One of the more significant sub-collections, this group contains 1,708 records, with the majority of the formats represented being pamphlets and small volumes. Some of the items have very fine engravings and printer's devices.
Dates range from 1601 to 1942. There are eleven seventeenth century imprints and hundreds from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
This sub-collection is extremely valuable for its concentration on Italian theater in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly during the Napoleonic era and the French Revolution. Many items will prove valuable to scholars interested in issues of censorship and the proliferation of theater for a large middle-class public. Several rare seventeenth- century pieces can be found, including Niccolo` Barbieri's (Beltrame's) defense of comedy.
Important authors represented in these materials include: Carlo Goldoni (A and S), Vincenzo Monti (A and S), Guido Mazzoni, Vittorio Alfieri (A and S), Giovan Battista Guarini, Niccolo` Barbieri detto il Beltrame, Flaminio Scala, Carlo De' Dottori; Luigi Manzini, Ridolfo Campeggi, Federico Della Valle, Gasparo Gozzi, Carlo Gozzi, Giovan Battista Fagiuoli, F. T. Marinetti (S), Eleonora Duse (S), Machiavelli (S), Alessandro Manzoni (S), and Melchiorre Cesarotti (A and S).
Not included in this section are dramas in translation from other languages, even if they are translated into Italian. Look under "Literature" for works in translation whose original language is not Italian.
Of related interest may be other early dramatic works held by the Special Collections Library, especially French eighteenth-century drama.