The National Central Library of Florence (BNCF) is located in a monumental building along the Arno river in Florence in the district of Santa Croce. It is one of the most important libraries in Europe and the largest of the Italian libraries, along with the Library of Rome, performs the functions of a national library. It has in fact approximately 6,000,000 printed books, brochures 2,689,672, 25,000 manuscripts, 4,000 incunabula, 29,000 editions of the sixteenth century and over 1,000,000 autographs. The shelving of the deposit books now cover 120 km linear, with an annual increase of 1 km and 475 meters.

Santa Croce area Biblioteca Nazionale

The original nucleus of the library from the collections of Antonio Magliabechi, consisting of about 30,000 volumes donated in full, according to the bequest of 1714, “for the universal benefit of the city of Florence.”

The grand-ducal government, to boost the nascent Library, established in 1737 that there was deposited a copy of each of the printed works in Florence and later, from 1743, throughout the territory of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

Santa Croce Biblioteca Nazionale from Via Magliabechi

The first opening to the public dates back to 1747, with the name of Magliabechiana library. In the following years it was enriched by several bequests and donations, to which were added over time libraries and suppressed religious orders since the 70s of the eighteenth century with a climax with the Napoleonic reforms of 1808.

With the flood of Florence in 1966, the library became a sad symbol in the world, along with the Crucifix of Cimabue the nearby convent of Holy Cross, inflicted irreparable damage to the cultural heritage of the city by the natural disaster.

In the entrance porch there is a plaque dictated by Bruno Migliorini in 1967 to commemorate the Mud Angels, volunteers who worked to save the heritage of Florence after the flood of Florence: