8.0270 Mazzoni Project (1/147)

Thu, 20 Oct 1994 08:25:47 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 8, No. 0270. Thursday, 20 Oct 1994.

Date: Wed, 19 Oct 94 16:45:33 EST
From: "Jeannet, Paula" <paulaj@MAIL.LIB.DUKE.EDU>
Subject: Mazzoni Project Announcement (long)

October 18, 1994


Scholars of European and Italian studies will be interested to note
that the Special Collections Library at Duke University has completed a
two-year federally funded project to provide greater access to the
Guido Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection. Acquired in 1948 as part of
Mazzoni's larger library (including approximately 20,000 books), the
Pamphlet Collection comprises almost 50,000 pamphlets, newspapers,
clippings, librettos, epithalamia, and small volumes. Imprints range
from the late sixteenth century to 1943. Many private libraries in
Italy were broken up when they were sold, but Guido Mazzoni's heirs
refused this option; thus, this collection may very well be the largest
intact private Italian library of its kind in the United States. Many
of its pieces are very rare and difficult to find in the United States
and even in Italy.

Born in Florence in 1859, Mazzoni studied at Pisa and the
University of Bologna. There he developed his literary tastes and
writing style under the influence of Giosue` Carducci. Mazzoni was
appointed Professor of Italian Literature at the University of Padua
in 1887, at only 28 years of age. In 1894 he accepted the same
position at the University of Florence and remained there for 40
years. As an academic, his interests focused mainly on Dante and his
contemporaries; but Mazzoni also devoted himself to Ariosto, Tasso,
Machiavelli, and many other Italian writers such as Parini, Leopardi,
D'Annunzio and Manzoni. Guido Mazzoni also wrote several volumes of
poetry. He married Nella Chiarini, the daughter of another humanist
academic, in 1897, and they raised four children together. Mazzoni
died in 1943 in Florence at the age of 84.

The scope and quality of Mazzoni's library reflect the span of his
career, not only as professor of Italian literature, but also as
Senator of Italy (from 1910), and President of the Societa` Dantesca
Italiana and the Reale Accademia della Crusca, a society devoted to
the study of Italian language and culture. From literary criticism to
philology, from politics to religion to science, Mazzoni's writings
were prolific as well as varied in subject, and his collecting
interests as a bibliophile ranged just as widely. His students and
colleagues sent him many of their own writings in the form of
off-prints. He also acquired whole libraries owned by other academics,
either by purchasing them or receiving them as gifts from their owners,
usually his own close friends. He had at his disposal the rare book
markets of Padua and Florence, where he found many of the sixteenth-,
seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century pieces. His collection of over
20,000 books and 50,000 pamphlets is a testament to a man who loved
life and the variety of human ingenuity.

The collection's most important areas of strength include materials
on the Napoleonic era; the Unification of Italy; the history of
nineteenth-century Italian literary criticism and production;
eighteenth-century; the history of "per nozze" publications; French
and Italian theater; Italian poetry from the middle ages to World War
II; nineteenth-century Italian pedagogy; women's history and suffrage
movements (primarily late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries);
and Italian twentieth-century political history, especially World War I
and early Fascism. The collection is rich in periodicals of the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries, popular as well as literary, and
contains collections of newspapers from the same period, some of them
quite valuable as documents of the Risorgimento period and of early
Fascism. Among one of the most interesting sub-groups are the ballet
and opera libretti, some reaching back to the seventeenth century.
Many items in the collection are rare and difficult to locate. A
sample of these titles follows:

"Opposizioni secessioniste: La questione morale dopo le risultanze
dell'istruttoria De Bono -- presso l'Alta Corte di Giustizia:
documento pubblicato a cura del le Opposizioni secessioniste."
Rome, 1925. Important statement by parliamentary faction.

Balbo, Cesare. _Lettere politiche di Cesare Balbo._ 1847. 35 pp.
May be only hard copy in the United States.

Barbieri, Nicolo` (Beltrame). _Discorso famigliare di Nicolo` Barbieri
detto Beltrame, intorno alle commedie moderne._ 1628, Venetia
appresso Antonio Pinelli. 96 pp.

Carducci, Giosue`. _Le nozze: idillio di Giosue` Carducci._ Bologna:
Tipi Fava e Garagnani, 1864. Many be only copy in the United

Foscolo, Ugo. _Poesie._ Milano, 1803. First edition. One of only
260 exemplars printed; may be only copy in the United States.

D'Annunzio, Gabriele. [A very rare collection of newspapers, bulletins,
and leaflets printed under D'Annunzio's command in Fiume -- now in
the former Yugoslavia] Comando di Fiume D'Italia: Bollettino
Ufficiale (n.1, anno I, 12 settembre 1 919 - n.32, anno I, 3
settembre 1920)
[seems to be a complete run]. La vedetta d'Italia (n. 97, anno II,
25 aprile 1920 - n. 129, anno II, 3 giugno 1920) [in complete, five
issues, full newspaper size]. Leaflets and propaganda from Fiume
and some from Florence, some in brilliant colors; a few examples
printed during the "Natale di Sangue" as events unfolded.

Menzini, Benedetto. _Satire di Benedetto Menzini cittadino
Fiorentino._ Amsterdam, 1718. Scathing anti-papal satire banned by
the Church in 1720.

Monti, Vincenzo. _La palingenesi politica: canto..._ 1809. First
edition, dedicated to Napoleon. One of many valuable works by Monti
in the collection.

Piccolomini, Alessandro. _Il libro della poetica d'Aristotele:
tradotto di Greca lingua in volgare, da M. Alessandro Piccolomini,
con una sua epistola ai lettori del modo di tradurre._ Siena, 1572.

Many of the "per nozze" are also rare: these items were occasional
pieces published on a couple's wedding day, and often privately
printed in runs of only 50 to 100 copies. Their subjects run the
gamut from medieval cookery treatises, to regional folk songs, to
unpublished correspondence between famous personages, to academic
articles on such topics as Dante's _Divina Commedia_. At approximately
3,000 titles, the Mazzoni "per nozze" collection is one of the largest
in the world, complementing those in Berlin and Florence.

Through a grant designed to support the processing of library
collections, the Department of Education provided $81,096 for the
two-year Mazzoni Project , with Duke University contributing $15,058,
16% of the total grant budget of $96,154. One of the project's goals
is improved bibliographic access to the collection. As of November
31st patrons will be able to locate collection-level records for the
Guido Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection and 30 related subject areas on OCLC
and on the Duke Libraries on-line catalog, accessible through the
Internet. Available immediately through the Special Collections
Library is a unique electronic item-level finding aid that is
keyword-searchable and through which custom bibliographies can be
created and printed out. Though it is free-standing at the time,
eventually this database will be available world-wide on the Internet.

The staff at the Special Collection Library at Duke University
hopes the faculty, students, and researchers at your institution --
whether in romance languages, history, political science, or any other
relevant discipline -- take advantage of the riches to be discovered in
the Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection. Please direct all inquiries to the
reference staff by mail at Research Services, Special Collections
Library, Box 90185, Duke University, 27708, or by phone at (919)
660-5822. Patrons may also contact the reference staff by electronic
mail at specoll@mail.lib.duke.edu

Paula Jeannet Supervisor, Mazzoni Project