Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi Library
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Historical Collections

Bocconi University historical collections include documents published from the dawn of printing up to the 20th century. These collections document how the Library, starting from a small nucleus of 1,200 volumes donated by the Milan Chamber of Commerce when the University was founded in 1902, grew to become the most specialized economic library in Italy and one of the richest in Europe within a few decades.

Among others, the Library preserves precious books from the 16th century on Commercial Law collected by Professor Angelo Sraffa and donated to the University by his family after his death, a collection of course handouts up to 1945 (including, for example, the course in Finance taught by professor Luigi Einaudi) and the complete collection of important historical journals such as the Economist and the Journal of Economists.

Here you can find a series of highlights to discover the most precious treasures of the Library:


From the year of its foundation up to the present the Bocconi Library has gathered a number of donations of whole private libraries, among which those of eminent figures who have held teaching roles and positions of responsibility in the University. Their collections reveal their intellectual paths, testify the birth and development of economic studies in Italy.
Donation items must be consulted only onsite.
Catalogues are available online.


The oversize books and journals collection contains items of greater than normal dimensions, i.e. folio (over 38 cm high) and quarto format (28 to 38 cm high), and includes approximately 40 historical journals and books. Among the former are the complete collections of Il sole (from 1907 to 1965), 24 ore (1946-1965) and a collection of Il sole 24 ore (from 1965 to 1986); also, the review edited by the original Confindustria, L’organizzazione industriale (from 1925 to 1940), and volumes from 1906 to 1914 of La confederazione del lavoro, official publication of the first National Chamber of Labor.
The oversize books and journals collection is accessible, under staff supervision, in a dedicated room.

The Library holds Italians and foreign printed books published between 1524 and 1830. Catalogues are available online. The Rare books collection is accessible, under staff supervision, in a dedicated room, by appointment (contact the Ask a librarian service).

The Historical periodicals collection presents a selection of titles of particular interest, accessible in the Periodicals reading rooms.

Certain of them are quite rare, for example those that marked the history of Italian accounting over the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the Bollettino del collegio dei ragionieri in Milano, Il Ragioniere by Giovanni Massa and Vincenzo Gitti, or Giovanni Massa’s Monitore dei ragionieri, and also Il logismografo by Giovanni de Rossi, and the Rivista dei ragionieri, official organ of the Accounting Academy of Padua, presided over for many years by Pietro D'Alvise, or Il risveglio della ragioneria.

This collection includes a selection of periodicals that contributed to political and social debate in Italy and thus tell the story, in various capacities, of our country’s economic development : L’ufficio moderno, L’Impresa moderna, La Riforma sociale by Francesco Saverio Nitti and Luigi Einaudi, or Carlo Cattaneo’s Il Politecnico and Civiltà delle Macchine by Giovanni Luraghi and Leonardo Sinisgalli that, in different years, helped the dialogue between humanistic culture and scientific culture.

il giornale degli economistiufficio modernociviltà delle macchine


Last update: Tuesday, May 28, 2024