Having influences from the architecture of the Venetian domination period, the building of renaissance rhythm is one of the most characteristic and well-known edifice of Corfu’s Old Town. The Society was found on 1836 and it was the first cultural institution of Modern Greece based on the eponymous society in Geneva (Societé de Lecture de Genève). Having, the promotion of Seven Island’s culture, as the main axis of its establishment, this institution acted as “the island’s cultural guardian”.The Greek National poet Dionysios Solomos, the composer of the National Anthem Nikolaos Mantzaros, Greek famous poets and writers as Andreas Kalvos, Iakovos Polylas, Gerasimos Markoras, Lorentzos Mavilis, the Metropolitan Bishop of the Union Athanassios Politis, and many other distinguished prominent Corfiots, doctors, writers, professors from the Ionian Academy and politicians as Georgios Theotokis, were members of Reading Society of Corfu..
During the early years of its operation, the Society had different roles including the collection, preservation and display of historical, folkloric, archaeological, linguistic and artistic heritage of the Ionian way of life, as well as arranging every kind of art exhibitions by supporting local initiatives. It also had, a leading role in the national struggle for independence and helped materialize the union between the Seven Islands and rest of Greece. A remarkable moment for the Society’s progress was the identification with the liberal and liberating wave that swept Europe. It became the protagonist in every national and political request of the Ionian Islands, such as the constitutionalization of press freedom and the requirement to enforce the Greek language as the official language of the "United States of the Seven Islands". Today, the Society, apart from being a treasure of unique books, paintings, engravings, newspapers and photos, it also hosts seminars, scientific conferences and art exhibitions.