History and contents

The Library is the Research and Documentation Center of the Institute for Musical Heritage in Piedmont. Founded by the internationally renowned musicologist Alberto Basso (current member of the Board of Directors of the Institute), it currently has nearly 57,000 catalographic units, roughly divided into 44,500 books and 12,500 sound carriers; an imposing mass of volumes, disks, CDs, tapes and scores, available to scholars, enthusiasts, students and music lovers.

The collection was recently embellished (July 2016) thanks to the legacy testamentary in favor of the Institute by the Turin engineer, architect and urban planner Gabriele Manfredi (1914-2016), who wanted to name the donation after his sister Luisa Manfredi King (1906-1990), pianist.
The Manfredi-King Book Collection consists of over 10,000 bibliographic units covering the most diverse sectors of culture, with the predominance of works on architecture and urban planning (over 2,000, including national and international periodicals). There are also sections related to: art history (about 1,550), narrative and poetry (about 1,850), theatrical texts and dramatic history (about 330), Venice and Venetian Republic (about 480), history (about 500), philosophy (350), sociology, politics and society (about 460), history of music (about 230), sciences (about 350), encyclopaedias and dictionaries (about 548), history of religions, Hermeticism (350), jurisprudence, law (200), city of Turin (280), travel and tourism (520), various (280).
The record collection consists of about 2,100 vinyl records, mainly related to musical history from the 14th to the 18th centuries: the privileged authors are Vivaldi, Telemann, Bach, Haendel, Haydn and Mozart.

The Manfredi King Fund is thus aggregated to the various funds that the Institute already possesses, in particular to the Alberto Basso Fund which has about 13,000 volumes, over 3,000 scores and sheet music, 4,500 concert programs, 3,110 works of general culture, about 1,100 of literature, 3,050 volumes of figurative art, about 1,200 works concerning Piedmont (500 concerning Turin), about 1,000 on the Marquisate of Saluzzo and Cuneo, 90 degree theses, about 2,000 vinyl records and 2,970 CDs, 212 microfilms, 550 photographs. In addition, the files relating to the music preserved in the Turin Philharmonic Academy and the manuscripts of the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Turin. In the Alberto Basso collection we note in particular the presence of the Bach sector, which includes 350 scores and sheet music, 580 monographs, about 240 CDs, 250 vinyl records, 70 tapes. Among the sectors of the Alberto Basso Fund, in addition to those already mentioned (concerning Piedmont and the city of Turin and the Marquisate of Saluzzo) there is the almost complete collection of printed music by Piedmontese authors or other operating in Turin since the end of the 1500s at the beginning of the 19th century. The material is avaiable in the form of: microfilms and photomechanical reproductions; a section of dictionaries and musical lexicons of various nationalities (about 420); a collection of printed music used by European Masonic lodges during the 18th and early 19th centuries; publications relating to the Turin’s Teatro Regio, including the programs of the individual shows and concerts (about 700).

The following funds are also kept in the library:

  • The Franco Vitale Fund, consisting of about 1,750 vinyl and bakelite records, about 160 CDs and about 600 radio recording tapes;
  • The Serge Bertino Fund, comprising about 100 tapes of radio recordings;
  • The Ferruccio Civra Fund which has 3,850 radio recording tapes;
  • The Rosario Scalero Fund including correspondence (about 1,110 letters), about 70 printed and handwritten music, some hundreds of concert programs, photographs, business cards, various documents;
  • The Fund of manuscript (44) and printed music (41) of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries donated in memory of King Umberto II and coming from the Royal Palace of Turin.

At the moment the Institute hosts about 56,000 units including volumes, brochures, numbers of periodicals, records, tapes and cassettes, microfilms and various materials, in addition to the files already mentioned above.


The library has joined the CoBiS (Coordination of Special and Specialized Libraries) in order to promote a network between the different documents. This brings to a better service for institutions and public and improve visibility and usability of documentary resources.

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