The Library of the Mendrisio Academy has one of the largest holdings of the history of architecture and art in Switzerland. Its importance is now recognized internationally thanks to its continuously updated documentary holdings and the bibliographic rarities it possesses, particularly in the fields of the art and architecture of the Ticino, the neighboring regions and the Mediterranean area.
The Library is notable primarily for its rich bibliographic collections in the fields of history of architecture, visual culture and the arts in general, including the theatrical and performing arts. Together with these core holdings, it is also building up a new collection of texts and publications devoted to traditional, vernacular and popular architecture worldwide.
Particular attention is paid to publications dealing with the spillover into design of developments in technology and ecology. To complement the already extensive collection on the history of construction techniques, the library is expanding the bibliographic sectors specially devoted to technological developments in the Modern Movement, which are further documented by a very substantial catalogue of monographs and the massive transformations of the territory and landscape induced by modernity.
As a stimulus to reflection on architecture as a work of artistic creativity, there are also numerous titles dealing with the theory and philosophy of art, aesthetics and the critical debate. Finally the library has a very rich collection of iconographic materials, typological compendia and technical manuals, which are extremely useful in the training of young architects.
The Library contains the book holdings of: Pietro Bianchi, Enzo Frateili, Jacques Gubler, Augusto Guidini father and son, Gino and Gianna Macconi, Carlo Gastone Della Torre di Rezzonico, Augusto Rima, Sergio Steffen, Fritz Stuber, Virgilio Vercelloni, Stanislaus von Moos.
The library ensures access to numerous databases, online or on physical media, such as: Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, Bibliography of the History of Arts, ICONDA, Francis, Wilson Art Full Text, Oxford Reference Online, Wiley Interscience. Complementing the bibliographic databases, also available are digital image libraries, which include: ArtStor, Art Museum Image Gallery, Cindema Image Gallery and Prometheus.
To consult the online catalogue and databases, click here.
Access to the Library and the services it offers are free. They are available to faculty members, staff and students of the Academy as well as members of the public. In the reading room there are 80 study stations. There are 8 PC stations: 4 are reserved for bibliographical research and 4 allow free access to the Internet.
Books, journals and documentary materials, except for those held in storage, are displayed on the open shelves: the reader can access them individually, to consult in the library or to request on loan. Readers may also apply to other libraries, in Switzerland or abroad, for items or photocopies of articles not available in the library.
The Library staff provide guidance and assistance with bibliographical searches and finding the volumes.
Access and consultation