The Guarneriana Library is one of the first public libraries founded in Italy and the first in Friuli. It was born by the will of Guarnerio d'Artegna, parish priest of San Daniele, who in 1466 donated 173 manuscript codes to the Church of San Michele which, during his life, he had collected in the scriptorium organized by him. With his legacy, Guarnerio expressed the desire that his books be kept in a place where it was possible to read and study without the need to take the texts out of that room. In this way, it was possible to preserve the collection almost unchanged over the centuries, constituting one of the most interesting book collections of Italian Humanism. Among the oldest manuscripts, the most prestigious is the so-called Byzantine Bible, a code that presents an aura of mystery as regards its origin and whose miniatures constitute an interesting mix of western and Levantine elements. Other handiworks contain writings by humanists and Greek and Latin authors. The collection was enriched in 1736 thanks to the donation of Monsignor Giusto Fontanini who also left the means necessary for the construction of a wooden library. Among other things, the Fontanini donation included a version of Dante's Hell. In 1749 the community of San Daniele purchased a code from the end of 1400 containing Il Canzoniere and I Trionfi by famous author Petrarca, and more books and manuscripts were added to the collection between 1700 and 1800. In 1797, during the Napoleonic period, some codes were subtracted by order of the French commissioner Gaspare Monge. Only the librarian's ability to pretend to be forgetful limited the damage. The Guarneriana was visited by important authors such as Foscolo, Nievo and Carducci. Luckily, it had to endure almost no damage during the two world wars, thanks to the precautions taken by the competent Administration. In its premises are kept the Municipal Historical Archive and the archive of the ancient Hospital of Sant'Antonio.
Biblioteca Guarneriana (Sezione Moderna)
Via Roma n. 10
Tel. 0432 946560