Italian Language & Literature Collection

I. Collection Description


To support teaching and research in the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese through the doctoral level and beyond, in the language, literature, and culture of the ltalian-speaking peoples. The field is of interest also to faculty and students in the Comparative Literature Program and Western European Studies.

History of Collection:

The development of the Italian collection can be traced to the end of the 19th century and more specifically to the establishment in 1893 of the Department of Romance Language and Literature. A department of Spanish and Italian was authorized in 1939. By then, the Italian language and literature collection had an estimated 8,000 titles including the relevant items from the Antonio Cavagna Sangiuliami di Gualdana's Library purchased by the U. of I. Library in 1921. The Marvin Theodore Herrick's Italian Renaissance and drama collection of ca. 470 titles is among the notable additions to the holdings in the 1960s. In recent years, participation first in the Farmington plan and later in the European Blanket Order Program contributed to the collection growth.

Estimate of Holdings:

64,500 volumes.

State, Regional and National Importance:

The most important state and regional collection and one of the top 10 in the nation. The listing of all periodicals indexed in the Modern Languages Association Bibliography (1921 to the present) compiled by the Modern Languages and Linguistics Library staff shows the University of Illinois Library having ca. 80% of them (although not always complete runs). Special strengths in the collection are Dante and Tasso, and the Renaissance period in general.

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

Modern Languages and Linguistics Library.

Location of Materials:

The majority are in the Bookstacks. Reference works and a small core collection are held in the Modern Languages and Linguistics Library. There are also materials in the Reference, Undergraduate, and Rare Book and Special Collections Libraries.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

Herrick, Marvin Theodore. Italian Plays. 1500-1700 in the University of Illinois Library. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1966.

Majors, pp. 20, 21.

II. General Collection Guidelines


Italian, Sardinian, various Italian dialects, English, and Western European languages. Also any other language and regional variations if the work is significant.

Chronological Guidelines:

No restrictions. Emphasis is placed on the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and the 19th and 20th centuries.

Geographical Guidelines:

Primarily Italy, but also those areas of Switzerland in which Italian and its regional variations are spoken and literature in Italian is written.

Treatment of Subject:

Standard statement. Materials have subject focus on some aspect of the Italian languages and literatures. In addition, juvenile literature is acquired very selectively and in most cases only when the author is an important literary figure.

Types of Materials:

Standard statement.

Date of Publication:

Standard statement. In addition, special efforts are made to acquire first and rare editions of the classics in the field.

Place of Publication:

No restrictions.

III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments

Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.

Italian Language & Literature Collection
Italian 4 Italian
Italian for science, technology, business, etc. 3 Italian
Sardinian 3 Italian
Various Italian dialects 3 Italian
ITALIAN LITERATURE — Secondary studies:
Italian literature-history and criticism 3 Italian
Italian poetry - history and criticism 3 Italian
Italian drama - history and criticism 3 Italian
Italian fiction - history and criticism 3 Italian
ITALIAN LITERATURE — Original literary works:
Middle Ages / origins to 1300 3 Italian
Dante (1265 - 1321) 4 Italian
Early Renaissance (1300 - 1450) 4 Italian
Late Renaissance (1450 - 1600) 4 Italian
Baroque (1580 - 1680) 4 Italian
Early modern (1585 - 1814) 3 Italian
Modern (1814 - present) 3 Italian
Works in Italian dialects 3 Italian
Sardinian 3 Italian
Translations into English 3 Undergraduate Italian
Translations into other languages 4 Italian
Juvenile literature 3 Italian Instructional materials
Scholarly works 4 History Italian
Popular treatments 3 Italian Undergraduate
International cinema - Italian 4 Italian Undergraduate


Version Date: November 2005