The library is entered through a nondescript door on a small street beside the Chiesa Sant’ Ignazio. After climbing two flights of steps you reach the floor of the main reading room, the original library space.
It is fascinating to see the collection of books, with Latin headings indicating the classifications. Poetry is at the back, and you pass through the histories and the sciences before coming to the front of the room with the writings of the Church Fathers and theoligians and, in the center, the collection of Bibles.
A statue of Cardinal Casanate oversees the room.
While we were in the library we were able to browse
though an illustrated Missal from the 1400s.We were fascinated by the detailed illuminations, the lavish use of gold leaf and the brilliant blue color made from grinding up lapis lazuli.
Inside the library (at the bottom of the above picture) is a decree from Pope Clement XI proclaiming that anyone who steals from the library will be excommunicated. Outside the door is a edict saying that abusers of the library will be tortured!