The origins of the current library of the Department of Chemistry date back to the year 1871 when Stanislao Cannizzaro was invited to Rome and held inorganic and organic chemistry courses at the University, held the direction of the practical school and organized a well-equipped institute of chemistry. Its headquarters, for about sixty years, was therefore located in the garden of the old convent of S. Lorenzo in Panisperna (via Panisperna 89) until, during the academic year 1939-1940, the Institute and the library moved to the current university city.
The inventory of the administrative office of the Royal University of Rome contains acquisition vouchers from 1882 and 1883 with lists of book material purchased at the ancient Loescher and Hoepli bookstores for "use of the Chemical Institute", probable amnesty of a book stock from the 1872 -1881 years.
In 1944, just before the attack on via Rasella, the library was saved by prof. Giordano Giacomello whom Parravano had invited to the Chemical Institute of Rome in 1937*. "One day in 1943, a Wehrmacht and two SS soldiers showed up who had been ordered to requisition the volumes of the German-language library to send them to Berlin destroyed by the bombing. The officer recognized Prof. Giacomello - of which he had been a pupil of when he was a professor in Vienna, at the chair of Prof. Hermann Mark - and the professor convinced him not to deplete the possessions of the library negotiating, therefore, the seizure but avoiding their immediate transfer. this allowed to safeguard the patrimony of the Library."
The patrimonial consistency of the library of the Chemical Institute increased with the subsequent merging of the smaller, but highly specialized, libraries of the institutes of analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry and inorganic and general chemistry, assuming its specific central character in 1968 .
With the establishment of the General Chemical Service first, and then of the Department of Chemistry, the library services are definitively centralized, even if physically located in different locations, at the Cannizzaro building and the Caglioti building of the Department.
The current patrimony of the Library - dedicated to prof. Gabriello Illuminati since 1989 - has a specialistic character with various material on disciplines related to chemistry, it also holds ancient and valuable publications, both periodicals and monographies.
* This information was taken from a conversation between dr. Marina Dalla Torre and the son of prof. Giordano Giacomello, prof. Pierluigi Giacomello, on November 5, 2013.