The BSR Library, a specialist research resource, consists of c. 110,000 volumes (books and periodicals) and 600 current periodicals. The open-shelf arrangement encourages browsing which is essential for research.

The Library is a founding member of the URBiS network of 22 research Libraries in Rome. Our joint catalogue, with nearly 2 million records, is available at URBiS Library Network

One aim of the acquisitions policy is to provide those Italian books and periodicals which are not widely available in the UK, particularly exhibition catalogues, excavation reports and local publications.

Collections include:

  • Italian archaeology: prehistoric, classical and medieval
  • Greek and Latin philology
  • Roman history: ancient
  • Roman epigraphy and numismatics
  • Roman religion, law and philosophy: ancient
  • Italian topography, with special emphasis on the topography of Rome
  • Italian art and architecture: Italic, Etruscan, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque
  • Italian history: Medieval and Renaissance
  • Ecclesiastical history
  • Grand Tour travel writings
  • Rare Book Collection

The Digital Collections website displays highlights of ongoing research projects with our Library collections.


Award Holders and Residents have 24/7 access to the Library during their residency.

They are welcome to borrow books from the Library to use in their rooms or studios.

Photo by Antonio Palmieri

Please note that the BSR Library & Archive will be closed to outside readers from 11 January 2021 until further notice, whilst we monitor the ongoing situation regarding COVID 19 in Italy.

The Library is open for reservations Monday-Friday 9.15am-17.00pm.

In order to reserve a desk for the following week send an email to from Monday 9.00 am to Tuesday 5.00 pm only.

The reservations are on a first come first served basis and will be confirmed by Wednesday 5.00 pm.

In order to satisfy as many readers as possible access will be limited to 1 day a week per person. Please indicate your Surname, Name and your preferred date and time. For those who do not already have a library card please attach to the request an introduction letter. All readers must have a valid Green pass or equivalent and use a mask.

To become a Library Member an application should be made in person. Please bring:

  • a letter of introduction from your University or academic institute

  • passport or proof of identity that includes a portrait photograph

Photo by Antonio Palmieri

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the Library.
A self-service scanner and photocopier are available. Pre-paid cards can be purchased from the Librarians

JSTOR provides full-text searches of digitized back issues of many academic journals and can be accessed through the four dedicated terminals in the Catalogue Room.

Document delivery. The requested documents will be delivered in compliance with copyright legislation. Please send your request to the Library.

Photo by Antonio Palmieri


The Library is grateful to receive gifts of books relevant to its collections, particularly those resulting from research carried out in the BSR.

Donors are requested to contact the Deputy Librarian, including the title/s, before sending the book/s. Please check the BSR’s holdings on our URBiS catalogue to avoid duplication.
If we are able to accept the gift, the donor will receive acknowledgment of receipt and each book will include a ‘Presented by’ bookplate with the donor’s or designated name and will be included in a ‘List of Donors’.

The BSR’s publications include its annual journal, Papers of the British School at Rome (PBSR), a BSR monograph series, the BSR Archive series and catalogues of the Library’s Special Collections as well as other occasional publications.

The Library benefits from over 200 exchanges of periodicals with the PBSR and welcomes suggestions from institutions and individuals on possible exchange agreements for books or periodicals. Please contact the Deputy Librarian

Photo by Antonio Palmieri

Latest Events

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