The Philosophy Library is one of the highest expressions of philosophical and pedagogical knowledge in the world. The Library was born as an instrument of study of the pedagogical sciences with the establishment in 1874 of the Museum of Instruction and Education wanted by Ruggero Bonghi. A library was immediately annexed to the museum, under the wise direction of Antonio Labriola. However, in 1891 the Education Museum was suppressed and its books first entrusted to the National Library "Vittorio Emanuele II" and then to the Alessandrina Library. In order for the pedagogical sciences of the Roman University to have their own Library it was necessary to wait for the establishment in 1904, on the initiative of Luigi Credaro, of the School of Pedagogy and, in 1906, of the Pedagogical Museum of the University of Rome in whose premises they returned to merge the books. This collection constitutes the first book nucleus of the current Philosophy Library.
The decisive transformation following the university reform of 1925 wanted by Giovanni Gentile, first led to the transformation of the Pedagogical School into the School of Philosophy directed by Gentile himself from its inception, until its subsequent evolution in 1937, on the occasion of the transfer of the University of Rome in the new university city which took place in 1935, in the Institute of Philosophy. The management of the Library after Giovanni Gentile, who, as mentioned, kept it until his death (1944), was succeeded by Pantaleo Carabellese from 1944 to 1947, Guido De Ruggiero for a few months between 1947 and 1948, Carlo Antoni from 1948 to 1958 , Guido Calogero from 1958 to 1959, Franco Lombardi from 1959 to 1971 and then Tullio Gregory who, from the early years of his academic activity took a keen interest in the Library and under whose direction, in 1980, the Library moved from the University City to the current headquarters of Villa Mirafiori. A significant part in the growth and organization of the Library of those years is due to Mrs. Teresa Capocci who, who entered very young librarian in 1919, subsequently held the direction until 1977. In the following years Vittoria Nasti took turns to manage it. Nicoletta Heusch and Gaetano Colli.
The contribution of numerous and important donations has had a decisive influence on the formation of the Library's collections. In fact, the prestige acquired by the Philosophical and Pedagogical School of the University of Rome and the link that has been established between the Library of Philosophy and many eminent personalities of twentieth century philosophers has ensured that, after their death, almost for natural vocation, even the private libraries that had belonged to them. Of exceptional importance is the "Giovanni Gentile Fund" which together with the personal archive, of great historical and documentary value, which belonged to that scholar, constitutes the "Gentile Foundation" annexed to the Library. In the same way, the book collections of other previous directors and professors were paid into the Library: Guido De Ruggiero, Carlo Antoni, Guido Calogero, Franco Lombardi, Maria Corda Costa. The same appeal has favored, even recently, the personal bequest, or on the initiative of the heirs, of the libraries of other eminent exponents of the Italian philosophical culture. They are the following scholars:, Balbino Giuliano, Adolfo Levi, Francesco Montalto, Mario Niccoli, Piera Pozzan, Luigi Scaravelli, Marcello Segreto Amadei, Luigi Vagnetti, Icilio Vecchiotti. The Library also received a donation from the book fund of the International Artistic Association.
All this makes that of Philosophy a great library of libraries and it is precisely in this direction and in relation to this aspect that the projects of scientific enhancement move. This multidimensional nature of the Philosophy Library, where a multitude of author libraries converge alongside the main collection, recent literature and periodicals, makes it a very interesting "place" for research and investigation. It represents a meeting place for generations far and near, of authentic dialogue between the living and the dead, of custody and dissemination of the collective philosophical memory. The Philosophy Library thus offers itself to be investigated and explored according to the cultural stimuli and scientific interests of each one, following the countless research 'paths' that its funds propose. The Library daily hosts hundreds of students and scholars from all over the world to whom it offers, in addition to traditional bibliographic services, also the most advanced information and digital technologies whose development is constantly expanding.
- Gaetano Colli, Biblioteche di filosofi nella Biblioteca di Filosofia della Sapienza romana. Progetti di valorizzazione e di pubblicazione dei fondi, in: "Culture del testo e del documento", maggio-settembre 2014colli_biblioteche_di_filosofi
- Giuseppe Faccini - Caterina Lalli, La Biblioteca di Filosofia di Villa Mirafiori, in: "Nouvelles de la République des Lettres", 2001-II
- Giancarlo Priori, Ristrutturazione a biblioteca di una ex-cappella nella Villa Mirafiori a Roma, in: "Carlo Chiarini: Architetture 1950-1986". Presentazione di Paolo Portoghesi. Roma, Kappa, 1995
- Vittoria Nasti, La Biblioteca dell'Istituto di Filosofia. Roma, nella Sede dell'Istituto, 1978
- Bibliografia delle pubblicazioni sulla Biblioteca di Filosofia. Dalla nascita della Biblioteca annessa al Museo d’istruzione di educazione (1875) al 2016
- Relazione dull'attività e sullo stato dei servizi (2005-2011)