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Reading Rooms

The reading rooms of the Chamber of Deputies Library provide direct and immediate access to research materials in those fields in which the Library is specialised. The reading rooms house general and reference works on various subjects, the latest editions of textbooks and abstracts, thematic encyclopaedias and other instruments that serve as useful starting points for research work, which may then be pursued in greater depth using the computer workstations that are also available in the rooms. The computers enable researchers to look up catalogues and consult other electronic resources to retrieve further information and find more specific works. Readers must fill out a special index card and place it on the shelf in place of the borrowed book. The books must be left on the tables after use, and may be returned to the shelves by qualified staff only.
The rooms are organised by research area and subdivided internally by subject (for the most part in accordance with the Dewey Decimal Classification System), which facilitates the task of finding the books in the desired category.

The main reading rooms are as follows:

Ground Floor

Sala del Refettorio and Corridoio degli atti parlamentari:The area, consisting of a reading room and hallway, contains the acts and records of Italian parliaments from 1848 to the present day, namely: bills, parliamentary documents, verbatim report and summaries of the debates on the Floor of the House and in Committees, and printed directories and indexes of parliamentary activities. The room is sometimes used for meetings and may therefore be temporarily inaccessible. To find material relating to the Chamber of Deputies since the foundation of the Republic, researchers may consult the on-line collection of digitalized parliamentary records. The hallway occasionally hosts special exhibitions.
The adjacent hallway (Corridoio della legislazione italiana) houses a complete collection of the Official Journal of Parliament and other collections of Italian legislation.

First Floor (Sale dell'Inquisizione)

Entrance is from the Sala Galileo, the hall of history, on the second floor.

Sala di politica internazionale: This reading room contains works on geopolitics, international relations, conflict and collective security, conflict resolution and disarmament, and military science. It contains numerous volume sets published by leading research institutes operating in the field of international politics and complements the Library's many journals and databases on the same subjects. The Library also publishes a monthly Rassegna parlamentare comparata di politica internazionale e sicurezza (Comparative parliamentary review of international politics and security)
The room is closed on Saturdays.

Sala del Parlamento italiano: The room contains publications on the Italian Parliament and general elections as from 1848. It holds mainly juridical essays, but also researches on political and organization science, on political sociology, historiographical literature and statistics. Books are arranged according to the classification scheme in use for the BPR-Bibliography of the Italian Parliament and Electoral Studies, the bibliographical database edited by the Library and available online.
The room is closed on Saturdays

Sala delle collezioni legislative preunitarie:The room houses collections of the laws of former Italian states from the pre-Unification period. The materials conserved in the room are subject to a system of controlled consultation, in common with the practice for other Library holdings of ancient volumes. The combined holdings of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate Libraries make up an almost complete collection of the laws of Italian states from the sixteenth century to Unification.

Second Floor

Corridoio monumentale: This hallway holds general and specialised encyclopaedias and bibliographies, dictionaries of national and international biography and dictionaries of biography by subject. The collection complements the many biographical and bibliographical instruments available through the electronic databases.

Sala delle Capriate (Law): This room contains legal encyclopaedias, treatises, collections of studies and manuals dealing with all branches of Italian law, with particular regard to parliamentary law, and commemorative works. The room, a natural starting point for researching Italian law is complemented by a section dedicated to European and comparative legislation (Sala di legislazione straniera) and the Library also has an extensive range of legal databases. It also contains the most current manuals for all branches Italian law.

Sale delle carte geografiche: This reading room houses the acts and records of the Italian Senate. The hall leads on to the covered walkway giving access to the Senate Library.

Sala Galileo (Storia): The room contains works of general and modern and contemporary Italian history. The room complements the reading rooms of the Senate Library dedicated to medieval and modern history and the history of Italian comuni (townships).

Sala Galileo: This is a multimedia room reserved for the use of MPs and for training seminars.

Sala E. Colombo: The room contains miscellaneous rare books and volumes from the 15th-17th centuries. It houses the Ancient Book Collection and the Kissner Collection of the Chamber of Deputies Library, including a series of ancient works on the history of Rome and the monuments of Italian cities. Given the rarity and the value of the works, reading rights are subject to restrictions.

Fourth Floor

Sala di legislazione straniera: The room contains collections of the laws and parliamentary records of foreign countries, treaties, manuals and texts of international, European and comparative law and commentaries on the laws of individual foreign countries. The room is integral to the activities of the Foreign Legislation Office. It provides basic coverage of legislative affairs in all geographical areas and comprises a considerable number of works relating to European and North American legislation.
The room is closed on Saturdays.

Fifth Floor

Sala periodici: This and the adjacent rooms have around 1,800 current periodicals available for consultation. Sorted by subject area, the periodicals for the current year are given shelf space in the room itself, while bound sets of journals from the past five years are located in the corridor. Journals from prior years need to be requested from the distribution point of the same floor. Since the creation of the Joint Parliamentary Library, the room has served as the periodicals room of both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate Libraries.

See also Senate Library reading rooms