The "Norberto Bobbio" Library is the result of the merger of the following libraries: Cognetti De Martiis, Federico Patetta, Francesco Ruffini and Gioele Solari. In 2016, the European library "Gianni Merlini" joined the original group of four.
Here are some notes about the history of the single libraries.
Salvatore Cognetti de Martiis Library
The Cognetti Library is more than a hundred years old and its origins are associated with that of the Laboratory of Political Economy, founded in 1893 by Salvatore Cognetti de Martiis and transformed in 1988 into the current Department of Economics and Statistics.
Initially, thanks to public and private funding, the library was able to equip itself with statistics, monographs, investigations, reports and other documents which lead it to possess the largest collection of materials that exists in Italy for scholars of every branch of the social sciences, as Gaetano Mosca wrote in 1902.
Luigi Einaudi was its director and many other important scholars used to attend the library troughout the years.
The library, despite the difficulties during the Second World War, has expanded steadily. It became the largest library of Piedmont about the political economy, with an historical, highly significant economic documentation. The library received many works of great bibliographic value as bequests, thanks to famous scholars as Vincenzo Leeks, Luigi Einaudi, Pasquale Jannaccone and Francesco Repaci.
Federico Patetta Library
Established by Dean Decree in 1953 Federico Patetta Library is specialized in Italian history and common law, with specific relevance on historical and legal subjects. The core collection belonged to Professor Patetta and was aquired by Turin University under Guido Astuti’s suggestion.
The Library is entitled to Professor Federico Patetta, who taught for many years at the Law Faculty of Turin University. He was a distinguished historian, a refined collector and an eclectic scholar. The library was created to preserve and integrate the bibliographic material hecollected throughout his years of activity.
Due to Patetta’s diverse interests, the collection results a precious profile of different centuries, from several points of view: juridical, historic, artistic and literary. All the volumes are preserved in dedicated rooms, in order to keep their preciousness intact. More than 25 thousand books were published before 1831; among them, we mark 32 incunabula, over 28 hundred printed in the sixteenth century, more than 37 hundred printed in the seventeenth century and about 10 thousand in eighteenth century; many rare texts were printed in the nineteenth century.
The Library also preserves a manuscript dating back to mid-fourteenth century, a series of maps and military charts, a collection of satirical journals of the late nineteenth century and some reprints of rare works. The collection also includes public notices, manifestos and leaflets of both administrative and legislative nature. There is also a set of literary and religious announcements, to be stuck in special occasions like weddings, dressing priesthood or monastic and religious festivals. In the course of time, several collections were added to Professor Patetta’s legacy: among the most consistent, the legatos of professors Albini, Chiaudano, Pinoli and Pivano.
In 1983, by the will of Edoardo Ruffini, over 10 thousand volumes and booklets belonged to Francesco and Edoardo Ruffini join the Library, enhancing the existing patrimony.
Francesco Ruffini Library
Francesco Ruffini Library dates back to December 1881 when the Faculty of Law, with the contribution of the University Consortium, founded the "Institute for the practice in Legal Studies and Policies". In 1910, the Ministry of Education acknowledged it as one of the few remarkable university libraries. Located at first in via Po 14, in the same place as the former seat of the University, the library expanded it core collections - originally composed of literary works as well as legal commentaries, monographs and legislative repositories - through new acquisitions, bequests and donations. Among them, particularly noteworthy are Professors Bertolini’s, Brondi's and Pierandrei’s legacy. Bertolini's fund is composed of about 5 thousand monographs about Roman legal history, published in various languages in the second half of the nineteenth century. Professors Brondi and Pierandrei’s followed closely behind. The first, consisting of 25 hundred volumes about history of law, published between 1880 and 1930; the latter composed of 15 hundred units.
At the beginning of 1969, the library moved to “Palazzo Nuovo”, the so-called 'New Building' for the Humanities. On 3rd June 1996, due to an Academic Senate resolution, the library name changed, from the former "library attached to legal institute” - also known by the nickname “Il Giuridico" – to the new denomination of the Departmental library named after “Francesco Ruffini".
Gioele Solari Library
Established in 1954 on the private collection of the scholar Gioele Solari, the library owns many books relating to philosophy of law and history of political thought. It belonged to the Institute of Political Science until 1986 when, because of the founding of departments, became the Interdepartmental Library of Social Sciences, History and Political Studies (limited to history of North America). From this moment on, its bibliographic patrimony is enriched with volumes concerning these subjects.
Today the Solari Library owns one of the most important collection of politic and social science items, available to students and scholars.