The specialised Library of the Museum was born at the same time as the museum itself in 1867, thanks to the donation of the scientific volumes of Giacomo Doria and Lorenzo Pareto.
During World War II, the library literally ended up in smoke on the night between 7 and 8 November 1942, when the English incendiary bombs destroyed 30,584 volumes.
Due to the considerable increase in volumes since the end of the 1970s (following purchases and exchanges), a raised mezzanine became necessary in all three rooms of the library. The project was implemented from 1987 and the new structure was inaugurated in 1995, increasing the surface area from 350 square metres to 540, and the number of shelves from 215 to 390.
In July 2017, the numbered volumes totalled about 95,000, comprising more than 17,000 monographs and over 77,500 miscellanies. The number of periodicals currently totals nearly 1,200, of which 700 still ongoing, now only in exchange for the periodical “Annali”; the computerisation of index cards was started in 2013.
Scientific publications of the Museum
The periodical “Annali” was born in 1870 at the wish of Giacomo Doria, with the purpose of illustrating the collections of the Museum, divulging the discoveries of its travellers, promoting the organisation of the scientific material of the Museum, and distributing the “Annali” to institutes in different countries to obtain their publications in exchange and thus enrich the library.
Overall, the first 100 volumes (1870-2009) comprised 56,651 pages, for a total of 2,144 articles written by 737 different authors.
The second periodical, “Doriana”, has been published regularly since 1949 and is intended for short papers. Issue no. 400 was published in 2016.
Only one issue of the “Memorie del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale ‘G. Doria’” was printed in quarto format in 1954, specifically for a palaeontological text.