The BSV was established in 1703, the year in which the seminary was founded by the bishop of Milan, Filippo Meda (1701-1733), whose theological and spiritual writings have been preserved in Naples.
The oldest works, as documented by the ex libris, originate in the convent of St. Lucy of the Minim in Castellana: subsequent to the dissolution of religious institutions during the Napoleonic period in 1809, Gennaro Carelli (1797-1818), bishop of Conversano, requested access to the libreria in the convent of Castellana in 1819. Later, in 1832, Bishop Giovanni de Simone (1826-1847) was granted ownership. As a result, during the Bourbon Restoration the Minim convent of Conversano had been definitively established, in 1816, as the site of religious formation.
The library had increased considerably thanks to the intervention of de Simone, as confirmed by the inscription at the base of his large portrait, dated 1839 (ditavit_bibliothecam), and even more so by the undertakings of Bishop Giuseppe Maria Mucedola (1848-1865) during the rectorate of Domenico Morea, when the seminary became a nationally acclaimed institution.
1. In addition to the numerous and valuable printed documents of the 1500’s, today largely restored, the BSV is divided into specific sections, beginning from the XVIIth century to the present.
The BSV will add to its collection the unpublished manuscripted documents on microfilm of Conversano that are kept in Italian and European libraries and archives (the Vatican, Naples, Paris, Madrid, Simancas). These include diplomatic documents as well as historical (civic, ecclesiastical, regional) and theological works (New Library).
2. A smaller section of manuscripts concerns the seminary’s bookkeeping from 1703 to 1897 in addition to documents dating back to the 800’s and 900’s.
3. Lastly, of great scientific value is the collection of approximately 4,000 excavated minerals from almost every part of the world, classified by Luigi Dell’Erba (1853-1937).