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.


Between 26 February and 10 May 2024, the British School at Rome is undertaking the reorganisation of one of the rooms used by the Research Collections, with the creation of a proper space for the rare books, archives and special collections.

-All records from the administrative archive, photographic collections and personal papers will be unavailable for consultation between 26 February and 10 May 2024 inclusive.

-The Conferences proceedings, Geology and Geography sections (050 to 079) will be unavailable between 26 February and 10 March. From 11 March, they will be back on open stacks in the new 1st floor room of the library.

-The Art History & Architecture section (300), the Religion, Philosophy & Law section (800) and the Series section (S1-S10) will be unavailable from 26 February until further notice.

-Staff members are available to help readers to identify alternative options for their research. Other copies of our books available in Rome can be located through the URBIS and SBN catalogues.

We will do all we can to ensure award-holders and readers can have access to the materials they need. We apologise for any inconvenience.


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

The BSR Library and Archive are open free of charge to external visitors during opening hours. To join the library an application should be made in person.

Please bring:

  • Either a valid university staff card indicating that you are academic staff or registered PhD student, or a letter of introduction from your University or Academic Institute

  • a 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

Fine Arts Talk | Permindar Kaur
The BSR is pleased to present the second event of the FA Talks series. On 28 February at 6pm, artist Permindar Kaur will give a talk about her
28 February (online only)
18:00 - 19:30
BSR Spring Open Studios 2024
The British School at Rome is delighted to present Spring Open Studios 2024, an evening dedicated to studio visits of artists in residence at the
From 6 March (opening) to 8 March 2024
6 March 18:00 - 20:30, 7&8 March 16:00 - 19:00
Rediscovering Byzantium | Il ritorno dei Greci in Occidente nel XV secolo, tra Tolomeo e Platone
Alla fine del Trecento e poi per tutto il secolo successivo, si assiste in Occidente, e in particolare a Firenze, a una ripresa della conoscenza
13 March 2024
18:00 - 19:30