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This page provides pointers to databases bought or subscribed to by the Library which are of particular Italian interest. The databases are listed alphabetically in two groups (textual resources and bibliographical resources), with brief summaries of their contents and capabilities. Each database listed below is also linked to its entry on the Library's main eresources pages, where access requirements can be found.

Textual resources


The ARTstor digital library provides millions of arts and humanities images for research and teaching purposes. Users can browse by a number of categories as well as perform specific searches. The main categories are: geography (countries), classification (specific subjects or genres) and collections, and these are divided in turn into the appropriate geographical or classification subdivisions. For example, a geography category browse shows that there are almost 155,000 images associated with Italy, of which 28,000 relate to the classification subdivision Architecture and City Planning.
(Statistics as of 31 July 2012.)

Cambridge companions online / Cambridge histories online

A large number of books are available electronically from Cambridge Collections Online and can be found through searches on the LibrarySearch catalogue. Two databases also bring together the contents of specific Cambridge books, duplicating what is available through the catalogue but allowing searches across books. Cambridge Companions Online includes a very wide range of publications relating to Italianists. Among the general literature titles are The Cambridge companion to the Italian novel (2003) and The Cambridge companion to modern Italian culture (2001) ; and the more specific literary ones including companions to Dante, to Verdi and to Rossini. Cambridge Histories Online can be searched with a specific term or its contents can be browsed, in categories which include literary studies and regional history.

Early European books

Cambridge University Library now has access to a further instalment of Early European Books, a database which provides high-resolution images of thousands of early printed books from major European libraries. The collection features 2753 books from the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, including one of the finest collections of Aldine editions in the world and numerous volumes annotated by such prominent scholars as Galileo. Among over a thousand incunabula there are rare first editions of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, as well as dozens of printings of the revolutionary prophet Savonarola.

Electronic Enlightenment

With 59,489 letters and documents and 7,230 correspondents, EE is the most wide-ranging online collection of edited correspondence of the early modern period, linking people across Europe, the Americas and Asia from the early 17th to the mid-19th century. The rich variety of people in EE represents a real cross-section of early modern society in Europe and the Americas. A range of sophisticated searches are possible. Lives can be isolated by nationality ; there are currently 179 Italians represented. It is also possible to identify letters and documents sent from a particular geographical location, whether this be a country, region or city. EE currently contains 332 letters sent from Italy.
(Statistics as of 31 July 2012.)

Iter Italicum

A comprehensive finding list of previously uncatalogued or incompletely catalogued Renaissance humanistic manuscripts found in libraries and collections all over the world. Originally published in six volumes between 1963 and 1992.

Oxford language dictionaries online

As well as offering an extensive Italian dictionary in electronic format, this database also includes a relevant range of tools and resources for Italian and English; useful phrases, cultural notes, interesting weblinks and a calendar of festivals and holidays. The opportunity is provided to subscribe to an Italian Word of the day for those keen to develop their vocabulary.

Oxford reference online

Amongst a wide range of reference resources this database gives online access to The Oxford Companion to Italian literature and The Oxford guide to literature in English translation. Access is also provided to a range of bilingual dictionaries, including The pocket Oxford Italian dictionary.


Bibliographical resources

MLA international bibliography

The MLA International Bibliography is a classified listing and subject index of scholarly books and articles published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics, compiled by the Modern Language Association of America. The Bibliography first appeared in 1926, as a section within the journal PMLA, and became a separate publication in 1969. The electronic version first appeared in the late 1970s, and for a long time only covered volumes from 1963 onwards; as of April 2006, the entire print run is included, from 1926 to the present. It contains more than 2 million records for books and articles.

World news connection

As the link above will show, the World news connection (WNC) database consists of various subsets, including Western Europe. WNC is a service run by the US government, providing translated news items from around the world. The WNC database provides an archive of these items. The Western Europe subset includes 3 sources from Italy.
(Statistics as of 31 July 2012)