This sub-collection is the largest group of items in the Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection at 9,270 records. The formats include pamphlets, newspapers, clippings, periodicals, ornate volumes, funerary cards, commemorations, and broadsides. There are many illustrated pieces, namely portraits of the individuals in either engravings or photographs.
Dates range from 1695 to 1943.
The importance of this sub-collection cannot be over-emphasized. The pieces can give an in- depth view of not only the main events in that person's life, but also how a certain person was thought of or represented by others, particularly through the commemorative pieces. Because Mazzoni had so many contacts, one can trace the careers of many individuals, whether famous or minor figures, and view the ethos of a whole generation of academics, writers, artists, and politicians.
The individuals represented are too numerous to mention. However, it must be noted that there are more materials on Giosue` Carducci than any other individual in the collection -- easily hundreds of items, including many obituary clippings and memorial pieces. Other important individuals who are the subjects of biographies include: Giacomo Leopardi, Alessandro Manzoni, Giuseppe Verdi, Francesco Petrarca, and Giuseppe Garibaldi. Of importance are numerous dedicatory pieces offered to reigning nobility from the Napoleonic era onward into the early twentieth century; these personages include King Vittorio Emanuele II, Napoleon III, and Marguerite of Savoy. The personal name of the subject of the biography will usually appear in the first position in the "Other Names" field in the Mazzoni Pamphlets item-level database. Up to three or four of these names can appear in this field.
Not included in the sub-collection "Biography" are items having to do with family genealogies or histories: these can be found under "Italy -- History," or "History." Other exceptions occur when an item's value as a cultural artifact supercedes its importance as a record of someone's life events. For example, an unknown professor's legal defense statement is not so important as a record of an event in his life, but as a record of how a profession conceived of itself in the courts; thus, it is placed under "Education." If that professor, however, were Carducci, then of course that person's stature would supercede any other aspect.
Also not included under "Biography" are diaries and memoirs whose overall focus is a very specific historical event or period of importance (events during the Unification of Italy, for example). Again, the patron is advised always to check several subject headings.