The Braidense National Library (Italian: Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense), located in Milan, is one of Italy’s largest libraries. Initially it contained large historical and scientific collections before it was charged with the legal deposit of all publications from Milan. Since 1880, it has had the status of a national library and is today one of the 47 Italian State libraries.
Since the beginning, the Braidense was designed as a general library. The collections consisted of illuminated choral works, historical, literary, theological and legal publications as well as extensive general reference works. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the library was enhanced with many other holdings. In 1778, it acquired the collection of Swiss bibliophile Albrecht von Haller covering botanical and medical works and, in 1795, a legacy from Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini containing some 3,000 works including valuable 16th century Greek and Latin editions. It currently has 898,377 printed volumes, 2,119 manuscripts and 2,368 incunabula.