Digitization at the Library

Book Digitizations

We have a growing collection of digitized books, comprising more than 1.400 titles. We digitize mostly rare books, but also modern specimens. The total number of scans as of 2020 is nearly 350.000. A distinguishing feature is that all volumes can be integrated into digital platforms using the IIIF API. The digitized volumes are listed here:

Newly acquired rare books -- which for the most part are not yet digitized -- are listed here. This is a good starting point if you want to keep yourself informed of our ongoing rare book acquisitions in the fields of guide books (Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany) and 20th century colonialism.

Book Projects

In 1924 Julius von Schlosser published his »Die Kunstliteratur«, a collections of primary sources for the history of art. Of the ca. 1400 cited titles, most are owned by our library and have been digitized. The transcription of the »Die Kunstliteratur« with direct links to all digitized sources is here.

Ludwig Schudt's »Le Guide di Roma«, published in 1930, lists nearly all known guide books of Rome. The publication has been transcribed and all sources cited by him have been linked to digitized specimen - most of them from our own extensive collection.

Finally, there's a new project coming about the artistic treasures of the town of L'Aquila, developed in partnership with the university of l'Aquila. The transcription of Leosini's »Monumenti storici artistici della citta di Aquila« from 1848 will be accompanied by an exhaustive comment and its cited monuments located on a interactive map. The website is only a mock-up.

Artist Collections

This archive comprehends more than 1.000 pieces of pamphlets, sketches, photographies and printed materiel from the collection of Pablo Echaurren. A special website is being prepared. An announcement will be made in September 2020.

Place Names of Rome

Thye data here exposed come from the -- now defunct -- LVPA Project by Andreas Thielemann. Exemplary guide books of Rome were manually indexed and all better known place names registered. The result was a database covering the most famous place marks of Rome -- more than 1.100 toponyms -- with more than 15.000 direct links into our digitized volumes.

Digital Cartography

We've georeferenced some (better) maps of Rome, Latium and the Abruzzi from the library material. The results are quite nice, even more when overlayed on top of modern maps. They are collected here:

3D Object Digitizations

We've done some object digitizations using the photogrammetric approach. To make things easier (well, almost) we've chosen rock sanctuaries in the Abruzzi mountains whcih are more or less neglected by modern art historical studies. The results are some of the first high-resolution images and 3D reliefs from difficult to reach places. The first results (»Santa Maria dell Ritornata«) are collected here:


All digitized works are released — if not explicitely stated otherwise — under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence of Creative Commons.

You are free to:

  • download the scans (jpeg, tiff, pdf),
  • copy and redistribute the scans in any medium or format,
  • transform and build upon the scans.

Under the following terms:

  • you may not use the material for commercial purposes (scientific articles are allowed),
  • you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
    In particular, you have to cite the source as follows:

Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History

Even if you transform or build upon the scans, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.


Our mail address is:

Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History
Via Gregoriana, 28
I-00187 Rome

You'll find more information on our website.

For general questions please contact PD Dr. Golo Maurer, for technical inquiries please contact Dr. Klaus E. Werner.