The BSR Library, a specialist research resource, consists of c. 110,000 volumes (books and periodicals) and 600 current periodicals. The open-shelf arrangement encourages browsing which is essential for research.

The Library is a founding member of the URBiS network of 24 research Libraries in Rome. Our joint catalogue, with nearly 2 million records, is available at URBiS Library Network

One aim of the acquisitions policy is to provide those Italian books and periodicals which are not widely available in the UK, particularly exhibition catalogues, excavation reports and local publications.

Collections include:

  • Italian archaeology: prehistoric, classical and medieval
  • Greek and Latin philology
  • Roman history: ancient
  • Roman epigraphy and numismatics
  • Roman religion, law and philosophy: ancient
  • Italian topography, with special emphasis on the topography of Rome
  • Italian art and architecture: Italic, Etruscan, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque
  • Italian history: Medieval and Renaissance
  • Ecclesiastical history
  • Grand Tour travel writings
  • Rare Book Collection

The Digital Collections website displays highlights of ongoing research projects with our Library collections.


The Library is open
Monday-Thursday 9.00-19.00, Friday 9.00-17.00

PLEASE NOTE - from 24 July to 29 September opening hours :
Monday-Friday 9.00-17.00

Non-residents are very welcome to frequent the BSR Library and Archive. Library Membership gives access during opening hours until the 28 assigned desks are occupied.

To become a Library Member an application should be made in person. Please bring:

  • a letter of introduction from your University or academic institute

  • passport or proof of identity that includes a portrait photograph

Photo by Antonio Palmieri

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the Library.
A self-service scanner and photocopier are available. Pre-paid cards can be purchased from the Librarians

JSTOR provides full-text searches of digitized back issues of many academic journals and can be accessed through the four dedicated terminals in the Catalogue Room.

Document delivery. The requested documents will be delivered in compliance with copyright legislation. Please send your request to the Library.

Photo by Antonio Palmieri


The Library is grateful to receive gifts of books relevant to its collections, particularly those resulting from research carried out in the BSR.

Donors are requested to contact the Head of Research Collections, including the title/s, before sending the book/s. Please check the BSR’s holdings on our URBiS catalogue to avoid duplication.
If we are able to accept the gift, the donor will receive acknowledgment of receipt and each book will include a ‘Presented by’ bookplate with the donor’s or designated name and will be included in a ‘List of Donors’.

The BSR’s publications include its annual journal, Papers of the British School at Rome (PBSR), a BSR monograph series, the BSR Archive series and catalogues of the Library’s Special Collections as well as other occasional publications.

The Library benefits from over 200 exchanges of periodicals with the PBSR and welcomes suggestions from institutions and individuals on possible exchange agreements for books or periodicals. Please contact the Head of Research Collections

Photo by Antonio Palmieri

Latest Events

Latest Events

Visit “Verve”, the first Bridget Riley painted ceiling at the BSR
Verve, the latest work by one of the UK’s most celebrated contemporary artists, Bridget Riley, a painted ceiling for the British School at Rome (BSR),
28 September
15:00 - 16:00
“Specially placed to uphold a load: Reading & In conversation” with Holly Graham and Kwanza Musi Dos Santos
On 29 September at 6 pm Libreria GRIOT will host ‘Specially placed to uphold a load: Reading & In conversation’ with Holly Graham, artist and
29 September
18:00 - 19:30
ARTIST’S TALK: Zineb Sedira in conversation with Morad Montazami
On Wednesday 4 October 2023 at 6 pm, the BSR is pleased to present a Fine Arts Talk with French artist Zineb Sedira, who will
4 October 2023
18:00 - 19:30