Realized inside a 16th century church, the Art and History Library of San Giorgio in Poggiale has since 2009 housed the rich book patrimony of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio as well as important contemporary artworks: Campo dei Fiori and the monumental Delocazione by Claudio Parmiggiani, and the cycle Cattedrale by Piero Pizzi Cannella.
The Library, whose lay-out was curated by the architect Michele de Lucchi, is also used as a venue for cultural events and exhibitions.
The Church of San Giorgio in Poggiale, of ancient Longobard origin, was planned and realized between 1589 and 1633 by the architect Tommaso Martelli and then consigned to the priests of the Servite Order until 1798. The name of the Library derives from the street in which it is located (today via Nazario Sauro), known as via del Poggiale until 1919.
In 1797, after the Napoleonic suppressions, the Church was assigned as subsidiary to the Chapel of Saints Gregorio and Siro.
In 1882, the church was consigned to the Gesuits, that remained there until it was partially destroyed during an aerial bombardment on 25 September, 1943. After being deconsecrated and deprived of its artworks the Church was about to be demolished between 1959 and 1962. The building was then acquired by the Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna and after an accurate restoration it was destined as a home for its collections.
Since 2009 the Church has hosted the Library that bears its name.
The Collection comprises 100.000 books, of which about 60.000 are part of archives, acquisitions, bequests or donations and it is mainly constituted by volumes about the local art and history.
The archives listed in alphabetical order are: Ambrosini, Boschetto, Castagnetti, Grazia, Puzzarini, Sassoli e Silvani. At the end of the 1980’s, a further historical nucleus formed around 1837 (date of establishment of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna) was added to the Collection, in which antique and modern texts are available.
The newspaper and periodical Collection comprises various titles from the end of the XVIII century to present day: from the 18th century “Gazzetta di Bologna” and the 19th century “Il caffè di Petronio” right up to today’s newspapers and periodicals.
The photographic Library contains about 60.000 items, articulated in different archives. The history of the photographic archive began in the first half of the last century, when the Curator of the Collections of the Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna realized the importance to acquire documents that could testify the urban transformation of Bologna after the actualization of the city planning act in 1889. The acquisition of Pietro Poppi’s archive, composed by approximatey 3.000 photo plates, dates back to 1940.
The other archives, in alphabetical order, are the following: Fantini, Fototecnica Bolognese, Leonotti, Mengoli, Michelini, Romagnoli.