The Gabrielli library is mainly focused on humanistic studies, it consists of about 200,000 books, 30,000 of which are very old documents which once belonged to the religious orders abolished after the unification of Italy. The oldest document is a 13th century Benedictine code with one of the first writings in Italian.
It was founded in 1849 when the lawyer Paolo Pedini bought the first books, then the collection was enriched with the archives and books of the abolished religious houses (1861-1866). The librarian Professor Giulio Gabrielli ( 1832- 1910), after whom the library is named, played the important role of collecting, ordering and recording the 14 libraries of these religious orders.
25,000 further books were added to the original collection of 4,200 books, as well as manuscripts, codes, incunabula, rare editions that Gabrielli bought during his activity as a librarian.
267 manuscripts of former convents were printed after the 15th century and are mainly about religious topics and philosophy and a good number of them are important documents about local history.
Gabrielli was also an art critic, an archeologist, he also ruled the town picture gallery and wrote some books about the history of Ascoli Piceno.
13,000 prints collected in about 4 years of study are now displayed at the picture gallery,whereas his collection of art books and a volume with images of the monuments of Ascoli Piceno, ancient buildings, picturesque towns, popular scenes and other important aspects of Ascoli Piceno are at the library.
Gifts by important people from Ascoli Piceno further enriched the library. Noteworthy is the Verrucci- Bay collection which was given as a gift by the architect Verrucci who worked and built important monuments in Egypt. His library includes works whose documents are no longer available in Egypt but who are fundamental for the knowledge of Islamic and Egyptian art.