The Licinian Library is Termini Imerese’s municipal library. It was founded in May 1800 by Giuseppe Ciprì and it takes its name from Ciprì’s nickname, Mopso Licinio, used within the Euracean Academy. Ciprì felt the necessity of founding it as counsellor of Termini’s culture and literature passionate, not to mention the possibility of extending the availability of knowledge itself to citizens not belonging to the restricted circle of those who could afford it.
Initially, the Library was located in the rooms of the abolished Company of Jesus, and only in 1952, it moved to the current location. The new place once belonged to St. Claire monastery, where, moreover, the classical high school Gregorio Ugdulena was sited for a few years, as well.
The Licinian Library, that today counts around 100000 volumes, besides newspapers and non-paper materials, such as CD, VHS, historical photos and discs, was originally made up of the personal collection of the same Ciprì, who, later, expanded it thanks to help of other Termini Imerese citizens, the archpriest Daidone, as well as other notable figures, such as the historian Niccolò Palmeri in 1848, Major Salvatore Drago in 1859, Antonio Gargotta in 1883, Baron Di Michele of Villaurea, and Liborio Arrigo. The most important core of the works, because of their antiquity, historical and qualitative value, is made up of 4500 volumes coming from the Library of S. Martino delle Scale Convent. More recent donations have been made by the families of the Attorney Agostino Di Lisi and Professor Giuseppe Navarra.
The preserved volumes are mainly consultation and encyclopaedic works, but the most valuable are a series of manuscripts, such as the legal acts of the Euracean Academy and a volume by Agatino Musso, besides parchments dating back to XIV-XVII centuries, containing privileges obtained by Termini Imerese, received by Aragonese kings and Popes, including tariffs, gabelle, anchoring, and tithe exemption, ius ligandi, the act of return of Mt. San Calogero – seized by Caccamo – the title of Civitas Splendidissima, given by King Ferdinand in 1499, and patronage over some churches. Later, a rich collection of considerable historic interest was added, including works by Paolo Balsamo, Nicolò Palmeri, Baldassarre Romano, Rosina Salvo, Francesco Coppola, Antonino La Manna, Gregorio Ugdulena, Girolamo Sceusa and many others, such as important texts by the philosopher and theologian Pietro Colonna, from XVI century, and Fulco Timoteo, from XVII century, whose brief and universal history of the created world is preserved. Moreover, documents concerning monasteries and suppressed religious corporations from Caccamo, Montemaggiore Belsito, Caltavuturo and Termini itself, together with other adjacent towns, are kept in the Library, orders that existed between XVI and XIX century. Lastly, among the stored pieces, it is possible to find documents from the historic municipal archive, such as the Jury Acts of Termini Imerese (XVI-XIX century), the Civic Council Acts (XIX-XX cent.) and the Decurionato Acts (XIX cent), but also calls for tender, ordinances, accounting books, mail and consults registers, and miscellaneous.
According to the founder’s will, the Library was created as an autonomous institution, administered by three deputies, such as the pro-tempore Archpriest, who was also the president, Baron Di Michele of Villaura and the Mayor. The librarian had to be chosen among the clerics of St. Filippo Neri’s Oratory or among those belonging to the secular clergy. With the years and the reduction of the sources, the municipal administration, in order to avoid a shutdown of the ancient institution, in conjunction with the Archpriest and the relevant authorities, in 1968, converted the Licinian Library into Municipal Library.