The Accademia Costume & Moda contains a historic library – and magazine / newspaper – archive (BEA), which is open to the public from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm and attended by scholars of costume, fashion, textile and jewellery alike. The BEA consists of more than 4,500 monographs and about 5,000 magazine issues.
The magazine / newspaper – archive also includes unique items such as the first issue of the American magazine Harper’s Bazaar (1 November 1867) unique in Italy to the Accademia, the first issue of Club magazine: a review on men’s fashion (Winter 1949), as well as exclusive numbers of historical magazines such as Margherita, L’Officiel, Vogue America and Vogue Italy. Also most importantly the precious collection of Bellezza: high fashion and Italian lifestyle monthly magazine donated by the director Elsa Robiola, which the Accademia conserves and makes available to researchers and industry experts.
Over the course of time, the library has been greatly enriched by prestigious private collections (the Rosana Pistolese Fund and the Bruno Piattelli Fund), which were donated to the Accademia and represents today one of the many jewels of its archival heritage.
In 2012, the Archival Superintendency for the region of Lazio recognized the remarkable cultural content of these unique collections by entering the archive of Rosana Pistolese in the national project “History of the Twentieth Century Fashion” promoted by the General Directorate of Archives and the Italian National Archives. Completing the heritage is the Elio Costanzi Fund, composed of fashion illustrations, set designs and costume sketches as well as the donation by the fashion journalist Pia Soli of a collection of rich press releases. A further important recognition for the Library has been the inclusion to the five specialized fashion libraries of Italy, being the only one existing in Rome.
The latest step of the Accademia towards internationalization was for the BEA to enter the SBN IEI pole of cultural institutes in Rome, coordinated by the Modern and Contemporary History Library MIBACT.