Della Bona Giuseppe Domenico (1790 - 1864)


Born in Gorizia on 5 August 1790, Giuseppe Domenico Della Bona was an integral part of the social and cultural life of the town. He was councillor and town councillor, member of the board of directors of the Società Agraria and first general director, since 1831, of the Monte di Pietà in Gorizia, which over time became a savings bank, but he is remembered above all for his studies in the field of local history (or "home history" as it was defined at the time) and for the establishment of a well-stocked private library, organized and described according to biblioteconomic criteria, specializing in Gorizia and Friuli. A passionate scholar of local history, historian and historiographer with several publications to his credit, Della Bona collected through a long research work a series of documents and testimonies both archival and printed relating to the history of Gorizia, purchasing the originals or, when the purchase was not possible, copying or having them transcribed, so as to keep at least the copy in his library. This material was the basis of many of his works, such as the Historical Summary of the Princes Counties of Gorizia and Gradisca, the Chronological Strenna for the ancient history of Friuli and mainly for the history of Gorizia up to the year 1500, the Chronological Summary of political events referring to the changes followed in the territory of Gorizia and the re-edition of the Istoria della Contea di Gorizia del Morelli accompanied by a volume of Observations and additions. Della Bona was defined by Manzini as "the first librarian in Gorizia" not so much for his work as a bibliophile and collector, but for the scientific rigour with which he ordered by subject and described the books of his library in a series of manuscript catalogues updated with the most recent acquisitions. And with the same passion he collected, in particular in the numerous volumes of his lexicon, news about the characters and events of Gorizia and Friuli, providing scholars of the future with a precious patrimony of data to refer to or from which to start their research. After his death on January 8, 1864, the book collection of Della Bona, which counted over five hundred volumes (the works contained were, however, much more numerous, since many texts of reduced consistency had been bound together), was acquired by the Municipality and constitutes the historical nucleus of the Civic Library.