The DAI Rome, founded in 1829 as the Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1879. Its library received a precious gift on the occasion: Baron Ferdinand von Platner of Saxony, who resided in Rome, presented it with the books inherited from his father Ernst Zacharias as well as with his own collection of works on the history of Italian cities. The bequest totalled over 6,000 volumes. They date from the 16th to the 19th century, most of them exceptionally rare – with many manuscripts among them – and what’s more they are in an excellent state of preservation.
They are of great interest not only to archaeologists but also to historians. The donor’s stipulation that the collection should be kept separate has been honoured ever since the bequest. At the DAI’s Rome headquarters at Via Sardegna 79, which is currently undergoing restoration, a special room is reserved for the Biblioteca Platneriana.