directly promoted by the Cultural Heritage Councilor, for a total of 4,209 titles.

The genre of the published works is varied, but always related to Sicilian cultural heritage.

Among the productions you can find the proceedings of international conferences edited by the regional administration, documentation on regional archaeological excavations, largely financed by the regional administration, general and special bibliographies of bibliographic funds and, most importantly, numerous catalogs of works of art and archaeological finds, produced for the more on the occasion of exhibitions that represent a way of enhancing the assets owned.

Among these: Masterpieces of the seventeenth century at Palazzo Abatellis, The Roman portrait in the collections of the Salinas Museum, Meligunis Lipara (work requested by several archaeological institutes in the world), Silk: bibliography of the owned texts (Messina 2021); The protection of the underwater cultural heritage: legal aspects: a Conference held in Palermo and Siracusa (8-10 March 2001) and organized by the Sicilian Region, Department of Cultural and Environmental Heritage and Public Education;

University of Palermo, Faculty of Economics, Institute of Labor and Navigation Law; University of Milano-Bicocca, Legal Department of national and European institutions; Antonello da Messina and Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, masters of painting in Sicily: four masterpieces on display, and many others.