The Foundation was established on 12 April 2012 by the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze and Banca CR Firenze with the purpose of enhancing the enjoyment of the book collections acquired largely by the then Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze. These consists of valuable fonds – in some cases unique – covering a timespan ranging from the 15th to the 20th century, specialised in historic and political disciplines.
The Foundation possesses a total of over 65,000 books, 2,500 of which were published thanks to the contribution of the Ente Cassa. This great heritage was carefully treated to remove dust and any parasites and was arranged in a precise order, taking into account the subdivision of the various fonds and the cataloguing parameters of the SDIAF (Sistema Documentario integrato Area Fiorentina).
The statutory purposes of the Foundation are:
- to take care of, augment and divulge the book collections belonging to it or which may come into the possession of the Foundation by donation, bequest or acquisition, or which are in any case entrusted to it, even on loan for use, custody or storage, making all possible efforts to ensure that this cultural heritage may be known to academics and the public, and in any case providing access to the same in such a manner that ensures its best possible conservation, valorisation and divulgation;
- to collaborate with all the cultural institutions and with the public and private bodies with which it may be necessary to cooperate for the achievement of the objectives set by the Foundation;
- to perform all the deeds and activities considered opportune for the purpose of a better knowledge and use of the book heritage entrusted to it for scientific purposes, as well as a better knowledge of the work of the academics whom the book collections housed by the Foundation are named after, including the issuing of bursaries and the production of publications.
The Ente Cassa destines to the Foundation an annual contribution of 30.000 euro for the management activities. It has also sustained the costs for the renovation and adaptation of the premises in which the Foundation is housed, which belong to the Ente Cassa and are provided on free loan for use.