The library dates back to the foundation of the Observatory of Bologna by Eustachio Manfredi in early XVIII century, and nowadays is specialized in astronomy and astrophysics. It participates in the Library System of the University of Bologna.
The library recognizes as its primary users the students of the Astronomy course at the University of Bologna and the local astronomers. It also provides documents to amateur astronomers, school teachers and scientists, such as physicists, historians and philosophers of science. Students from the scientific Departments of the University of Bologna are welcome.
The library has an antique section (2500 books printed after 1488) and a modern one. The modern library: 7000 books; 250 periodicals (100 still active); about 20000 publications from astronomical observatories; 2000 slides.
Due to the early origin of the library, it owns the first issues of journals and publications of observatories, since the end of the XVIII century.