Site: Postgraduate online research training
Course: a PORT for Modern Languages
Book: Italian
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Date: Tuesday, 29 November 2022, 11:43 PM


Italian resources

Italian Resources

When you start looking for a source that is not available in your College or University library, you have several other options. You can look for it

The majority of these institutions have an online catalogue, which means you do not need to phone, email or go there. However, before choosing the institution that you think is the most likely to have your source remember that many countries (including the United Kingdom and Italy) have META-OPACs, that is, online catalogues which collect all the OPACs of a certain area. COPAC, for example, collect major British OPACs; SBN collects major Italian onlinecatalogues. And there are even META-OPACs which allow you to do online bibliographical searches of different nationalOPACs at once. This facility gives you the greatest overview of what is available on a trans-national level. We therefore suggest you should start by having a look at the META-OPACs relevant to Italian studies, included in our

Although META-OPACs permit you to scan a massive amount of books (authors, titles, and subjects), this information will not include any articles. So, if you are looking for secondary literature, especially articles and chapters in books, the best way of resourcing these materials is to consult the

MLA International Bibliography which will be available on CD-ROM or in print at your University Library. The MLA International Bibliography provides a listing and subject index for books and articles published in modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. It indexes over 50000 books and articles each year.

1. Resources in Italy

Each Italian city, however small, has at least one major library as well as at least one major archive. There are also many cultural centres devoted to the major Italian artists. We therefore decided to group different institutions in three sections  

1.1 archives

Archivi del Novecento
Archivi del Novecento is a computerized network of institutions with archives that have historical complementarityand typological homogeneity. Today there are 83 institutions in the network and more than 750 archival collectionsdescribed, including nearly 280 with inventory-level analytical files or documents. In some cases the documents arecompletely scanned and available on line as an image.

Archivi: Sistema Archivistico Nazionale
The official website of all Italian archives.

State Archives
Besides holding all State documents dating back to the Middle Ages, the State archives hold notarial archives prior to the 20th century as well as the archives of ecclesiastical institutions and suppressed religious corporations. You will be able to trace about one million parchments and 8 million files and registers in the archives of Italy. State archives are housed in all Italian main cities, but they are all linked to the National Archive System whose web page allows you to reach individual archive web pages:

The Archivio Centrale dello Stato (State central archive) holds all the documents produced by the Italian State after its unification in 1861:

The Chamber of Deputies has its own archive, as well as the Senate and the Ministero degli Affari Esteri (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) who also have their own. All documents held in the State archives can be consulted, except for papers classified as confidential for political reasons (in this case they can be consulted only after 50 years), or because they refer to personal situations (e.g. penal proceedings, in this case they can be consulted only after 70 years). These two periods can be reduced for researchers.

Municipal Archives
In addition to State archives, you may also be interested in the local government ones, since several cities preserve a municipal archive, too, such as, for example:

Ecclesiastical institutions
The most important ecclesiastical archive is obviously the Archivio Segreto Vaticano. This is the central archive of the Vatican and preserves all deeds and documents concerning papal and in general Vatican administration and pastoral activity. Students are allowed to consult material under special circumstances: please send a specific request to the director with a letter signed by your supervisor and two photographs. In this request you will have to specify surname, name, qualifications (one degree at least), profession, nationality, permanent address and address in Rome, as well as the reasons for your research.

Other major ecclesiastical archives are:

Archivio Storico Comunale di Ferrara
It combines four major collections plus several minor collections and holds more than 10,000 parchments.

Arcidiocesi di Firenze
This archive holds the documents of the Florentine ecclesiastical court.

Arcidiocesi di Trento 
Its documents date back to the 11th century.

Diocesi di Monreale - Archivio storico
This is the most informed source for the Norman domination of Sicily.

Archivio del Costume e Tradizioni Ebraiche - Turin
In addition to documents concerning Jewish communities from the 17th to the 20th century, it holds the personal archive and library of Benvenuto Terracini. It also holds a precious collection of Jewish parchments (Ketubboth, matrimonial agreements).

Archivio Storico Diocesano di Mantova
This archive owns, amongst many other items, 80 illuminated anthem codices.

Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu (Jesuit Archives) Rome
The Roman Archives of the Society of Jesus (ARSI) are divided into three principal sections: The Archive of the Early Society (1540-1773); The Archive of the Restored Society (1814-present); and the Fondo Gesuitico.

Library and Archives 'Renato Maestro'- Archives of the Ancient Ghetto of Venice
This archive holds a large collection of documents and publications on the Jewish Community dating from the 17thcentury.

Commercial institutions

Compagnia di San Paolo - Archivio Storico - Turin
This archive holds three major collections:

  • the archives of the 'Compagnia di San Paolo' (1563-1853), including statutes, imperial and ducal letters, patent and papal bulls, legacies and loans, ledgers and registers
  • the archives of the 'Opere Pie - Istituto di San Paolo' (1853-1932), including minutes of their meetings and financial statements
  • E.G.E.L.I. (agency for estate management and liquidation) collection. This archive holds all documents produced by this institution established after the promulgation of the racial laws in 1938 to acquire, manage and resell the properties confiscated from the Jews.
    Admission on specific written request to:

Unicredit Banca di Roma - Archivio Storico
This archive unites the archives originally belonging to Banco di Roma (1880), Monte di Pietà di Roma (1539), Bancodi Santo Spirito (1605) and Cassa di Risparmio di Roma (1836).

INA - Archivio Storico (National Insurance Institute - historic archive)
This archive holds all documents concerning the activity and the estate properties of the institute. The documentation concerning its properties in Italian colonies is worth mentioning. Admission is on request - you need to ring or fax (no email) - see the site for up-to-date numbers.

Academic institutions 
Archivio Storico dell'Università di Bologna
The historical section of this archive holds all the materials concerning the administration of the University and includes a library of 20,000 volumes. It also has a photographic section (holding about 70,000 images and films) and a section dedicated to architecture and engineering. It also houses the Museo degli Studenti.

Università degli Studi di Torino - Archivio Storico 
This archive covers from the end of the 17th century to the first half of the 20th. The collections of royal laws from the 18th and 19th centuries and of ministerial decrees from the second half of the 19th century are worth mentioning.

Trade Unions 
Archivio Storico della Cgil di Roma e del Lazio 'Manuela Mezzelani' 
This archive holds all documents concerning the political activities of the left-wing trade union of Lazio.

Historical Archives
Fondazione Gramsci
This foundation holds a very wide variety of newspaper clippings, visual material as well as historical documents relating mostly to the Italian left and the history of labour movements but more generally to the history of 20thcentury Italy. It includes a library as well as an archive.

Istituto Piemontese per la Storia della Resistenza e della Società Contemporanea
This archive contains a very rich body of material relating to the Resistance and the Second World War, in particular also relating to the deportation to labour and concentration camps. The site also contains useful links relating to the history of the 20th century and to other archives.

Archivio Storico Fondazione Corriere della Sera
This is the historical archive of the oldest and best selling Italian newspaper.

1.2 cultural institutions

Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento Italiano - Turin
This is one of the best libraries for Italian political and social history between the end of the 18th century and the First World War. It has 137,000 books and pamphlets, including the complete collection of the 'Atti del ParlamentoSubalpino e Italiano' from 1848 onwards, and 950 different periodicals. The archive, in turn, contains manuscripts (e.g. by Camillo Cavour, Massimo D'Azeglio, Giuseppe Mazzini and Silvio Pellico), posters (a special collection is devoted to the Roman Republic of 1849), edicts and proclamations from 17th to 20th century. The Grandi collection, onMazzini's thought, is worth mentioning for its completeness.

Centro Studi Piero Gobetti - Turin
Founded in 1961, its library specializes in 20th-century history and politics and has more than 50,000 titles. The newspaper library holds 3800 periodicals. Besides Piero Gobetti and Ada Prospero's libraries, it also has part of the libraries of Franco Antonicelli and Norberto Bobbio. The historic archive includes Piero and Ada Gobetti's documents, several collections regarding 20th-century history and the labour movement.

Archivio Doria - Centro di Studio e Documentazione di Storia Economica
This is a research and documentation centre for economic history in Genoa and holds documents and account books, dating from the 16th to 20th century, on the economic history of the city of Genoa.

Accademia dei Concordi in Rovigo
Founded in the 16th century as a salon, the Accademia dei Concordi is now a primary resource for Rovigo history. Its library holds maps, archives and manuscripts, including some important Bibles and rabbinical texts, as well as a more generalized collection. The Accademia is open to researchers.

Fondazione Arnoldo e Alberto Mondadori
This foundation owns one of the most important archives on the history of publishing in Italy in the 20th century. The 'Fondo Pareri di Lettura' (collection of reviewers' opinions) is worth mentioning.

Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli - Milano
This archive is mainly devoted to the history of socialist and labour movements of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Istituto Lombardo Accademia di Scienze e Lettere
The institute has a library preserving more than 400,000 volumes. Besides several incunabula and cinquecentine, it holds more than 2600 periodicals. The institute also owns an archive, which preserves manuscripts and documents regarding personalities such as Carlo Amoretti, Carlo Cattaneo, Giovanni Gherardini, Pietro Giordani, Pio Rajna and Carlo Salvioni. It also holds a large collection of manuscripts by Alessandro Volta.

Fondazione Luigi Micheletti - Brescia 
Its collection of 45,000 volumes specializes in contemporary history. A newspaper and a photographic library are attached to the main library. The foundation also owns an archive devoted to 20th-century political and social movements.

Olivetti Library and Archive
One of the main collections of the library are the books published by Edizioni di Comunità (the publishing house founded by Adriano Olivetti and one of Italy's most important publishing houses in the postwar period). Another section of the library is dedicated to advertising, industrial design, architecture, town planning and organization oflabour. Olivetti's major cultural projects and art events are the subject of the collection of Exhibition Catalogues and Restoration Notebooks series. The archive is composed of

  • a Media Archive, comprising a series of sections for general reference and research
  • a People Archive, containing material on the key entrepreneurial figures in the Olivetti family
  • an Olivetti Company Archive, collecting documents produced by the various Olivetti companies, centres, divisions and departments
  • an Archive of Personalities associated with Olivetti

Accademia Roveretana degli Agiati - Rovereto (Trento)
Founded in 1750 as an intellectual hub for the area, the Accademia Roveretana has since the 19th century been actively promoting culture by organizing conferences, exhibitions, etc. It has a rich archive and library, as well as a collection of works of art. Researchers are welcome.

Fondazione Querini Stampalia 
The library holds about 300,0000 volumes (32,000 on open shelves), 1200 manuscripts, 97 incunabula, 4000 periodicals (500 of them current), 2634 etchings, 355 maps and, above all, 100 boxes belonging to the QueriniStampalia Archive which include rare incunabula and about 1600 cinquecentine.

Fondazione Giorgio Cini - Venice
The library holds more than 140,000 volumes from the private collections of intellectuals such as G. Fiocco, R. Gallo, R. van Marle, A. Dudan, A. Muñoz, A. Salvadori, G. Bertini Calosso. It is mainly devoted to the history of art. The foundation's archive holds numerous collections devoted mainly to the history of music, opera and theatre, such as the collections named after Respighi, Malipiero, Casella, Rota, Togni, Milloss, Chilesotti, Rudge, Boito, Sartori, Duse andRolandi. It also has an important collection of cinquecentine.

Accademia di Agricoltura Scienze e Lettere di Verona
Its archive, dating from 1768, contains thousands of letters, posters, memoirs and maps. The library, in turn, holds 25,000 monographs, 828 periodicals, 359 boxes of pamphlets and 395 boxes of manuscripts, 118 cinquecentine,1200 prints and 1360 photographs and postcards and 63 maps. The collections of history of art and natural sciences are especially notable.

Accademia Galileiana di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti - Padua
Its library specializes in periodicals and the academic proceedings of more than 200 foreign and Italian academies. It also holds the library of the disbanded Accademia veneto-trentino-istriana.

Accademia Nazionale di Scienze Lettere ed Arti di Modena. Già Accademia dei Dissonanti
Its library, holding more than 130,000 items, is composed of two sections: a collection of works and pamphlets donated by its members, and a collection of periodicals received from other academies from the 19th century on. The archive belonged to scientist Paolo Ruffini. It is therefore mainly devoted to medical and mathematical material.

Istituto Gramsci Emilia-Romagna
This institute holds different collections concerning political activity and social life in Italy in the 20th century, including the archive of the cooperative society of workers in Budrio (1884-1961), the minutes of the CLN (National Liberation Committee) of Emilia-Romagna (1945-1946) and the archive of the provincial federation of the Communist party (1945-1991).

Accademia La Colombaria - Florence
The Academy possesses about 25,000 volumes: it is worth noting the 1071 volumes that remain of the old 'Colombaria' site and the legacy of part of Giacomo Devoto's library (1975) that also includes 9115 miscellaneous pieces.

Accademia della Crusca - Florence
Its collections are mainly devoted to the history of language and linguistics. It has about 100,000 volumes, 500 periodicals (200 of them current), 1067 cinquecentine, 42 incunabula, and 147 manuscripts. To gain entry, students need to produce a letter signed by their supervisor.

Gabinetto Scientifico-Letterario 'G. P. Vieusseux' - Florence
This acted as a bridge between Italian and European culture in the 19th century. Its library holds 300,000 books in Italian, French, English and German, mainly devoted to travel literature, 19th- and 20th-century history and biographical works. It also has 2700 periodical titles in several languages, 350 of which are current. Its archive, in turn, holds 130 collections including more than 500,000 documents and 50,000 volumes, focusing mainly on contemporary personalities in the fields of literature, music, theatre, architecture, painting and photography.

Accademia dei Rozzi - Siena
Its archive contains 2,500 publications, including extensive materials on the theatre and the history of the academy.

Accademia Petrarca - Arezzo
The library holds 15,000 works, including the former library of Francesco Redi as well as numerous incunabula andcinquecentine. It also preserves the Passerini Dantean library.

Archivio Storico Istituto Nazionale per la Storia del Movimento di Liberazione in Italia - Milan
This website gives access to the catalogues of INSMLI historical archives.

Accademia dei Lincei in Rome
Its library is composed of three main sections:

  • Corsiniana - the former library of the Corsini family, including a large collection of manuscripts
  • Accademica - containing the publications of the academy itself and of other academies with which the Accademiadei Lincei is in contact
  • Orientale - specializing in Arabic and Islamic studies
  • Collections worth mentioning include:
    - the Ersilia Lovatelli collection, of archaeological interest
    - the Levi-Civita collection, of mathematical interest
    - the Verginelli Rota collection, preserving ancient hermetic texts
    - the Gabrieli collection for Arabic studies

Istituto Treccani - Rome
This was the reference library for the compilers of the Treccani Encyclopaedia. Its collections (which include 110,000 volumes) are largely of general-interest, but they have 900 periodical titles, 600 of which are current, and a collection of dictionaries and encyclopedias dating back to the 16th century.

Library and Archive of RAI - Rome
This site provides a large amount of online video- audio- and photo-material, as well as papers and publications concerning activities and broadcasts of Italian state TV since its foundation in 1954.

IRTEM - Istituto di Ricerca per il Teatro Musicale - Rome
Besides holding 3700 reference volumes specializing in the fields of discography and videography, IRTEM has a collection of musical scores consisting of approximately 700 volumes, including the complete works of GoffredoPetrassi, Ennio Morricone and Franco Mannino. A separate section is dedicated to a unique collection of 2200programme-booklets (theatrical performances and concert programmes). IRTEM also has an archive composed of two major sections:

  • the Contemporary Music Sound Archive, a collection that consists of approximately 6900 contemporary music recordings on LP, CD, MC and DAT
  • the Videoarchive of Opera and Ballet, consisting of approximately 1400 items (VHS, CDV, and DVD)

Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia - Rome
Founded in 1878, its library holds 110,000 volumes, 30 different periodical titles, 6000 manuscripts, and 2 incunabula. With its 1000 manuscripts and 2000 publications of vocal music from the 17th to the 19th century, theFondo Mario is worth highlighting. The archive also has a photographic, a music and ethnomusicology section. The Academy also holds an historic archive, composed of two sections:

  • the ancient section (1600-1870), which includes congregational registers and stocktaking records
  • the modern section (1870-today), which preserves all documents regarding the concert activity of the academy

Fondazione Gramsci - Rome
The archive is composed of 4 major collections:

  • the historic archive of the Italian Communist Party from its foundation in 1921 to its dissolution in 1991
  • the historical archive for women 'Camilla Ravera'
  • the Sibilla Aleramo Archive
  • the Luchino Visconti Archive

Archivio 68
This is a collection of bibliographic and documentary material regarding the history of social and political movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

Circolo Gianni Bosio - Rome
This is a cultural association for the preservation of culture, memory, oral, and musical expressiveness of non-hegemonic classes and the popular world.

Società Napoletana di Storia Patria
With 300,000 volumes and 3000 periodicals and pamphlets, its library is the largest of the country specializing in the history and culture of Southern Italy.

Accademia Pontaniana
Its collections are subdivided into:

  • Proceedings of the Academy from 1825 onwards
  • Angevin registers and Aragonese sources
  • Torraca library of Italian literature
  • 19th century collection
  • Proceedings of other academies

Accademia Cosentina - Cosenza
Its library is one of the most important of Southern Italy. It preserves 200,000 volumes, with a large collection onCalabria, more than 60 incunabula, 16th-century illuminated chorales and manuscripts dating from the 16th to the18th century. At the moment there is no official website, but you can find news about the Accademia on the Comunedi Cosenza website.

Centro Studi Feliciano Rossitto - Ragusa
The library has a rich historical section, particularly of contemporary history, a literary section of poetry and fiction, economy, ethnology, school, pedagogy, science, philosophy and non-fiction. The archives are particularly important for the evolution of the political and union world that marked the history of Sicily and cover the years between the Italian Unification and the second post-war period.

Istituto di Formazione politica 'Pedro Arrupe'
This holds a specialized subject library whose collections mainly cover sociology, political sciences, economics, law, ethics and social work. Besides major reference works, it has 607 current periodical publications and the complete collection of ISTAT (National Institute of Statistics) publications since 1972: censuses, yearbooks and bulletins.

1.3 libraries

According to the AIB (Italian Library Association) Italy has:

  • 206 public libraries
  • 185 university libraries
  • 75 research centres libraries
  • 40 ecclesiastical libraries
  • 35 national libraries

All of them can be reached through the AIB web-site, but we will list some information here about:

  • National libraries
  • University libraries
  • Municipal libraries

National libraries

All National Libraries require production of a suitable I.D.

Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze
This is one of the most important libraries in Italy. It has approximately 6,000,000 printed books, 115,000 different periodicals (15,000 of them current), 3700 incunabula, 25,000 manuscripts, 29,000 16th-century editions and 1 million autographs. It is a legal deposit library and holds copies of all Italian research degree theses.

Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma
With its 6 million volumes, 84,000 manuscripts, 1938 incunabula, 25,000 cinquecentine, 20,000 maps, 10,000 prints and drawings and more than 44,000 different periodicals, the National Central Library in Rome is one of the largest Italian libraries. Besides being a legal deposit library, it also holds copies of all Italian research degree theses. It also houses the 'National Centre for the study of manuscripts', aimed at collecting all microfilms of manuscripts held in other Italian libraries.

Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli
Holding 19,000 manuscripts, 4563 incunabula, 1792 papyri, 1,800,000 printed volumes and more than 8,300 different periodicals, the 'Vittorio Emanuele III' National Library in Naples is the largest Italian library after the libraries in Florence and Rome.

Biblioteca Statale di Macerata
A branch of the National Library in Naples. Particularly relevant are its collections in the Humanities and the History of art.

Biblioteca Nazionale di Milano
The Braidense National Library in Milan holds 1,000,000 printed books, 30,000 autographs, 24,360 cinquecentine, 23,000 periodicals and official publications, 5,760 eighteenth-century prints, 2360 incunabula and 2110 manuscripts. The collection of bans (composed of 20,000 pieces dating from the 16th century to 1859) is worth mentioning, as well as the Aldine and Bodoni collections.

Biblioteca Nazionale di Venezia
The Marciana National Library in Venice holds rich collections concerning Greek culture, general and publishing histories of the Veneto, Oriental civilizations (Teza collection) and travel literature (Tursi collection). It holds 1 million volumes, 13,000 manuscripts, 2883 incunabula, and 24,055 cinquecentine.

Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria di Torino
It has 1,600 incunabula, 6,000 cinquecentine, 15,000 prints and a vast collection of periodicals dating from theancien régime. Its musical collection (with autographs by Vivaldi, Gluck, Haydn and Rameau) is particularly worth mentioning.

University libraries

All Universities obviously house one or more libraries. However we want to bring some of the most relevant University libraries to your attention.

Biblioteca Interdipartimentale 'G. Solari' - Biblioteca di Storia 'G. Tabacco' (Turin)
One of the most important libraries amongst those belonging to the Turin library network. Its collections concern social sciences, politics and history as well as sociology and literature. It holds more than 97,000 volumes (including 65 cinquecentine and 600 eighteenth-century publications).

Biblioteca dell'Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan):

This is one of the most important University libraries in Milan. It owns more than 1,200,000 volumes and pamphlets (including 37 incunabula and 1800 cinquecentine), 16,564 periodicals (6359 of them current) and 5191 titles in full text electronical version. It also has about 1000 papyri. Admission is free for one day. Then you have to pay a fee of 5euros for 3 days, 10 euros for 10 days (only for consultation). In order to borrow books you need to pay 15 euros for a month, 25 euros for 3 months, 45 euros for 6 months, and 75 euros for one year.

In Milan you will also find relevant for your research:

University of Bergamo - Biblioteca delle Facoltà Umanistiche
This library is specializing in languages and literature, with more than 90,000 volumes and 550 periodical titles in English, French, German, Russian and Spanish literature.

University of Pavia - Biblioteche del Polo Umanistico
The main collections concerning humanities of the University of Pavia are collected in the 'Libraries of the centre for humanities'. This centre brings together 5 different libraries, including the

University of Udine - Biblioteca Umanistica e della Formazione
This library is of relevance for research in languages and linguistics. It owns 130,000 volumes and about 1660 periodical titles (550 of them current). It also has CD-ROMs, CDs, audiocassettes, videocassettes, microfilms and microfiches.

University of Trieste - Biblioteca di Lettere e Filosofia
The Library in Languages of the University of Trieste is particularly relevant for research in library studies.

University of Padua - Biblioteca di Palazzo Maldura
Hosted by Palazzo Maldura, a sixteenth-century building that houses several departments of the Faculty of Lettere eFilosofia of the University of Padua, this library is one of the best in Italy for linguistic and literary studies. Particularly well-stocked is the literary journals collection.

University of Verona - Biblioteca 'Arturo Frinzi'
Besides departmental libraries, such as the library of the Department of linguistics, literature and communications, or the library of the Department of history, arts and geography, this library which belongs to the University of Verona has a centralized library for humanities which allows readers, including foreign students, to borrow up to three books at a time.

University of Bologna - Biblioteca Universitaria
The University of Bologna Library owns more than 1,280,000 volumes (including 11,443 manuscripts, 1021 incunabula and 14,950 cinquecentine), 10,000 periodicals (800 of them current), 17,270 graphic works (prints, drawings, photographs) and 69,454 microcopies. It also has 50 Greek and Latin papyri.

The University of the Republic of San Marino Library
This library is relatively small, but it preserves a unique collection on the subject of memory, the Fondo Young(Young collection), which consists of 2000 volumes (200 dating from the classical period) and manuscripts.

The University of Urbino Library 
This library is mainly devoted to humanities and has about 500,000 volumes, 5000 periodicals and 26,453 pamphlets.

University of Florence - Biblioteca Umanistica
This library unites the collections of seven different libraries specializing in literature, philosophy, geography, North-American studies, history of Art, psychology and pedagogy. The library specializing in literature alone has 1 million books.

Library of the European University Institute (Florence)
The collections of this library consist of more than 3000 current journals, over 50,000 working papers and approximately half a million books in law, economics, history and the social sciences, with European issues being particularly well represented. The library has also taken out licenses for many digital resources and electronic access is provided via its website to more than 2000 journals, to many bibliographic, full-text and numeric databases as well as to many web-based resources.

Library of the Dutch University Institute for Art History (Florence)
This library possesses a rich and well-developed collection of scholarly texts on the history of art and civilization. Its main areas of specialization are the art of Italy and of the Low Countries.

Berenson Library in Villa 'I Tatti' - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Florence)
The Berenson library is one of the world's leading resources for research on the late Middle Ages and Renaissance in Italy. It possesses an extensive collection mainly of published materials in the history, fine and applied arts, music, literature, science, religion, and philosophy of Italy from circa 1200 to 1650, a rich collection of international scholarly journals, and an exceptional repository of visual materials on Italian Renaissance art. The library also has substantial holdings in the fields of classical studies and archaeology, medieval studies, the Mediterranean region, Renaissance Europe, and Asian and Islamic art and archaeology, as well as a noteworthy collection of historical and current art auction catalogues. Included as integral parts of the Biblioteca Berenson are the Morrill Music Library, the Oriental and Islamic Collection, the Berenson Fototeca, and the Berenson Archive.

Library of the State University (Scuola Normale Superiore) of Pisa
This library holds 550,000 books and pamphlets as well as 4,000 periodicals (2650 of them current). The Kristellerand Momigliano collections are worthy of a special mention.

Library of the Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali in Rome
If your research concerns social sciences you will find relevant material in the Free International University of Social Sciences in Rome. It owns about 100,000 volumes and 2100 periodical titles (1550 of them current).

University of Salerno - Biblioteca Centrale 'E. Caianiello'
This library of the University of Salerno has a centralized library which holds 400,000 volumes placed on open shelves in 18 different reading rooms.

University of Calabria - Library for Humanities
The University of Calabria has recently renewed its collections. It now holds 170,000 volumes and 25,000 periodicals, most of them on open shelves.

University of Palermo - Library Specializing in Music
Besides having a centralized library for humanities, the University of Palermo also runs an important music library. It holds the microfilms of almost all works of Sicilian composers who were active between the 16th and the 17thcentury, as well as 2000 scores and 5000 cassettes and CDs.

University of Cagliari - Biblioteca Interfacoltà di Scienze Umane
This library is of relevance for the humanities. It brings together three different libraries specializing in literature and philosophy, science of education and foreign languages and literature.

Municipal and specialized Libraries

Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milano
The Biblioteca Ambrosiana has 450,000 books dating from the 16th century, but is particularly renowned for its collection of incunabula (consisting of about 3000 pieces) and manuscripts (about 15,000, both medieval and modern). It also has 12,000 drawings (including masterpieces by Pisanello, Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer and Rubens). You will need a letter signed by your supervisor if you want to consult the incunabula and manuscripts. Admissions charge: 3 euros for 1 day, 8 euros for a week, 26 euros for a month, and 100 euros for a year.

Biblioteca Civica in Verona
It holds more than 700,000 books and periodicals, including 1200 incunabula (among them De re militari by RobertoValturio, Horae ad usum romanum printed in red and black ink by Aldo Manuzio and Hypnerotomachia Poliphili are worth mentioning) and 8000 cinquecentine (600 of them printed by Manuzio and another 500 by Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari). The collection of manuscripts comprises 3500 items.

Biblioteca Capitolare in Verona
This dates back to 517 A.D. and is probably the oldest library in Europe. It contains 1200 manuscripts, 245 incunabula and 2500 cinquecentine, as well as codices, scrolls, miniatures, prestige bindings and musical works dating prior to 1630. Particularly precious are the fifth century Evangelarium Purpureum, St. Augustine's The City of Godand the collection of choir books for the cathedral.

Biblioteca Estense - Universitaria in Modena
Merged in 1995 with the University library, it preserves more than 1600 incunabula, about 16,000 cinquecentine and 164,000 manuscripts (including some notebooks by Giambattista, Francesco and Piranesi). It also has more than 1000 periodical titles.

Biblioteca Ariostea in Ferrara 
Besides being the main library in Ferrara, the Biblioteca Ariostea is well-known because of its collections of manuscripts by (and monographs about) writers and essaysts of international interest such as Ariosto, Tasso, Monti,Govoni and Caretti. It offers an inter-library loan service as well as a service for the international delivery of copies (xerox and/or microfilm).

Biblioteca Italiana delle Donne in Bologna
This is the largest library in Italy exclusively dedicated to women's studies. It has more than 20,000 volumes and 300 periodicals.

Biblioteca dell'Archiginnasio in Bologna
Its collections mainly concern cultural studies, history, philosophy, politics, literature, history of art, biography. It has about 800,000 volumes and pamphlets, including 2500 incunabula and 15,000 cinquecentine. It also holds 7500 periodicals, 750 of them current.

Biblioteca di Storia Contemporanea 'Alfredo Oriani' in Ravenna
The Alfredo Oriani Library is an institution specializing in contemporary history and political, economic and social studies, with particular regard to Fascism, Antifascism, and the history of political parties and of workers' and labourunions. Currently the library collection consists of about 130,000 volumes, not including its 1,200 magazines (700 of which are current) which mainly focus on history, politics and economics.

Biblioteca Classense in Ravenna
Besides holding about 600,000 volumes, it has some of the most important collections in Italy, such as the Dante collection, which includes two codices dating back to the 15th and 16th century. It also preserves 1000 other codices, 800 incunabula and several thousand of cinquecentine. Among the manuscripts, the correspondence between Lord Byron and Countess Teresa Gamba Guiccioli is worth mentioning. The collections of printed games and of 15th-century prints are unique, too. 

Biblioteca Palatina in Parma
This has now more than 700,000 books, amongst which there are 3044 incunabula and some 11,600 16th century editions. It holds 370 current periodical titles, 52,479 prints and drawings - the Ortalli Collection is considered one of the most beautiful in the country. There is a unique musical section of 93,000 books, 30,340 manuscripts and 45 periodical titles.

Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena
Founded in the 15th century, it holds 404,000 books including 287 incunabula, 3,200 16th-century editions. The 'Biblioteca Piana', the personal library of Pope Pius VII, is deposited here.

Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana in Florence
The collection is numerically small but extremely precious. It has 11,000 manuscripts (plus 150 boxes of papers), 2500 papyrus,  43 ostraka, 566 incunabula, 1681 cinquecentine, 592 periodicals and 126,000 printed books (from the 17th to 20th century). Owing to the uniqueness of its collections, students need to provide details about their research and the material they wish to examine as well as an official document bearing a photograph as proof of identity and a letter of recommendation on headed paper signed by their supervisor. The letter should state the student's course, his/her capacity to work with manuscripts or rare books and the approximate time required for the study of the items cared for by the library.

Biblioteca Marucelliana in Florence
It has about 554,000 volumes and pamphlets (including 487 incunabula and 7995 cinquecentine), 2574 collected manuscripts and 30,405 papers. Particularly important is its collection of about 53,000 printings and 3200 drawings (15th to 19th century). It also holds 9000 librettos.

Biblioteca Labronica 'F. D. Guerrazzi' in Livorno
This is one of the largest libraries in Tuscany. It has 360,000 volumes, 3400 periodical titles (900 of them current), 60,000 autographs (including an important collection of Foscolo's works) and numerous codices, incunabula and manuscripts.

Biblioteca Leonardiana in Vinci (Florence)
This has 9915 books and pamphlets, including all editions and reproductions of Leonardo's manuscripts and drawings. It also holds 300 of the most important publications on Leonardo in the 'Fondo Uzielli'.

Biblioteca della Camera dei Deputati in Rome
This library has about 1 million volumes concerning the political activity of both houses (Chamber of Deputies and Senate). It holds all parliamentary acts and numerous collections of laws, including the statutes of pre-unitary governments. Moreover it is the legal deposit of all publications printed by the State and by public institutions. Admission is granted on filling in an application form in which applicants specify the subject of their research and producing a document of identity and a headed letter signed by their supervisor specifying the title of the dissertation.

Biblioteca dell'Associazione Nazionale Biblioteche
The AIB library specializes in Library and Information Science. The library holds 7700 monographs, 460 journals (117 currently received). The library has open access.

Biblioteca 'Luigi Chiarini' in Rome
This is the library of the Scuola Nazionale di Cinema (National Film School). It contains 34,500 volumes and periodicals, non-book materials (microfiches, microfilms, playbills, and slides) and, as a legal deposit, 6000 Italian scripts. It also collects articles concerning cinema and TV from major magazines and newspapers.

Biblioteca e Raccolta Teatrale del Burcardo in Rome
This theatre library contains about 40,000 volumes, ranging from 16th-century editions to contemporary publications. They include drama works of all ages, nations, genres, critical essays and histories of theatre and the performing arts in all forms, reference books and repertories, including library science professional literature. Particularly important are the 16th and 17th-century editions. Moreover, the Burcardo library boasts a large collection of librettos. Four hundred periodicals are stocked (of which 80 are current), mostly Italian. Another source of information is the collection of over 570,000 reviews. This library also preserves SIAE's historic archives, a collection of some 2500 documents, including applications, declaration slips, correspondence, contracts and meeting minutes, as well as Carlo Emilio Gadda's library (bequeathed by the writer to SIAE short before his death in 1973).

Biblioteca Hertziana in Rome
This library focuses on Italian history of art from the Middle Ages to the modern day. It holds approximately 236,000 volumes and 1900 periodicals (1108 of them current). Admission on producing a letter signed by your supervisor.

Biblioteca M. Pallottino in Rome
This was the library of archaeologist Massimo Pallottino. It includes monographs, corpora, catalogues, periodicals and conference proceedings that were commercially unavailable. Besides 6000 titles in the fields of philology, linguistics, ancient history, it has 500 periodicals and more than 6000 abstracts.

Biblioteche di Roma
This site links to all libraries in Rome.

Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
The Vatican Library is a research library with large worldwide collections in the field of the humanities, and it also covers, though in less depth, the social sciences. Holdings include 1,600,000 printed books, 8300 incunabula (of which 65 printed on vellum), 150,000 manuscript volumes, 100,000 prints and engravings, 300,000 coins and medals, and 20,000 objects of art. The Coin collection ('Medagliere'), which is a section of the library, contains the most extensive collection of papal medals and coins, as well as one of the largest with respect to coins of the Roman Republic age, in the world. The engravings and drawings collection includes, among the rest, 161 volumes bound earlier than 1793, containing almost 42,000 engravings arranged according to different criteria. Admission for scholars is granted on submission of documentary evidence of qualifications.

Biblioteca Arcivescovile 'Annibale De Leo' in Brindisi
This is Salento's oldest library. It contains more than 90,000 volumes and pamphlets, 214 manuscripts, 17 incunabula and 276 cinquecentine concerning church history, sciences, Latin, Greek and Italian literature and history of art. The 'capitular archive' consists of 400 parchments and 10,000 documents dating back to the 11th century.

Biblioteca Centrale della Regione Sicilia
This is the most important Sicilian library. Founded in the 18th century by the donations of intellectuals of the Enlightenment, it includes important collections, coming from the abolished religious orders in Sicily (Jesuits, Capuchin friars, Franciscan friars). In 1878 it became a legal deposit library and now receives a copy of every book published in the district of Palermo. Among the most significant collections are the holdings on Arabic language and literature. The library serials collection is one of the best in Southern Italy.

Biblioteca Fardelliana in Trapani
This library holds one of the most precious collections of incunabula in Italy: 120 pieces by Aldo Manuzio, ArnoldPannartz and Conrad Sweynheym, Eucharius Silber, Vindelino da Spira and Lorenzo d'Alopa. Most of these are rare, some even unique.

2. Resources in the UK

There are several institutions that hold Italian materials in Britain. They can be classified in the following categories:

2.1 archives

The National Archives
This is the national achive of England, Wales and the United Kingdom. It brings together and preserves the records of the central government and the courts of law. The records span an unbroken period from the 11th century to the present day. Their website runs a database search engine to help you find the records you need. They also have several searchable databases to help you find out about records held by other archives.

Arts and Humanities Data Service
As a postgraduate student in humanities you will find this service useful and relevant. It includes 5 different domains:

  • Archaeology Data Service
  • Visual Arts Data Service
  • Oxford Text Archive
  • Performing Arts Data Service
  • History Data Service.

Archives Hub is a portal bringing together descriptions of thousands of the UK's archive collections and representing nearly 300 institutions across the country.

AIM25 is a database of archives and manuscript collections from many of London's higher education institutions, learned societies, cultural organisations and City livery companies.

2.2 cultural institutions

Italian Cultural Institute - London
This is the most important Italian cultural institute in London. It has a large library containing some 25,000 Italian books, and a large reference section on Italian culture and history.

The Italian Cultural Institute - Edinburgh
The Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh, too, runs a library, consisting of over 6,000 books, magazines, newspapers and a video selection of over 1,500 films.

Society for Italian Studies
The most important British society devoted to Italian studies is the S.I.S. , which aims to further the study of Italy, Italian language, literature, thought, history, society and arts through

  • publications (the annual journal Italian Studies, and a series of Occasional Papers),
  • conferences (a residential conference is held every two years, with a more limited non-residential event in London in alternate years)
  • an Annual General Meeting and Colloquium (held in London in early January).
  • It also sponsors an annual Postgraduate Colloquium.

Association for the Study of Modern Italy
The Association for the Study of Modern Italy (ASMI), founded in 1982, brings together individuals and organisationsfrom the UK and abroad with teaching, research, professional or general interests in modern Italy from all disciplinary angles. ASMI organizes annual conferences, and sponsors other events in the UK and abroad. It also publishes the journal Modern Italy: with four issues a year and international peer-reviewed articles, it is one of the leading English-language journals of Italian studies.

The Modern Humanities Research Association
Even though it is not specifically concerned with Italian Studies, the MHRA plays a major role in promoting academicendeavour in the modern humanities by facilitating the publication of original scholarly work of the highest standard. It publishes scholarly articles in five journals, including The Modern Language Review. In particular the MHRAstyle guide (free download from the home page of the website) is a fundamental resource for editing your theses, articles, and papers.

Another major society is the B.I.S. (British-Italian Society), which, besides promoting lectures, publications, exhibitions, readings and concerts, sponsors the Florio Prize and, above all, the Rooke Prize (for MA dissertations and sections of MPhil or PhD theses).

Il Circolo
Il Circolo is also worth mentioning. Each year it distributes grants to help students who seek further education in any field related to Italian culture.

The Estorick Collection
If your research concerns Italian art it is worth contacting the Estorick Collection. It is known internationally for its core of Futurist works, as well as figurative art dating from 1890 to the 1950s.

Courtauld Institute
The library of the Courtauld Institute constitutes a prominent reference point for research in the field of art history.

Consulate General of Italy in London
General information and support can be obtained from the Consulate General of Italy in London.

Escape in Art 
This Italian theatre and literature association based in London aims at creating a network of Italian enthusiasts in London. They have yearly literary competitions and poetry recitals and gather links to other associations in London.

2.3 libraries

We cannot list all the libraries in the UK holding Italian resources. So before checking one of the larger libraries on this page, always search the catalogues of your University library first, and those which are in your neighbourhood. University libraries tend to have different specialisms depending on the research interests of the lecturers and researchers associated with the institution, so collections may vary considerably. Be creative when doing your research and use COPAC to locate your materials.

The British Library
The British Library is one of the world's greatest libraries. It holds over 150 million items from every age of global civilization. You can search the catalogues and order copies of some documents online. Access is free but you need to get a reader's pass. Photocopying, microfilming, photographic and digital services are available but be warned: charges are very high. If you can copy the materials elsewhere, then do so. See the special webpages dedicated to the Italian collections of the British Library.

The British Library Newspaper Collections
This is a fundamental resource if you need to work on periodicals (there is a complete microfilm collection of the‘Corriere della Sera’ from 1914). Access is free but you need to be registered with the British Library. The collection is based in Colindale (North West London, zone 4). Currently about 2,600 UK and Irish newspaper and weekly/fortnightly periodical titles are received. Major overseas newspapers in European languages are collected, where possible on microfilm, selectively to complement the UK and Irish collections. About 250 titles are currently received, including the most significant newspapers from most English-speaking countries and from western and eastern Europe.

University College London Main Library
The University College London Main Library is one of the major academic libraries in London and sometimes has items that not even the British Library has in its catalogue. Access is free for all postgraduates (although you have to show proof of identity and get a card). You can register as both readers and borrowers. However, University of London students not from UCL are subject to Library Services' approval.

University of London Library: Senate House
The University of London Library is one of the major academic libraries of the United Kingdom. Access is free for all postgraduates (although you have to show proof of identity and get a card). However, lending rights are only given automatically to University of London students and staff. Anyone else has to pay a fee (there are various different categories). Photocopying (also onto CDs) is available at a reasonable rate.

Bodleian Library at Oxford
This is the main research library of Oxford University, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library, having a stock of 6 million volumes. Admission is free to members of Oxford University, and to other bona fide scholars on production of a suitable letter of recommendation and proof of identity. Graduate students affiliated to universities and colleges funded by the higher education funding councils of the UK or the Republic of Ireland are exempt from payment.

Cambridge University Library
This library has more than 5 million books and more than 1.5 million serial volumes. For vacation access only your student ID is required, although during term time and for the section Manuscripts & Rare Books you have to produce a letter from your supervisor. Students from foreign universities are subject to an administration charge of £10 for six months.

The Taylor Institution Library (Oxford)
The Taylor Institution Library is devoted to modern languages and has a total stock of over 500,000 volumes - it is the largest specialist library in its field in the UK. Its collection concentrates on the literary and philological aspects of continental European culture, but also contains much background materials in fields such as history and philosophy.

John Rylands University of Manchester Library
Holdings of specialized library collections, including manuscripts, early printed books, and rare materials.

The Warburg Institute
Peculiar to this library is the classification of its collection of 350,000 volumes in four sections: a) social and political history, b) religion, history of science and philosophy, c) literature, books, libraries and education d) history of art andarchaeology. It also holds 2,500 runs of periodicals, about half of them current (on mobile stacks in the basement). The libraries of the Royal Numismatic Society and the British Numismatic Society are housed, and accessible, in the Institute. Access is restricted to researchers. A letter signed by your supervisor is required.

British Film Institute Library
The BFI Library provides access to a large collection of documentation and information on film and television including Italian films and scripts.

The National Art Library - Victoria and Albert Museum
NAL is both a major reference library and the Victoria and Albert Museum's curatorial department for the art, craft and design of the book, with a special collection of prints, drawings and paintings.

3. Resources in the rest of the world

3.1 archives

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
The Italian collections cover seven centuries, from 1300 to the present, including early manuscripts, rare books, opera libretti, prints and drawings, costumes and stage designs, marionettes, photographs and manuscripts of modern authors. The Ranuzzi Manuscripts make up the largest single group, with more than five thousand manuscripts from the 15th to the 18th centuries. The modern manuscripts include works by major Italian authors, Luigi Pirandello, Carlo Levi, Alberto Moravia, Paolo Volponi and Libero Bigiaretti. The library is open to the public and admission is free.

International Institute of Social History
This is one of the world's largest documentary and research institutions in the field of social history in general and the history of the labour movement in particular. Particularly relevant for Italian studies is its collection of leaflets and other printed material issued by various resistance organizations during the years 1943-1945 in Italy, directed at workers, students, intellectuals and women, pleading for support against fascism and against the Italian war efforts.

The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People
The Central Archives have rescued and preserved the archival remnants of hundreds of Jewish communities, organizations and public figures from all over the world. To date, the Central Archives have assembled some 800 lists of documents relating to Jews, as well as a microfilm collection consisting of over 6,000,000 frames.

Archives Portal Europe provides access to information on archival material from different European countries as well as information on archival institutions throughout the continent. 

3.2 cultural institutions

Council of Europe
The Library and Archives Division of the Council of Europe is the focus for information services within the 44-nation Organization. The collection includes:

  • Administrative files
  • Thematic files (1948-1980)
  • Referenced documents (1949 - present)
  • Publications (1949 - present)
  • Publications on the Council of Europe (1949 - present)
  • Audiovisual archive (1948 - present)
  • Poster collection (1950 - present) 
  • Website archive (2009 - present)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Its archives hold a wide range of documentary materials from UNHCR offices around the world. The UNHCR Archives provide first-hand information about the major refugee operations UNHCR has undertaken, the development of organizational policies and practices, and the evolution of refugee law, among others.

The World Health Organization
Its archive is subdivided into:

  • Archives of the Office International d'Hygiène Publique (OIHP): 1907-1946
  • Archives of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) : 1943-1946
  • Archives of the League of Nations, Health Section Files : 1933-1946
  • Archives of the Smallpox Eradication Programme: 1948-1986
  • Archives of the Parasitology Collection: 1911-2003
  • Centralized files: 1946 - present
  • Photographic Archives: 1951-1994
  • Archives on the Construction of the Headquarters building: 1950 - present
  • WHO Media and Films Archives: 1953-1989
  • "Project Files" Archives: 1945-1986

3.3 libraries

National libraries with resources relevant for Italian studies

Biblioteca Nacional in Portugal

Biblioteca Nacional in Spain

Bibliothèque Nationale in France

Library of Congress in the United States

Bibliothèque Nationale Suisse in Switzerland

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Austria

University and specialized libraries

The Houghton Library, Harvard University

University of Austin Texas Library

Robarts Library in Canada
The John P. Robarts Library houses the social sciences and humanities research resources. The Robarts Library complex is also home to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, whose collections include the:

  • Italian Play Collection (a large collection of Italian plays, with particular emphasis on the Renaissance period)
  • Libretti Collection (approximately 4000 works, primarily in Italian, first performed after 1815)
  • Rime Collection (lyric anthologies of Italian poetry, or collections of poems by one author)

Sheridan Libraries of the Johns Hopkins University
These hold a treasure trove of rare books including incunabula, medieval manuscripts, fine press books, historical manuscript collections, and other special materials.

J.R. Ritman Library - Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica
This collection offers a wealth of information for the study of the Hermetic tradition, which has
exerted a notable influence over the past 2000 years, for instance in 2nd-century Alexandria (Gnostic movements), in the 13th century (European mysticism), in the second half of the 15th century in Italy (revival of interest in Hermetic philosophy) and in the first half of the 17th century in Germany (Rosicrucians and theosophical movements).

Getty Research Institute Library
The library consists of approximately 800,000 volumes of books, serials, and auction catalogues. The special collections encompass rare books, historical photographs, and original archival materials for the study of visual arts and culture. The photo study collection, which contains approximately two million study photographs, documents works of fine and decorative arts and architecture from the ancient world through to the 20th century. Materials concerning French, German, Russian, Italian, and American avant-garde (e.g. Futurism) are a special strength.

James Ford Bell Library 
The James Ford Bell Library is a collection of 20,000 rare books, 2500 maps, and 2500 manuscripts from the period 1400-1800, documenting the expansion of Europe. Books by merchants, travellers, explorers, missionaries, and colonists record their experiences in their own words. Emphasis is placed on the books, manuscripts, and maps that relate to the origin and development of international trade.

The Harvard College Library
The Italian collection is among the richest in the world and is closely tied in with library collections elsewhere in the Harvard system (including the Biblioteca Berenson at Villa 'I Tatti' in Florence).

4. Virtual resources

Besides descriptions and catalogues of real libraries and archives, you can find on the Net numerous virtual libraries, that is, numerous websites containing the transcriptions of entire texts. We suggest that you should have recourse to them only for the first reading, or in order to search for particular words or phrases. If you need to quote those texts in your thesis or papers, you should refer to printed editions, whose philological accuracy is more easily verifiable. On the other hand, the Net offers you several other research tools, such as:

Another essential digital source of information is the

  • MLA International Bibliography which represents the best source for tracing secondary literature, especially articles and chapters in books. This will also be available on CD-ROM or in print in your University Library. The MLA International Bibliography provides a listing and subject index for books and articles published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. It indexes over 50000 books and journals each year.

4.1 Digital works and authors

You can now access many literary works either online (for free) or on CD-ROM (you will have to purchase the CD-ROM or consult it at a library that might hold it). In any case, the digitization of literature can be a great research tool as it will allow you to do specific searches in the text and in the case of online literature brings it into your house without your having to venture out to the library or the bookshop. For links to online literature, check our section on virtual libraries. There you will find many of the literary works you are studying online. To list them individually on this page would be an impossible task. We have therefore limited our page to few examples. If you are interested in CD-ROMs dedicated to particular authors, one major publisher of literature-based CD-ROMs is Chadwyck-Healey. For more information on their products click here: ProQuest and Chadwyck Healey

Examples of digital authors

Digital Dante
This includes all works by Dante as well as some other classic works read by Dante (e.g. Ovid's Metamorphoses and Virgil's Aeneid) and some secondary sources.

Renaissance Dante in Print (1472-1629)
This includes images of pages from early editions of Dante's work.

Devoted to Francesco Petrarca in the occasion of the 7th centenary of his birth; it includes several sections such asPetrarca's works, Petrarca's library and the contents of all major periodicals on Petrarca.

Decameron Web
This is a hypertextual edition of the Decameron as well as of Corbaccio and Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta.

Decameron Ipertestuale 
This is a hypertextual edition of Boccaccio's Decameron edited by M. Picone.

Pico Project
This aims to promote the reading and understanding of the Discourse on the Dignity of Man (1486) by Pico dellaMirandola, presented in its first printed edition (Bologna 1496).

Promessi Sposi - Percorso Multimediale
This is an annotated edition of Manzoni’s masterpiece.

Pier Paolo Pasolini 
This includes a vast collection of materials on Pasolini's life and works, including several documents about his trials.

Europeana provides access to over 50 million digitised items - books, music, artworks and more.

4.2 e-journals

Annali d'Italianistica
Edited by Dino Cervigni at the University of North Carolina, it is organized by monographical issues.

Bollettino del '900
Besides including all articles published in the printed edition of the periodical, this electronic version offers unpublished articles, bibliographies and news about research projects in humanities and activities promoted by Italian institutions abroad.

The Edinburgh Journal of Gadda Studies
This site is composed of two sections: the Journal proper, a yearly electronic journal entirely dedicated to the study of the works of Carlo Emilio Gadda, and, a Resource Centre, including Gadda's works, bibliographies, archives andcatalogues.

Italinemo is a website that offers analysis, cataloging and indexing of journals in the world of Italian studies published since 2000.

4.3 humanities portals/sites

Intute Arts and Humanities Hub
Intute closed in July 2011. However, this site, which will be maintained until 2014, is one of the most useful for all areas of research in the Humanities. It contains links to sites within all subject areas of the Humanities (simply click on Italian Studies in this case) and you will be offered routes to projects/organizations, primary sources, research-related sites, secondary sources, teaching and learning related sites and also bibliographical sources.

Realized in collaboration with the Department of Italian Studies of the University of Bologna, it includes numerous links to virtual archives, digital texts and a special section on IT in the Humanities.

University Council of Modern Languages  
UCML represents the views and opinions of scholars and professionals in modern languages to Government, the funding councils and other bodies at national level; it collects and disseminates information about the state of study, research and teaching of modern languages in the United Kingdom; it provides a forum for debate on issues of concern to its members through meetings, working parties, discussions, conferences, seminars and publications.

Arts and Humanities Research Council  
Established in April 2005, the AHRC is a non-Departmental public body. The AHRC evolved from the Arts and Humanities Research Board, which was founded in 1998. It promotes and supports the production of world-class research in the arts and humanities and postgraduate training designed to equip graduates for research or other professional careers. It funds researches in all the subjects related to the Humanities.

The British Academy Portal 
This is the British Academy's directory of online resources in the humanities and social sciences. It is designed as an entry point to resources available for those working in higher education and research, including the domain of modern languages amongst many other subjects.

This is an extensive online guide to children's books, periodicals, libraries, and bookshops.

Festina Lente ItaliAntiquariaat
This is an excellent site based in the Netherlands, selling antiquarian and rare, often out of print, books. 
This site finds used books, old, and out of print editions all over the world, compares prices and picks the best offer.

Mare Magnum
This is another great site for antiquarian books based in Italy.

ICoN - Italian Culture on the Net
Italian cultural resources on the Web ranging from libraries to Universities to language courses. Users must register online and there is a fee to pay for some, though not all, services.


This is an online journal/blog in Italian Studies written by postgradute students.

4.4 metaopac

British META-OPACs

This is the most searched British META-OPAC. It contains the online catalogue of 22 of the largest University research libraries in the UK and Ireland, plus the British Library catalogue.

Italian META-OPACs

The most common Italian META-OPAC is SBN which is run by the National Library Service. It contains all the main libraries in Italy. It may also be useful to consult META-OPACs organized by region, such as MAI (META-OPACAZALAI Italiano), which collects all Italian OPACS and allows you to search in three different ways:

META-OPAC AZALAI Catalogo Bibliografico Virtuale Università Lombarde
This includes catalogues of all Lombard Universities.

Metaopac Lombardo
This is the collective catalogue of libraries in Lombardy.

Metaopac Toscano
This is the collective catalogue of Tuscan libraries.

Similarly, collective catalogues for specific materials or field of studies could be extremely useful, such as:

Metaopac for Periodicals ACNP
This is the national catalogue for journals and periodicals.

This is the census of Italian 16th-century editions.

This includes catalogues of libraries of architecture.

Transnational META-OPACs

Karlsruhe Virtueller Katalog KVK
The wonderful University of Karlsruhe Virtual Catalogue allows you to search all the major libraries and national OPACS in the world at once. It is truly indispensable.

4.5 virtual libraries

This is a search engine that allows you to scour all major virtual libraries.

CIBIT - Biblioteca Telematica Italiana
Hosted by the University of Pisa, this is one of the most reliable of Italian virtual libraries. It also provides technical facilities for researches such as concordances.

Liber Liber
Liber Liber’s virtual library was one of the first online libraries and is still one of the most complete.

Biblioteca della Letteratura Italiana
Maintained by Pianetascuola and Einaudi, this site constitutes a well-balanced library mainly devoted to canonical authors.

De Bibliotheca
This is one of the largest virtual libraries for Italian literature. It also includes minor authors.

Italian Literature at Bobst Library
Italian Studies guides hosted by the New York University Library. See also the Medieval and Early Modern Italian Studies and Modern Italian Studies collections.

Logos Library 
With its 4688 literary texts, it is one of the largest online collections. A number of these texts are by minor authors.

Intratext Digital Library
This library holds 1424 texts, including some minor ones that are difficult to find in other virtual libraries. For some texts it also provides other useful services, such as concordances.

Biblioteca dei Classici Italiani
It includes all major Italian writers, grouped by century.

Similarly, this site includes a large number of major Italian writers, grouped by century.

Duecento: la Poesia Italiana dalle Origini a Dante 
Its archive includes almost 200 authors and contains in total 2400 works.

Biblioteca Virtuale Jaufré Rudel
It includes both medieval texts and texts concerning medieval culture.

Nuovo Rinascimento
This is a collection of virtual texts, mainly dating from the Renaissance.

The Medici Archive
This includes material from the Medici archive. It focuses particularly on texts aiming to enlighten contemporary Florentine society during the Renaissance.

Uroboro Classical Library
Collects texts dating from the 14th to 18th centuries, including several 16th- and 17th-century madrigals.

This is the online version of 'Thesaurus musicarum italicarum', a corpus that collects Italian music treatises from the Renaissance and early Baroque periods.

Opera Glass
This is one of the largest online collections of opera librettos.

La Poesia Italiana del Secondo Novecento
An anthology including about 50 poets of the second half of the 20th century (from Antonella Anedda to Lello Voce).

Digital Variants
This is a contemporary authors digital archive founded in 1996 by the Department of Italian of the University of Edinburgh to make available texts of living authors at different stages of writing.