A Book-Lover’s Guide to English Libraries in Rome

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JCU’s Frohring Library boasts an impressive collection of over 32, 000 books, films, and multimedia resources

Curling up with a good book is one of life’s simple pleasures. And while John Cabot University boasts one of the best academic English language collections in Rome, part of the attraction of studying in the Eternal City is venturing off campus to explore its many fascinating nooks and crannies. Fortunately, Rome has several wonderful English libraries to choose from. Ranging from general interest to specialized collections, the bookshelves of Rome have something for everyone.

Whether you’re studying English Literature, Art History, or International Affairs, book-lovers of all kinds can look forward to finding their next favorite read while discovering new parts of the city.

Here are some of the best places to start.

Santa Susanna Library: The Perfect Resource for Liberal Arts Students

Located right beside the Church of Santa Susanna on the second floor of Via Venti Settembre 15, this little parish library is run entirely by volunteers. Its collection includes sections on art, archaeology, religion, and history.. It also offers a large section on Italian history, and makes a concerted effort to stay up-to-date on the latest literary hits of the United States, England, and Australia.

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English Lit Majors can Explore the Historic Keats-Shelly House

The Keats-Shelly House Museum and library is a must-see for English Majors with a weak spot for Romantic poetry. Not only does its beautiful and extensive collection hold many nineteenth-century editions of celebrated Romantic works, but the building itself was also the home of John Keats in the 1800s.

While the library can only be used after obtaining permission from the Director, the small bookshop is open to the public. Nothing quite beats reading the works of your favorite authors while enjoying the gorgeous view from one of the two terraces.

The Center for American Studies: The Ideal Resource for International Affairs Students

The Center for American Studies acts as a meeting place for scholars who want to attend lectures and conferences on a range of topics. Events at this beautiful library attract experts from around the world to discuss topics ranging from cyber security to political philosophy. Partnered with the Institute Français and the United States Embassy to Italy, this hub is an ideal place for students looking to engage with cutting-edge ideas and make new contacts while they study abroad in Italy.

The Biblioteca for Art History Enthusiasts

The Biblioteca di Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte – affiliated with the Ministry of Heritage and Culture –specializes in archaeology and art history. Located at Via del Collegio Romano 27, this sprawling library offers a massive collection in several languages.

The Biblioteca has a long history of its own, and was founded by the Department of Excavations and Museums in 1875. In 1922, the library received an impressive donation of 30,000 volumes by the Neapolitan writer Rocco Pagliara, and in 1929 it added the prints, manuscripts, and drawings of the famed Italian archaeologist Rodolfo Lanciani. For students who plan to study Art History in Italy, this library is a definite must-see.

Have you discovered any other libraries during your study abroad in Rome that boast impressive English selections?

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