The Antonian Library

The Antoniana municipal library is located in an old Franciscan convent. According to some authoritative accounts, the place where it is housed (the ancient convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie) seems to be the oldest convent in Campania and the early “Terra di Lavoro.”

Historians agree on the foundation of the convent in 1225, when St. Francis was still alive. The ancient monastery was completely invested by the lava flow of the last volcanic eruption, which occurred on the island of Ischia in January 1302. Then the conventuals returned to the island, and that ancient nucleus had its own development over time, with a major expansion in 1715. The oldest wing of the convent now houses the Antoniana Municipal Library.
The presence in the documentary holdings of some homiletic manuscripts from the late 19th century is evidence of the stay in the convent of the former Order of Poor Clares consequent to the expulsion in 1809 of the conventual order following the suppression of religious orders. The four centuries of history of the ancient order, founded by Beatrice della Quadra on the island of Ischia in 1575 and extinguished in 1911, are “imprinted” in one of the most significant manuscripts in the Ischia library: the precious Diary of the Poor Clares.

The History of the Development of the Anthonian Library.

Today, the Antoniana Library has begun, starting with the manuscripts and printed books collection of ancient and rare books, the digitization of its documentary heritage. The private collections of Prof. Eduardo Malagoli, Prof. Giuseppe Gallo, Prof. Giuseppe Iacono as well as the documentary collection of the “priest-archaeologist” Don Pietro Monti have converged in the library.
A place also embellished by several works of art, among which two oil paintings should be mentioned: Diva Vittoria Colonna by Jules Joseph Lefebvre and the portrait of Bishop Onofrio Buonocore by Artur Pan.

The library, with free Internet access, has rooms for reading, study and reference of materials on an individual or group basis. Experienced guides conducted free tours. In addition, the Antoniana offers public reading services, both self-study and research and reference, document delivery and bibliographic consultancy services in presence and remotely, and lending service, subject to registration, of textual and multi-media materials.

The Antonian Library can be experienced through different experiences for all ages


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