The Library’s analogue collection of monographs, distributed in four connected spaces on the first floor in ICCROM premises, is composed of a variety of resources written in many different languages, covering topics related to preservation and conservation of cultural heritage. Materials are organized by subjects following a particular Library classification scheme developed by ICCROM. Areas include theory and history of conservation and restoration, museology, archaeology, architectural conservation, conservation in the urban context, materials, conservation science, disaster-risk management, cultural heritage legislation, conservation training and cultural heritage management, and many other areas related to the topic. Some of the larger sections, such as architectural conservation, contain ranges dedicated to single countries.
Apart of the main collection, which keeps growing thanks to continuous acquisitions of new titles, the Library holds a series of special collections, described briefly hereafter.
Audiovisuals and microfiches
More than 70 microfiches and audiovisual resources on different supports (video tapes, CDs, etc.) are recorded in the online catalogue following the same classification scheme as printed materials. Because of their material fragility, those resources are preserved separately in the ICCROM Archive, in adequate microclimatic conditions. Upon request, the Library staff will facilitate access to most of those materials.
The limited assortment of “Rare Books”, kept separately from the rest of the collection, is composed of prized, old books together with other significant publications, mostly limited editions or often out of print. Considering the fact that the largest part of the Library collection consists of modern conservation literature and documents published in the 20th and 21st centuries, only a small number of publications published prior to 1900 are stored in the rare books collection’s closed shelves. Upon request, users can consult rare books in the reading room. If a book is classified as “rare” the shelf number contains “rare” after the numeric classification, for example: La conservazione delle pitture murali, XI E 120 rare.
The ICCROM Library holds various types of unpublished materials, which can be summarized under the category of grey literature. Most of those materials are unique or available only in just a few other libraries, and therefore represent an extremely valuable resource for researchers in the field.
The most extensive collection of theses in the Library are the “Mémoires” written by students of the Institut National du Patrimoine, France. Upon a long-term agreement, the prestigious French Institute systematically sends these unpublished research materials to the ICCROM Library to be catalogued and made available for users at an international level.
In addition, the Library holds a series of theses donated by Kingston University, produced by students obtaining their conservation degrees.
In general, theses and dissertations are included in the Library collection under the condition that materials can at least be consulted in our Library facilities, even if their reproduction is not permitted. Theses published under Creative Commons Licenses are always accepted.
In the course of many capacity building activities, which ICCROM carries out in collaboration with partners, written reports are produced (two examples are the Wood courses and Disaster-Risk-Management courses). Such reports are systematically indexed and bibliographically documented in our online catalogue. Many reports are available in open access and the catalogue record contains the link to the full -text document.
Off-prints, machine-written documents and other unpublished materials
The Library holds a large collection of short documents collected in 188 folders and arranged according to a separate classification scheme, different to the one used for the classification of the monograph’s collection. In large part, those documents, which normally count only few pages, are photocopies of books or journals and off-prints, collected in the early years of the Library, but there are also machine written reports, often with hand-written comments, given to the Library by staff and collaborators of ICCROM over the years.
ICCROM mission reports
The Library keeps the mission reports written by ICCROM staff and co-operators following technical missions to Member States, from the beginning until 1999. More recent ICCROM Mission reports are conserved in the institutional Archive. These reports are important records of technical advice and collaboration of ICCROM with experts in museums and sites in all regions of the world. They often contain photographs, scientific analysis and detailed description of the state of conservation of cultural heritage, which constitute unique historic documentation of objects and sites and contribute to the general understanding of conservation history.
ICCROM Course materials
In the 1960s, ICCROM organized the first courses of architectural conservation (ARC) in cooperation with the Sapienza University of Rome. Course materials, written by “celebrities” in the field, such as John Ashurst, Cesare Brandi, Guglielmo De Angelis D’Ossat, Piero Gazzola, Marisa Lauenzi Tabasso, Paolo Mora, Giorgio Torraca and others are accessible in the Library, together with studies of buildings and monuments produced by course students, often containing a rich documentation of maps and pictures. Further courses related documentation is preserved in the Archive.
Early ICOM-CC conference papers
A copy of conference papers of early conferences of the International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC) are indexed in our online catalogue and available in the Library:
- ICOM CC 6th Triennial meeting Ottawa, Canada, 1981
- ICOM CC 5th Triennial meeting Zagreb, Yugoslavia, 1978
- ICOM-CC 4th Triennial Meeting Vienna, Austria, 1975
- ICOM-CC 3rd Triennial Meeting Madrid, Spain, 1972
- ICOM-CC 2nd Triennial Meeting Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1969
- 6th Joint meeting of the ICOM Committee for Museum Laboratories and of the Sub-Committee for the Care of Paintings, Bruxelles, Belgium, 1967
- 5th Joint meeting of the ICOM Committee for Museum Laboratories and of the Sub-Committee for the Care of Paintings Washington, New York, United States, 1965
- 4th Joint meeting of the ICOM Committee for Museum Laboratories and of the Sub-Committee for the Care of Paintings, Leningrad, Moscow, URSS, 1963
- 3rd Joint meeting of the ICOM Committee for Museum Laboratories and of the Sub-Committee for the Care of Paintings, Barcelona, Spain, 1961
- 2nd Joint meeting of the ICOM Committee for Museum Laboratories and of the Sub-Committee for the Care of Paintings, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1959