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David Laskin’s article in yesterday’s New York Times gave a delectable overview of some of Italy’s historical libraries as not only keepers of intellectual treasures but as physical spaces to carry out research. While web portals such as Europeana or Internet Culturale are bringing us closer to Europe’s rare books and primary resources, conducting archival research in renaissance libraries such as the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice, the Biblioteca Vallicelliana in Rome, or the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana designed by Michelangelo in Florence will never be completely replicated online.
UC Berkeley may not have paintings by Titian or Veronese decorating its reading rooms, but it is home to one of the most significant Italian collections on the West Coast with medieval manuscripts, incunabula, and early modern works in The Bancroft Library, and an extraordinary collection of 19th and 20th century Italian books and journal runs in the Main Stacks. The Library collects in all divisions of Italian history and literature, from the medieval and renaissance periods to the present. For the 20th and 21st centuries, the collection tends to focus more heavily on new literature(s), literary and cultural theory, cinema, historiography, Italian colonial presence in Africa, national and regional identity politics, and comparative studies with other Romance traditions. The Art History/Classics Library in Doe, the Hargrove Music Library, and the Environmental Design Library are all places on campus where the Italian collection continues to thrive.
… in the Romance languages just in time for summer break! Some have been cataloged in OskiCat, some not yet. They are all accessible anytime from anywhere on the planet with Calnet authentication. Here are the coordinates:
Cairn.info – While the Library has subscribed to their Franco-Belgian collection of ejournals for years, this spring we added over 500 ebooks to our holdings which at the moment are only accessible through the website. Look under “Accès abonné’ to find titles such as Le choc colonial et l’islam or Simone de Beauvoir by Pierre-Louis Fort.
Digitalia – A collection of Spanish and Catalan e-books published in Latin America and Spain. These e-books can be read as pdfs, html, or Flash files. To date, the UCB Library has purchased more than 1300 titles all discoverable in OskiCat with keywords “Digitalia e-Books.” Cámaras en trance: el nuevo cine latinoamericano, un proyecto cinematográfico subcontinental and Visiones del Quijote: desde la crisis española de fin de siglo are two works previously never acquired in print.
Harmathèque – Éditions L’Harmattan is the largest publisher of French-language ebooks. Browse their online platform or searchOskiCat for “Harmathèque eBooks” to find individual titles acquired by the Library mostly dealing with Sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb in particular. 447 were added this past year including L’invention du Congo Contemporain – Traditions, Mémoires, Modernités.
OpenEdition Books – This innovative platform for ebooks in the humanities and social sciences (mostly in French but also other European languages) now makes available nearly 4000 scholarly ebooks, some available digitally for the first time such as Un retour des normes romanesques dans la littérature française contemporaine and Deleuze et la violence. Most are open access in html but UCB’s sustaining partnership give us access to titles not available OA through the Freemium model and in three distinct formats: pdf, epub and another optimized for ereaders.
Torrossa – To date the Library has acquired nearly 3000 Italian ebooks which can be discovered by searching the platform or OskiCat with keywords “Torrossa Italian ebooks”, “EIO Italian Studies Basic Collection” or “Olschki E-books.” Many of these were never acquired by the Library in print such as Saggi di Teoria della letteratura: percorsi tematici by literary theorist Enza Biagini.
The Library will have trial access through April 15 to the complete collection of ebooks on Cairn, an online platform for interdisciplinary journals and books published in France and Belgium. Some representative publishers include Presses Universitaires de France, Presses Universitaires de Vincennes, Presses de Science Po, Le Seuil, Tallandier, La Découverte, Karthala, De Boeck Supérieur, Picard, Kimé, and more.
Cairn.info, created in 2005 by a small group of publishers, offers the most comprehensive collection of journals available online in the French language. The project, supported by the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Centre national du livre, makes available an increasing number of scholarly journals and now books in the various fields of the humanities and social sciences.
Feedback can be sent to cpotts [at] berkeley.edu.
This map from a 2012 report titled Print Management at “Mega-scale”: A Regional Perspective on Print Book Collections in North America indirectly relates to books and journals in the Romance languages but I thought it might be educational to share since so much of our daily cooperative collection building decisions fit into this framework. It visualizes how shared research library collections coincide with the emergence of mega-regions, or geographical regions defined on the basis of economic integration and other forms of interdependence. For those of us who work in the library, it reinforces the role that research libraries like UCB, UCD, UCSC and Stanford play at the national level and how paramount it is for us to continue to strive together for robust and comprehensive regional collections so that we can support the current and future research and teaching needs at one another’s campuses and beyond.
The biennial International CODEX Book Fair and Symposium opens this weekend, February 5-8. The sold-out symposium will be held on campus in the mornings and the book fair at the panoramic Craneway Pavilion in Richmond in the afternoons.
The Codex Foundation preserves and promotes the hand-made book as a work of art in the broadest possible context and to bring to public recognition the artists, the craftsmanship, and the rich history of the civilization of the book. Book artists and printers from France, Italy, Spain, and Mexico but also from Argentina, Australia, China and beyond will exhibit.
More details including a full list of exhibitors is available on the CODEX website.
A new acquisitions list is now being generated for all books dealing with Latin America and recently acquired by the Library. These lists contain titles cataloged or recataloged during the last 90 days (excluding serials and ebooks). The list is updated daily and is available as an RSS feed. Book lists in other subjects including French, Italian, and Iberian Studies can also be accessed from OskiCat.
Online since 1997, Gallica remains one of the major digital libraries available for free on the Internet. With more than 12 million high-resolution digital objects from the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF) as well as from hundreds of partner institutions, it includes books, journals, newspapers, manuscripts, maps, images, audio files, and more. The illustration above “Ça, mon enfant, c’est du pain.. [That, my child, is bread…]” by Fernand-Louis Gottlob was published in one of the first issues of the weekly satirical magazine L’Assiette au beurre (1901-1936) which is also held in print at UC Berkeley. Committed to the ever-evolving needs of its user community, Gallica’s social media outlets include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even a BnF app.
More than a decade ago, the Library digitized close to 350 original cultural and political posters from Cuba acquired by retired librarian Carlos Delgado through the exchange program he set up with the José Martí National Library of Cuba in 2000. All are searchable by title, keyword or publisher in the Colección de Carteles Cubanos online database and in the Online Archive of California (OAC) with another 200 slated to be added this year. The posters capture the broad range of national and international campaigns of Fidel Castro’s regime but also a unique perspective on the world through promotional art for exhibitions, performances, festivals, and conferences held on the embargoed Caribbean island nation in the last four decades of the twentieth century.
The Library has begun a subscription to BiGLI Online which is the digital version of the fundamental print bibliography and discovery tool for the field of Italian language and literature – Bibliografia Generale della Lingua e della Letteratura Italiana. It includes texts, critical and historical surveys, philogical and linguistic notes, essays, monographs, bibliographic reviews, and more from 1981 to present. With the assistance of an international team of experts and co-published by the Centro Pio Rajna and Salerno Editrice in Rome, the BiGLI is regarded as “a census of the diffusion and dissemination of Italian culture in the world.”