The library of Casa Lajolo consists of two different collections. One is the Chialamberto-Lajolo collection, and the other is the De Vecchi collection, from the Milan part of the family. There are about 1600 volumes in the library. The oldest completed section in the Chialamberto-Lajolo libraries is from the year 1610. In the De Vecchi library, the oldest piece dates back to 1701(a copy of Cicero’s Orations).
The Chialamberto-Lajolo collection is special because it has never been moved from its premises. It reflects the life events of the family and its successors and contains interesting notes of possession. The oldest book is a memoir about the life of San Carlo Borromeo, who was the archbishop of Milan. It was written in 1610. However, the most important pieces of the collection are two volumes about the history of the two branches of the family. The first one is “Historical-Diplomatic Monuments of the Ferrero-Ponziglione Archives and Other Noble Subalpine Houses” by Giovanni Battista. It was published by Ribotta in Turin in 1858 and is dedicated to the noble cavalry officer Ferdinando Laiolo by the author on 1 July 1858. On page 661, there is a narration of the deeds and events in the life of Domenico Simone Ambrosio di Chialamberto.
The second is a short booklet, “Memoirs of Annibale Ambrosio Conte di Chialamberto and the Lords of Villar di Basse” written by himself in Turin in 1856. It was published by Tipografia Marietti, in an edition of only 100 specimens, and was edited by his nephew Ferdinando Laiolo (the dedicatee of the book mentioned above).
One standout of the nineteenth-century collections is the “Collection of Journeys of the Stamperia Alliana” (1st ed. Turin). Another one is the collections in French called, “Bibliotheque Francaise des Meilleurs Ouvrages Modernes en Histoire”, in 90 volumes. Both collections were written between 1830 and 1833. Finally, there is the finished “Popular Library or Collection of Classical Italian and Greek and Latin Works,” Pomba editions, which has 307 volumes dating between 1828 and 1832.
The music part of the library deserves a special mention as well. It is part of De Vecchi collection, and includes about 120 opera librettos from the early nineteenth century. Some are first editions and some are programs of the Teatro alla Scala of the 1920s. There are also some comedies in the Milanese dialect dating from between approximately 1869 and 1875.
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