In the heart of Milan there is a little jewel, shining for its collections and texts about the history of our city and Province: the Isimbardi Library, located in the historical seat of the already Province of Milan, now "Metropolitan City of Milan".
The first news of the Library should be traced back to the family Isimbardi who in 1775 bought the building from Lambertenghi; with Gian Pietro Isimbardi Camillo, who held political offices in Napoleon’s Milan, the palace became a centre of studies and scientific collections, some of which are preserved in the current heritage of the Isimbardi Library. In particular: the Histoire Naturelle (an enciclopedic work composed of 36 volumes published in France between 1749 and 1789, dedicated to natural history) of George Louis Leclerc, better known as Count of Buffon, and the Dictionary of Natural Sciences (a work composed of 30 volumes) written by famous naturalists of the main schools of Paris of the time and published since 1830. It represents one of the most extensive scientific collections published in Italy in the Nineteenth century.
Next to the library, rich of literary and scientific works, were set up a cabinet of mineralogy, a collection of nautical instruments and charts for navigation.
A notice of the existence of the Library is contained in a precious book of 1872 entitled "Essay of the works of Leonardo da Vinci" copy no. 120 of 300 specimens, in which there is a handwritten dedication “To the Library of the Province of Milan”.
The Library hosts the Albertine Statute Tapestry
In one of the Library rooms there is a monochrome Tapestry, of the second half of the nineteenth century, representing the official signature of the Albertine Statute by Charles Albert I, King of Sardinia and Duke of Savoy. A serial copy of this tapestry is located at the National Museum of the Italian Risorgimento in Turin.
The Albertine Statute was the first constitution conceded to the Kingdom of Sardinia in Italy on 4 March 1848. On March 1861, it became the constitution of the now unified Kingdom of Italy and remained in force, with changes, until 1 January 1948, when it was definitively replaced with the Constitution of the Italian Republic. The Albertine Statute consisted of 84 articles and responded to the request for political representation and participation during the so-called Risorgimento (a movement of Italian unification during the 1860s).
The Library is today a cultural reference point of Milan and the Lombardy region, in continuity with its tradition and evolution, compared to the features of the Institution.
(The Isimbardi Library in the historical seat)