Just as in the case of the online resources for Spanish studies – previously discussed on this blog – two websites not specifically devoted to Italian literature and culture and yet offering access to resources relevant to studies in the Romance languages, are the Internet Archive, whose ‘ebooks and texts’ section brings together the online collections of several academic and research institutions worldwide, giving access to over 8.000.000 books; and the reviews available at Michigan State University’s H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences Online.
Just as with Cervantes’ Don Quijote for Spain, Dante’s Commedia represents for Italy the most popular work as far as scholarly initiatives on the internet are concerned: next to the Dartmouth Dante Project, the Princeton Dante Project, and Digital Dante of Columbia University – already mentioned in an earlier post about online resources for Italian studies – University of Texas at Austin’s Danteworlds, and University of Virginia’s The World of Dante, both “new entries” on this blog, are multimedial academic tools that combine textual commentaries and visual sources. Sandro Botticelli’s, John Flaxman’s (see picture above, illustrating Paolo and Francesca’s famous episode from the Inferno, Canto V, 70-142), William Blake’s and Gustave Doré’s interpretations of Dante’s masterwork are only some of the artists whose work is represented on the two American Universities’ websites. Dante Online (by the Società Dantesca Italiana) and DanteSearch (Università di Pisa) are Italy’s contributions to online scholarly resources on the Commedia‘s author.
Whereas Biblioteca Italiana, Memofonte and Biblioteca della letteratura italiana – earlier mentioned on the same post as the Dante’s resources above – are general collections of literary texts (13th to 20th century, both modern editions and digitized rare books), Amedeo Quondam‘s project Viaggi nel testo is «a travel through the life, the places, and the historical and cultural contexts of the most important Italian writers»: available via the site are both secundary literature on, and the complete works of, Alighieri, Ariosto, Boccaccio, Castiglione, Foscolo, Leopardi, Manzoni, Petrarca and Tasso.
The University of Chicago’s website Italian women writers and the Biblioteca digitale delle donne (provided by the Bologna-based “Biblioteca delle donne”) tackle two different yet interwoven topics such as the creation and preservation of «an extensive corpus of […] information on and texts by both famous and previously neglected Italian women writers» (12th to 20th century) and the digitalization of sources documenting the «memoria storica, culturale, politica e sociale delle donne italiane e dei loro movimenti di emancipazione e liberazione dall’Ottocento ad oggi», such as the 1985’s poster accompanying this post.
Individual writers whose life and work have made it to online academic resources are finally Giovanni Boccaccio, with Brown University’s Decameron Web and Carlo Emilio Gadda, with The Edinburgh Journal of Gadda Studies representing only a part of the Scottish University’s website devoted to the Italian writer.
Gina Lagorio’s photo from Italian women writers.