Foresiana Library

The origins of the historical library dates back to 1815, when Napoleon donate 2000 books from his private collection to Portoferraio; Napoleonic Library  included important volumes about literature, history, geography, military art, law, classic Greek and Latin books that the emperor chose from Fontainebleau castle and took to the island. During his exile, his library received many more volumes, sent by Napoleon’s uncle, Cardinal Fesch.

After the donation in 1815, the city mayor at that time, Traditi, ordered to catalogue all the items and in the summertime the library was opened to the audience. Aiming to create a rich communal library, both Commun and Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione (Ministry of Education, Universities, and Research, MIUR) asked many intellectuals and authors to donate some volumes, and many of them accepted, among others Giuseppe Garibaldi and, in 1920, the Elban intellectual Mario Foresi, who donate more than 14.000 volumes from his precious personal library.

So far, in the precious library there are more than 20.000 volumes, including books signed by important authors like Gabriele D’Anunzio, the precious Erbario, by Joseph Antoir (L'Herbier di Antoir), made around 1810-1830. During the last years, in the library it is possible to see a department totally devoted to Elba Island, with newspapers that tell how people used to be and live (“come eravamo ”) on Elba.

Information about Bibliothek Foresiana 

Opening Hours

Monday – Wednesday – Friday: 9:00 - 12:00

Tuesday – Thursday:                15:00 - 18:00

Children Department:                                                                                   Monday – Thursday:                 17:00 - 19:30

Location and Info

Cultural Center de Laugier, second floor

 Portoferraio old town - Via Salita Napoleone

Tel.(+39)0565.937248 - 0565.937371

De Laugier Barracks

De Laugier Barracks

Built in 1562 by Cosimo I de' Medici now Culture and Congress Centre

Pinacoteca Foresiana

Pinacoteca Foresiana

It houses the Elban intellectual Mario Foresi’s art private collection, given to Portoferraio.

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