The library of the Centro Studi contains more than 2000 volumes on jazz and related topics, such as the African diaspora and music influenced by jazz such as the tango. The material is in various languages. The library is classified by type and includes the main reference works on the history, theory and discography of jazz.
The library dedicated to jazz and related topics – history of slavery and American society, other Afroamerican music, influence of jazz in Europe – is now quite large and the archives document its development and current events. The library contains copies of the very first volumes dedicated to jazz in Europe and Italy: before 1945, there were only three Italian texts on jazz, two by Bragaglia and the first true attempt to introduce Italians to jazz by Levi and Polillo.
The two major references in Italian are by Polillo and Berendt, though on specific topics more recent and detailed articles have been written by Italian scholars or translated into Italian.
The library also contains volumes in other languages, especially English. Examples include works in French, German and Dutch, dedicated to jazz in those countries.
The books are classified by category and by author. First among the reference works is the latest edition of the Grove Dictionary of Jazz, a good starting point for research, and Tom Lord’s Discografia Generale del Jazz, for recordings. There are monographs on single musicians from Armstrong to Zorn, books dedicated to the history of jazz and its musicological, cultural and social aspects, and much more. Volumes available in more than one copy are lent out (for instructions contact the Centre).
The catalogue currently includes 3614 books, 77 undergraduate theses and 531 magazine series (11128 magazines).