Florence summer program in partnership with SACI- Studio Art Centers International—whether you are interested in cultural heritage across libraries museums and archives, SILS museum library certificate program, dual-degree programs with history of art and with digital arts or art librarianship, this program will deepen and expand your knowledge and skills opening new career horizons.

Dates: May 20 to June 20, 2014 (four weeks). We encourage students to participate in Orientation at SACI, May 22–24.

1. Florentine Art & Culture, Museum and Library Research and Documentation now in its ninth year taught by Maria Antonia Rinaldi, Art Historian, University of Florence, and

2. Cultural Heritage Conservation: taught by SACI faculty, the leading Italian conservators Roberta Lapucci and Nora Marosi. The course focuses on paper conservation for rare books and manuscripts. See course description below.

Program Costs

  • Tuition: $6,756 for two 3-credit courses (regular Pratt-SILS tuition)
  • International fee: $520*
  • Application fees for non Pratt students: $50 visiting student application; $50 program application fee.
  • Housing: $1,750 SACI Florence Apartment for duration of program (double occupancy); $450 deposit to SACI refunded at end of program. SACI housing is optional; students may arrange their own housing.
  • Airfare: about $1,200, students make their own travel arrangements. See application link below in download box.

*subject to change based on actual costs

Application: Download the application form, fill out, and email completed form as well as materials indicated on the form to: infosils@pratt.edu or giannini@pratt.edu.

Financial Aid and Scholarships: As a 6-credit program, students accepted are eligible to apply for financial aid. Also, most Florence students receive scholarship awards of about 1/3 to 1/2 of the Florence tuition.

Florence courses apply to the following SILS programs:

Museum Libraries Certificate
Archives Certificate
Rare Books and Special Collections
Art Librarianship
Dual-degree with History of Art

Florentine Art and Culture, Museum and Library Research and Documentation

Course Syllabus and Schedule

Experience life at the intersection of art, architecture, and information. Immerse yourself in Florentine culture through its museums and libraries. Develop your knowledge and skills attending lectures and demonstrations and carrying out research. Whether you aspire to being a librarian or art historian, this course will enrich your understanding, placing you at the heart of your profession. 

When the museums, libraries, and cultural sites of Florence become your workplace and research becomes your passion. Subito, a real leaning experience occurs. With visits to the great churches, museums, archaeological sites, libraries, and parks of Florence, students document their research with photographs, drawings, and notations to be included in an extensive visual diary from which they identify a research theme illustrating a collection of related artifacts. LIS students produce a museum exhibition catalog drawn from their daily research and experiences.

This summer program builds upon SILS nationally acclaimed program in "cultural informatics" and also its successful seven-year track record as a  partner for LIS education with NYPL Research Libraries (HSSL and Performing Arts) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As an interdisciplinary program with architecture, it brings together the study of art, architecture, museum and library research, and digital technology. Importantly, it responds to student interest in international programs in the arts and the need for students to bring broad cultural perspectives and cultural experiences to their studies. This course supports SILS Museum Library Certificate.

Course Project: Drawing upon the city's rich cultural resources, students develop topics for exploration and research selecting a representative group of art objects from museums and cultural sites using Florentine libraries to document and explore their topics. Based on their research, students will produce an exhibition catalog.

Example of a Student Project: womenandbooksflorence.wordpress.com

Cultural Heritage Conservation

In this course taught by SACI faculty, leading Italian conservators, students learn about the conservation of paper artifacts including art on paper, archival materials and books. Students consider conservation from the perspective of both theory and practice and learn, for example, about developing preservation strategies, undertaking interventive conservation such as repair or chemical treatments, working with museum professionals and being advocates for conservation to the wider community. Students learn about conservation methods and techniques in the context of today's diverse cultural environments and carry out some basic conservation treatments to paper objects with sensitivity to key issues and values of the conservation field and its importance in the world of libraries, museums, and archives.

Sampling of Class Visits

Fiesole - Morning visit to Casalini Libri and afternoon visit to Villa I Tatti - visits to the major museums and libraries of Florence - the Cultural Heritage Conservation class visits conservation studios. Students may also choose to spend a weekend in Rome, Bologna, Siena, or Luca, all short trips from Florence.

Research Sites

Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Fienze - Reading Room (Students obtain library cards for regular study at the BNCF.)

Uffizi Library is part of IRIS- Consortium of art history and humanities libraries in Florence. Established since 1993, it is composed of the Berenson Library; the library of the Dutch University Institute for Art History in Florence; the library of the Uffizi; the library of the Fondazione di Studi di Storia dell'Arte R. Longhi; the library of the Instituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento; the library of the Officio delle Pietre Dure; and the library of the Università Internazionale dell'Arte. 

Uffizi Gallery - The Uffizi Gallery, founded in Florence in 1581 by the De Medici family, is one of the oldest museums in the world containing many important works of Italian and other schools dating from between the 14th and 18th centuries, including the largest existing collection of Tuscan Renaissance paintings. Virtual Uffizi, the complete catalog: www.arca.net/uffizi.

Archivo di Stato Di Firenze

Libraries, a sampling
Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale
Uffizi Library
Biblioteca Laurenziana
Villa Berenson /I Tatti (Harvard University)
Fondazione Roberto Longhi
Biblioteca dell’Universita degli Studi di Firenze

Monuments, a sampling
Santa Croce / Cappella dei Pazzi
Santa Maria Novella / Chiostri
Santa Maria del Fiore / Campanile di Giotto
Battistero di San Giovanni
Cappelle Medicee / Chiesa di San Lorenzo
San Miniato al Mont


Course Instructor:

Professor Maria Antonia Rinaldi
Laurea with Honors in History of Architecture and Post-Graduate specialization in History of Art, University of Florence; Post-Graduate specialization in Economics and Management of the Cultural Patrimony, University of Torvergata, Rome (with scholarship). In 1995, she was awarded a scholarship by the European Union to work in Spain in the field of museology with the San Pio V Museum in Valencia. She collaborated with the Ministry of Historic Patrimony of Florence on exhibitions and catalogues. She organized and curated several exhibitions of contemporary art in Florence and abroad. Recently she collaborated with U.N.E.S.C.O. and the Library of Alexandria to organize and teach a seminar in museology for young employees/staff of the library, and she provided consultancy for the new display of the small ethnographical museum of Siwa. (From SACI Web site under Faculty)

Tula Giannini, Dean & Professor, Pratt-SILS International Program Coordinator


The Institute is open to students enrolled in graduate programs or holding graduate degrees in library and information science, the arts and humanities, interested in research in the Art and Culture of Florence. We encourage students to apply as early as possible as a maximum of 16 students will be accepted to the program.  Fill out the application form and include a resume indicating undergraduate degree, graduate study and or graduate degree(s), related work experience and a statement on professional goals and your interest in the Florence program. Your full name, address, e-mail and telephone number. Send application and materials to: Florence Program: Pratt Institute, School of Information & Library Science, 144 West 14th Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10011.


For further information or questions email the Pratt-SILS office: infosils@pratt.edu or call 212.647.7682.


Application fee: Non Pratt students should include a $50 application fee.
International fee: all students pay a $520 international fee which applies to student activities, dinners, and events. This fee amount is subject to change based on actual costs.
Tuition for this 6 credit program  (two 3-credit courses) = $6,450
Payment in full is due by April 15.

RT Airfare to Florence: Students make their own arrangements for travel to Florence to accommodate individual travel needs, departure cities, and return dates. Students are encouraged to book early and to use agencies that offer student fares or other special rates. Estimated RT airfare New York/ Florence - $1,200.

Course Registration

SILS students register for each course: Florentine Art & Culture: Museum and Library Research & Documentation and Cultural Heritage Preservation 

Send application form to:
Florence Program, School of Information & Library Science, Pratt Institute 144 West 14th Street 6th floor,
New York, NY 10011.                            


Several weeks before the course begins, we will post readings, online resources and course daily schedule of events, visits and lectures. The course will be taught in English; however, reading ability in Italian is helpful.


We recommend that Florence students stay at the SACI apartments. The cost for a double occupancy room is $1,470 for the length of the program - May 21 to June 19.  For an additional $500 students may select a single room. For other accommodations see course syllabus under "practical matters."

Contact Information

Please address your questions to:
Florence Program, infosils@pratt.edu

Mail, email or deliver in person your application materials to:
School of Information and Library Science
Pratt Institute
144 West 14th Street 6th floor
New York, NY 10011

Telephone the SILS office: 212.647.7682

You may also email queries to Dean Giannini:
giannini@pratt.edu or infosils@pratt.edu