The Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries and Bibliographic Information is an Institute of the Ministry of Culture (MiC) and received its current name in 1975, taking over from the National Center for the Union Catalogue created in 1951 with the task of cataloging the entire national bibliographic heritage.
The Institute cooperates with the Italian libraries, even those pertaining to different administrations (Towns, Provinces, Regions, Cultural Institutes). The main result of this collaboration was the establishment of the National Library Service. This national on-line network, to which the libraries of national and local institutions and universities are connected, constitutes a base for the national collective on-line catalogue, which is managed by the Institute.
ICCU has a deep expertise in digitisation standards and guidelines, coordinates and manages Alphabetica, a new portal that allows the Italian and foreign public to search simultaneously, and in an integrated way, all the information databases managed by the Institute, and to obtain controlled and ordered answers in typological-thematic boxes that come from different databases, born in different historical periods and for different purposes, but all of them fundamental pillars of national bibliographic services, integral parts of an extended ecosystem. ICCU also coordinates on behalf of the Ministry of Culture (MiC) CulturaItalia, the national aggregator for Europeana.
ICCU is also involved in international projects. The institute coordinates inDICEs (Measuring the ImpaCt of DIgital CulturE) and takes part in other European projects such as Biblio: Boosting digital skills and competences for librarians in Europe, Adrion Cultural Heritage Collections Network – ADRINETBOOK, 4CH – Competence Centre for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage and ARIADNE Plus.