»The study of art and culture… «

(Henriette Hertz)

Based in Rome, the Bibliotheca Hertziana is one of the institutes in the humanities and social sciences section of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG).   It was opened in 1913 under the umbrella of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society which had been founded only two years earlier. It is thus not only one of the oldest institutes of the Max Planck Society – successor to the Kaiser Wilhelm Society – but also the first to be dedicated to the humanities. The Max Planck Society is publicly funded by the German federal government and the state governments and receives third party funding for specific projects from public or private sponsors and the European Union.

Situated in central Rome, in the immediate vicinity of the famous Spanish Steps, the Bibliotheca Hertziana owes its existence to the generosity of Henriette Hertz (1846–1913), who provided the Palazzo Zuccari – complete with a well-stocked specialist library and an extensive photographic collection – as the seat of the research institute. Henriette Hertz wanted to create an institute that was dedicated to »the study of art and culture, from the Renaissance on up, especially in relation to Rome as the nucleus of European culture«, and that would serve as a meeting place for scholars from all over the world.

The institute’s excellent library, comprehensive photographic collection and outstanding, research-generated databases on Roman seventeenth-century painting and architectural drawings of the early modern era, not to mention its proximity to objects, monuments, archives and museums, conservation authorities, universities and international institutions in Rome make the Hertziana one of the world’s most renowned research institutes for Italian and, more specifically, Roman history of art. In fulfilment of Henriette Hertz’s wish, the institute remains a top destination for art historians from all over the world. Central to the mission of the institute is the support and promotion of the next generation of art historians.

Opening hours

The Library and Photographic Collection are open Monday through Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 8 p.m. The entrance is at Via Gregoriana 30 and access is possible only with a valid user ID card


Bibliotheca Hertziana
Max-Planck-Institut für 

Via Gregoriana 28
I-00187 Rome



General information
Tel.: +39 0669 993 1

Secretariat Office
Tel.: + 39 0669 993 227
Fax: + 39 0669 993 333

Hertziana Guided Tours
Telefon: + 39 0669 993 226
Telefon: + 39 0669 993 257

Public Relations

Dr. Marieke von Bernstorff

Tel.: +39 0669 993 250