The Library of the Venice Biennale is home to more than 140,000 volumes. Its restoration was completed in 2010 with the opening of the new, great reading room, surrounded by a balcony on two levels on which are arranged over 800 linear meters of shelves with 134,000 volumes, of which 40% on open shelves, related to catalogs, monographs, texts, and necklaces of all sectors of the Biennale: visual arts, architecture, cinema, music, theater and dance.
The Library is characterized by the presence of all the catalogs of the Biennale from the first edition of the Art Exhibition of 1895, which is added acquisitions of exhibition catalogs from all over the world, with a collection of over 70,000 volumes from the most comprehensive available to scholars and researchers. In 2009, the Biennale has initiated a policy of new acquisitions with the “Bibliography of the Exhibition”: artists and architects invited to the exhibitions send the publications for their most significant relating to works in the exhibition. New acquisitions also arise from an intense and fruitful exchange activities between institutions.
The reopening of the Biennale Library at the Giardini in 2010 also marked the welcome completion of the ASAC (the Historical Archives of Contemporary Arts) and its return to full functionality, dedicated primarily to Venice. The Library alongside the Central Pavilion was part of the project to reorganize and renovate the building as a venue for exhibitions and a multi-purpose space.
The ASAC (the Historical Archives of the Biennale) is thus rationally organized: on the one hand the new location at the Giardini for consulting the Library collections, and on the other the previous location at the Vega in Marghera, which will continue to preserve and allow consultation of the historic archives (visited by large numbers of researchers and scholars, with an increasing number of reservations thanks to its easy-to-reach location) and the remaining collections that require storage areas with technological conservation standards, such as the photo library and painting collections.
The Library is open to visitors Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.