The Ancient books Collection of the Library of the Scuola Normale, conserved at the Palazzo del Capitano site, consists of over 10,000 volumes in all, more than1400 of which are editions from the 16th century and 1200 from the 17th century.
The collection is of a predominantly philological-literary and historical-philosophical nature, although it also includes scientific works, and is subdivided into three main sections: the original nucleus, denominated the Historical collection, the Delio Cantimori Ancient books Collection and the Eugenio Garin Ancient books Collection.
The Ancient books collection also comprises some collections of a lesser entity (around 1000 volumes altogether), of considerable importance on account of their provenance from private collections of eminent protagonists of Italian culture. Among them we here mention the collections of Michele Barbi (acquired in 1942), Enrico Mayer (acquired in 1975), Arnaldo Momigliano (acquired in 1989), Onofrio Nicastro (acquired at the end of the 1990s) and Ettore Passerin d'Entrèves (acquired in 2002).
In addition, there is the Clifford Truesdell Collection (of around 1600 volumes), housed in the History of Science room at the Palazzo del Capitano.