Who we are

Established by Mario Casalini in 1958, Casalini Libri is recognised as one of the leading suppliers of publications from across Southern Europe to libraries and institutions worldwide.
We currently work with over 3,000 libraries and institutions, and more than 5,500 publishers from over 40 countries.
We provide an efficient and personalised service for libraries, combining the supply of publications with a range of solutions that facilitate selection, acquisition and processing workflows.
Our dedicated services for publishers range from subscription management to co-ordinated sales for print and electronic editions.
The Torrossa® platform aims to offer institutions a resource that gives access to scholarly ebooks and ejournals, at the same time simplifying acquisitions, licensing and integration with the library catalogue.
We firmly believe in communication, co-operation and collaboration to optimise new opportunites such as BIBFRAME, Linked Data and Open Access. We are involved internationally with projects and conferences.
In 2020, Casalini Libri joined forces with Mr Dirk Raes to acquire Erasmus and Houtschild, to combine the experience and expertise for which we are known.

#insideCasaliniLibri

2020: the Casalini Libri story so far - keeping calm and carrying on

A look back at the last few months.
Florence has been strikingly empty but perhaps all the more breathtaking for it.
We've taken our work home, creating unique office spaces, maintaining contact with you through many different channels...and enjoying a variety of stunning views from our desks!
We've established an exciting new partnership, joining forces with Mr Dirk Raes to acquire Erasmus and Houtschild, to combine the experience and expertise for which we are known.
And we've released a new and improved Torrossa digital library to further support libraries building electronic collections.
Publishers have also been busy... continuing to send us new and interesting works.
While office life has visibly changed to ensure the safety of team members working on site as they prepare volumes for their onward journey to you.

When books arrive

Each year roughly 300,000 volumes arrive at our offices.
The books come from over 4,000 publishers, university presses and museums.
We source and receive many different types of printed material, such as monographs, journals, essays and proceedings.
Not to mention facsimiles, catalogues, out-of-print items and limited editions.
We focus particular attention on scholarly research in Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Greek, both from Europe and from further afield.
Once they've arrived, each volume is checked, added to our catalogue and prepared for its onward journey to you.

Cataloguing

Our bibliographers profile around 40,000 titles every year.
These titles are selected specifically for their relevance to academic libraries.
The bibliographic records we create are added to our online database and included in personalised new title information updates.
We also create full original catalogue records, book in hand, to the standards set by RDA and BIBCO.
Our cataloguers contribute descriptive cataloguing, subject headings and authority records to the Program for Cooperative Cataloguing.
All of our records can be personalised according to your local requirements and are sent so that they are ready in your system when the books arrive!

Casalini Libri by Numbers

96
professionals specialised in library and publisher services
51
countries to which we have shipped books
300
days a year spent visiting customers across the world
3.000
libraries and institutions use our services
43.000
new titles catalogued each year
2.800.000
titles in our database

Supporting Research and Organizations

Our Story

Casalini Libri was founded in the late 1950s by Mario Casalini, the idea emerging during a business trip to the United States that Mario made on behalf of the publishing house La Nuova Italia. An avid reader and well-versed in Classics and the Arts, Mario noticed both an insufficiency in the quality and timeliness of bibliographic information and a growing need for a reliable supply of Italian publications abroad. This intuition led him, in 1958, to create an information and supply service for titles that were not easily found. An activity that was initially dedicated solely to the Library of Congress in Washington, the continuous increase in requests to the service made an expansion of personnel necessary, and consequently a new venue, in Via Leopardi in Florence.
The company's mission remains to this day the diffusion of Italian culture worldwide, a driving force that impels it to continue evolving and to create solid foundations for the development of well defined services dedicated to all types of cultural and academic institutions. In the 1960s the company deepened its commitment mainly in consolidating and perfecting its bibliographic services, while in the 1970s it began managing subscriptions to journals on behalf of its customers. It was the 1980s that saw a real turning point: Casalini Libri created its own bibliographic database and was among the first European bibliographic agencies to distribute records in MARC format. In the 1990s all catalogue records were published online in a website designed specifically for libraries and research institutions, to facilitate the consultation of data and the development of their book collections. In 1999 Casalini Libri, in collaboration with The Charleston Company, inaugurated the series of annual Fiesole Retreat conferences on the future of libraries.
Faithful to the traditions of the business and committed to innovation, at the beginning of the new millennium Casalini Libri was one of the first companies to appear on the digital market, with the publication of the first collection of electronic titles EIO - Editoria Italiana Online, made possible thanks to close links and fruitful collaboration with some of the most important academic publishing houses in the country. Immediately afterwards, the company expanded its supply of paper publications to include the whole range of the Romance languages; the catalogue of electronic publications was also gradually enriched with Spanish, French and Portuguese titles. In 2011 the digital library was renewed both in terms of its technology and functions, and the Torrossa digital platform introduced. During the same period, Casalini Libri further advanced its cataloguing activities and expertise, creating records according to the RDA (Resource Description and Access) standards, just a few years after becoming part of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), to which it contributes subject and classification proposals and authority files.
Today Casalini Libri is particularly interested in Linked Data and the possibilities it holds for the field of librarianship. A firm believer in technology as a fundamental tool for innovation, the company invests heavily in research and development: in 2017 it was officially recognized as an ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier) registration agency and is still involved in the library community's discussions on BIBFRAME (Bibliographic Framework Initiative), as well as being a promoter of models for the practical application of BIBFRAME in libraries.
Thanks to the guidance of Mario's children, Barbara and Michele, more than 60 years after its foundation and now with two offices in Fiesole and Caldine, Casalini Libri not only still reflects the original innovative essence instilled by its founder, but takes forward his desire to promote the dissemination of culture, through collaborative work and constant dialogue with the library and academic world.

Mario Casalini

Mario Casalini Mario Casalini was born in Florence in 1926. The only child of art-loving parents, he grew up with them in a very cultured home and was educated both at home and at schools in the city. He spoke four languages fluently, was an avid reader and loved and had a profound knowledge of all aspects of the arts and the humanities.

Although he first worked with his father, a master printer, in his printing company, Tipografia Carnesecchi, Mario Casalini was drawn instinctively to books and publishing. So determined was he, as a young man, to enter the Florentine publishing house La Nuova Italia that he even took out a personal loan to raise the necessary capital to join as a very junior director. He succeeded, against quite high odds, and was connected with the direction of the company for many years, representing it all over the world and eventually becoming its president. He was also vice-president of the Italian Publishers' Association.

When he finally retired it was with the aim of being ever more present in the growing family business, Casalini Libri, which he had founded in the late 1950s. In recent years he was more and more closely involved in its running and travelled widely, almost until his death, to visit the libraries which use Casalini's bibliographical records and acquire their Italian books through the company. Through these contacts over the years he made many true and cherished friends.

A man of many interests, he was a connoisseur of classical and chamber music and was involved in the management of a number of associations for music lovers in Florence and in the organization of their concerts and cultural events. He was a founding member of Musicus Concentus and directed the Associazione Amici della Musica di Firenze. While Musicus Concentus is now more closely involved with jazz than with classical music, the Associazione Amici della Musica still, today, promotes some of the most important programmes of chamber music in the city. Mario Casalini was also instrumental in founding the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, now considered one of the most prestigious music schools in Italy.

The environment also came high on his list. He was a firm believer in protecting nature and its resources in all possible ways and was an active member of two important Italian environmental associations, Italia Nostra and Firenze Viva.

Nor did his love of publishing ever leave him, so he also took over a small but prestigious publishing house, Cadmo, of which he was very proud. It produces a limited number of titles each year, but all of them are academic.

Unpretentious and essentially a family man, he died at his home, "La Torrossa" on the hillside near Fiesole, where he had lived since he was a small boy, first with his parents and later with his wife Gerda and his three children. The family company, now run by his daughter Barbara and son Michele is also based nearby.

Erasmus Antiquariaat en Boekhandel

Erasmus was founded as Erasmus Antiquariaat en Boekhandel by Dr. Abraham Horodisch in Amsterdam in 1934. Together with Horst Garnman, he quickly developed the antiquarian bookshop into a preeminent name in the international book trade, specializing in the area of art and art history. Since 1984, the focus of the company has shifted to focus on supply to libraries, providing a comprehensive service to university, research and specialist libraries. Its subsidiary in Paris, Librairie Erasmus, was founded in 1990 in order to guarantee efficient delivery of French publications. Over 40 employees and qualified booksellers in Amsterdam and Paris continue to provide personal and reliable customer service.

Houtschild International Booksellers

Founded in the Netherlands in 1974, Houtschild International Booksellers has made a name for itself as an outstanding supplier of academic books and journals from all countries, in all languages, specialising in the supply of English and foreign-language European publications and offering a wide range of services for academic and institutional libraries. Both efficient and innovative, the company is strongly committed to maintaining a high level of service, with customer care in the hands of a highly-qualified, experienced, multilingual staff.

Edizioni Cadmo

Cadmo, a publishing division of Casalini Libri, epitomises the editorial philosophy of Mario Casalini, an interest that began in the fifties, allowing him to dedicate his passion as publisher to give voice to the humanistic disciplines, encompassing a breadth of views, from scholars of different nationalities.
Specialising in books and academic journals in the fields of philosophy, arts, literature, linguistics and history, Cadmo's titles take an approach that combines editorial rigor with innovation.
Since 2000 Cadmo titles have also been available in electronic format, accessible via the Torrossa Platform.