Universiteit Leiden

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Subject guide

Italian Language and Culture

Overview of databases, reference works and websites for research in Italian Language and Culture

History and variations of (old-) Italian and contemporary Italian linguistics (in particular, syntax)
Earlier periods are well represented: Duecento and Trecento (Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio), Rinascimento and Classicismo (among others Alberti, Ariosto, Machiavelli); basic collection for all periods and themes in Italian literary history

The majority of the Italian collection can be found at the University Library. Most of the books are in closed stacks and can be requested through the Catalogue. Reference works and other relevant books are available on the first floor.

Reference collection

Items from the reference collection can not be borrowed, but it is possible to make copies or scans. The reference collection comprises:

  • Reference works and bibliographies
  • Primary and secondary literature on an array of subjects
  • A selection of the most important dictionaries
  • Journals (only current issues)

The reference collection is organized by the Library of Congress Classification (LCC). Books in the field of Italian are mostly found in these classes:

  • PC : Italian language
  • PR : Italian literature
  • Z : Bibliographies
  • C : Philosophy


Current issues of paper journals in the field of Italian Language and Literature are placed in the round journal cabinets at the entrance to reading room 6. Back volumes are generally located in the S-UB (basement, stairs next to the Information desk). Journals in the Closed Stacks can be requested through the catalogue.

Find our databases on Italian Language and Culture in the catalogue.

To the catalogue

Italinemo indexes many journals on Italian Language and Culture on title of article or journal, author or keywords.

The MLA is an important bibliography for language and literature, also for Italian.

The Language and Linguistic Behavior Abstracts is an important resource to find publications on Italian linguistics.


Tesoro della lingua italiana delle origini

Opera del Vocabolario italiano

Dizionario etimologico della lingua italiana

L’enciclopedia italiana : Vocabolario & Dizionario biografico degli Italiani

Italian journals on the internet

Catalogo Italiano dei Periodici

Rivisteweb: collezione italiana di riviste di scienze umane e sociali

Circe: progetto di diffusione in veste digitale dei periodici importanti nella storia culturale dell'Europa del XX secolo


  • Photography and travel photography of Italy, among others famous buildings in Rome, Florence and other cities (from the nineteenth century)
  • Large collection of nineteenth/early twentieth century photography of Italian art, architecture and urban landscapes by the oldest photography company in the world, the Florentine Fratelli Alinari (since 1852)
  • Sestri and Florence in twentieth-century documentary photography by Emmy Andriesse (1914-1953)

Maps and atlases

  • Map collection of Isaac Vossius, 184 sixteenth-century Italian maps (COLLBN 002-01-001 t/m COLLBN 002-08-022) and about 25 atlases.
  • Approx. 500 maps and charts, military maps and city maps of Italy, including manuscript maps (sixteenth century et seq.; see Bodel Nijenhuis, 198 t/m 200) and about 10 atlases of Italy
  • Approx. 1000 topographical prints (sixteenth century ff) of Italy

Manuscripts and old prints

Medieval manuscripts

  • Manuscripts with texts in Italian: BPL 2887 (Petrarca) BPL 3072 (Vita Santo Francesco)
  • Latin manuscripts made in Italy: 400

Post-medieval manuscripts and archives

  • Manuscripts with texts in Italian, including: Documenti sul Giansenismo (BPL 2083), Relatione della Corte e governo di Rome (BPL 3087), Astrologia Universalis, etc. (BPL 3161), Viaggio del serenissimo principe Cosimo di Toscana (BPL 3294), Horticello di Fiori (BPL 3480), Relazione di tutto il successo della vittoria de Imperiali contro Bohemi (MAR 74), Relatione di tutti li principi et republiche d'Italia (VGG F 12). 



  • A small but interesting collection Italian drawings by Federico Zuccaro, Filippino Lippi, Guercino, Ubaldo Gandolfi, Lelio Orsi en Jacopo Zucchi.
  • Italian prints from the sixteenth till the nineteenth century, including, inter alia, graphics after artists as Raphael, Michelangelo en Leonardo.


  • Several publications from Italy are in the collections of UBL, Bibliotheca Thysiana en Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde (16th-19th century). See also Subject Guide Early Printed Books.
  • Music scores from Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695-1764)
  • Dante-collection of Mrs. Tilly Van de Sande-Swart
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