The library of the Academy consists of a collection of over forty thousand volumes, chosen with patient research through years of dedication. Born of a base made up of donations from the founders and other generous patrons, the library was enriched by following a specific plan, which is still in progress. We aim to possess all of the most important series of Latin and Greek classics and all the indispensable tools (lexica, grammars, literary histories, essays) for serious study of Western letters and humanism. In addition to the classical authors and their medieval, Renaissance and modern successors, our library also contains the major classics of each national literature, and has rich sections of history, history of philosophy and history of religions. In accordance with the specific interests of the Academy, the library has one of the most complete collections of books in the world concerning the teaching of classical languages and the history of Latin and Greek pedagogy from the Middle Ages to the present day.
The most important collections that the library has are:
- The 142 volumes of the collection of the Bibliotheca classica Latina sive collectio auctorum classicorum Latinorum edited by Nicolaus Eligius Lemaire (Nicolas Éloi Lemaire, 1767-1832), one of the most brilliant experts of the Latin language and literature in France between the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1810 Murat wanted him in Naples to supervise the reform of his studies, but Napoleon did not allow France to lose such an illustrious representative of his culture. Napoleon raised Lemaire’s annual salary considerably so that he could continue to honor his homeland with this man’s presence and teaching. Louis XVIII entrusted Lemaire with the arduous task of creating a large and complete collection of Latin classics. The undertaking was immense, but it met extraordinary success, and the volumes of the collection spread well beyond the borders of France, and were used throughout the countries of Europe, reaching even Russia and America. Manzoni owned a copy of the entire series in his library and made abundant use of it. The texts of the individual authors, with copious Latin prefaces on life, works, thought, criticism, are accompanied by notes taken from the best Latin humanistic commentaries and contemporary scholars of Lemaire. The son of Lemaire's brother, Pierre-Auguste, published, in a Complementum, also Lucretius's De rerum natura, which had been absurdly excluded from the original series by the will of the King of France, and against the opinion of the same N.-É. Lemaire.
- The 108 volumes of Latin writers commented on the Giuseppe Pomba editions of Turin, the "Collectio Latinorum Scriptorum cum notis", published from 1818 to 1835, one of the most important Italian publishing companies of the nineteenth century;
- The 122 titles of Oxford Classical Texts (OCTs), or Scriptorum Classicorum Bibliotheca Oxoniensis, including both Greek and Latin authors with prefaces and critical texts;
- The 800 volumes of Greek and Latin classics from the Budé Collection, or Collection des Universités de France published by the Les Belles Lettres publishing house in Paris with a preface, critical text and French translation;
- The Firmin Didot series of Greek classics with Latin translation: the library has the following volumes::
- Aristophanis comoediae et deperditarum fragmenta; accedunt Menandri et Philemonis fragmenta, auctiora et emendatiora; Graece et Latine cum indicibus;
- Diodori Siculi Bibliothecae historicae quae supersunt, Graece et Latine cum rerum indice locupletissimo: Volumen I et II;
- Epigrammatum anthologia Palatina; Graece et Latine: Volumen I, II et III;
- Erotici scriptores: Parthenius, Achilles Tatius, Longus, Xenophon Ephesius, Heliodorus, Chariton Aphrodisiensis, Antonius Diogenes, Jamblichus, Eumathius, Apollonii Tyrii historia, Nicetas Eugenianus; Graece et Latine cum indice historico;
- Flavii Josephi opera, Graece et Latine; accedunt indices nominum et rerum locupletissimi:Volumen primum; Volumen secundum: accedunt eclogae Photianae quae pertinent ad historiam Judaeorum; subjecti sunt indices plenissimi et fragmenta nova Polybii, Dionysii, Dexippi, Eusebii;
- Fragmenta philosophorum Graecorum; accedunt annotationes, prolegomena et indices:Volumen primum: poeseos philosophicae ceterorumque ante Socratem philosophorum quae supersunt; Volumen secundum, Pythagoreos, sophistas, cynicos et Chalcidii in priorem Timaei Platonici partem commentarios continens;
- Fragmenta historicorum Graecorum: Volumen primum; accedit Apollodori Bibliotheca cum fragmentis; Volumen secundum; accedunt fragmenta Diodori Siculi, Polybii et Dionysii Halicarnassensis;
- Hesiodi carmina, Apollonii Argonautica, Musaei carmen De Herone et Leandro, Coluthi Raptus Helenae, Quinti Posthomerica, Tryphiodori Excidium Ilii, Tzetzae Antehomerica, etc., Graece et Latine cum indicibus nominum et rerum; Asii, Pisandri, Panyasidis, Choerili, Antimachi fragmenta cum commentariis;
- Homeri carmina et cycli epici reliquiae, Graece et Latine cum indice nominum et rerum;
- Platonis opera, Graece et Latine cum scholiis et indicibus: Volumen I et II;
- Poetae bucolici et didactici: Theocritus, Bio, Moschus, Nicander, Oppianus, Marcelli Sidetae De piscibus, anonymi De herbis, Philae jambi De proprietate animalium; Graece et Latine cum scholiis et indice locupletissimo;
- Plutarchi Vitae, Graece et Latine: Volumen I et II;
- Theophrasti Characteres, Marci Antonini Commentarii, Epicteti dissertationes ab Arriano litteris mandatae, fragmenta et Enchiridion cum commentario Simplicii, Cebetis Tabula, Maximi Tyrii dissertationes; Graece et Latine cum indicibus;
- Theophrasti Eresii opera, quae supersunt, omnia, Graece et Latine cum indicibus rerum et verborum absolutissimis;
- The collection of Greek and Latin writers from the Lorenzo Valla Foundation (Mondadori);
- The Greek and Latin Classics of UTET (Classici greci e latini della UTET);
- The Scriptores Graeci et Latini published by the Officina Poligrafica dello Stato (a series sponsored by the Accademia dei Lincei);
- The volumes of the Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum Paravianum.
Ancient and valuable books
The library has some ancient and valuable books, such as the Froben edition of Plato's complete works translated by Marsilio Ficino (Omnia divini Platonis opera, tralatione Marsilii Ficini..., Basileae, 1551) or that of the satires of Giovenale del Bindoni (Iunii Iuvenalis Aquinatis satyrographi opus... Venetiis, apud Franciscum Bindonum & Mapheum Pasinum, 1548), as well as a number of works from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, including lexicons such as Schrevelius (Lexicon manuale græco-latinum et latino-græcum, Parisiis 1779), Nizolius (Lexicon Ciceronianum...., Patavii 1734), Calepinus (Dictionarium septem linguarum, Venetiis 1654), and annotated editions such as that of Pindarus (Pindari carmina iuxta exemplar Heynianum..., Londini, 1884) or that of Euripides (Euripidis opera omnia... Latina interpretatione, scholiis antiquis, Vol. VIII, Glasguae, 1821).