The images in this section belong to the antique collection of the Biomedical Library, formed around a core group of books collected in 1679 in the Arcispedale (hospital) of Santa Maria Nuova; in the subsequent centuries it was enriched by book donations of hospital doctors and professors, many of whom bequeathed to the Library also their personal archives of thousands of handwritten papers.
Among the donors of the earliest times there are Scipione Ammirato and Vincenzo Viviani; later, other well known personalities in the medical field distinguished themselves for their legacies of large quantities of books and documents. Among them Vincenzo Alberti, Pietro Betti, Carlo Burci, Pietro Cipriani, Vincenzo Chiarugi, Augusto Michelacci, Filippo Pacini, Pietro Vannoni, Ferdinando Zannetti.
In 1873 the Hospital donated its Library to the Higher Institute of Vocational and Advanced Studies, which in 1924 became the University of Florence; in 1937 the Library followed the fate of the other health facilities and moved to the foot of the Careggi hills. Thus, the antique library collection is currently stored and available for consultation at the Biomedical Library of the University, located inside the hospital complex of Careggi.
Each year the Library organizes exhibitions of its antique material to promote its visibility and make it known to the community at large.
Both the Biomedical Library and the University Library System are investing considerable resources in their digitization projects, and as a result there are today freely available online more than ninety thousand records of the old card catalogue, some archival manuscripts, records of the ancient Medical College and the texts of incunabula and many other printed antique books.